Speed up your site by removing query strings

 

By removing query strings from your styles or scripts you can greatly improve your site performance.

Query strings are used in both javascript and style sheets, for example it is one of the methods that a plugin developer will use to render updates. Sometimes though the update is not visible until the cached file expires, and if you are using a CDN then that could take weeks or months.

By removing the query string it avoids you manually clearing your cache, and greatly improves your site performance and speed.

Simply navigate to your function.php and add this code at the bottom (don’t forget to do a backup of function.php, just in case)

 

function remaintenance_remove_query_strings( $src ){
    return remove_query_arg( 'ver', $src );
}
 
if ( !is_admin() ) {
    add_filter( 'style_loader_src', 'remaintenance_remove_query_strings', 15 );
    add_filter( 'script_loader_src', 'remaintenance_remove_query_strings', 15 );
}

Make your Website Faster with GZip

 

Gzip is a server side compression which will speed up your website. The speed at which your site loads plays an important factor in your rankings, as Google have publicly stated, they are obsessed with speed, and therefore we need to pay attention if we are serious about climbing the ranks.

There are many ways to speed up your site, from optimising images to clean code, all of which should be done to maximise our page load speeds. To test your site you can use Google’s own page speed insights which will test your site for mobile and desktop while providing you with tips on further optimising your site.

GZip compression not only speeds up your site but is also a good way to save on bandwidth. It is a very simple method to use and the results are fantastic.

To use this method, you just need to answer yes to the following-

1 – My site uses an apache server.
2 – I have or can create an .htaccess file.

Now add the following code to your .htaccess file –

 

# compress text, html, javascript, css, xml:
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript# Or, compress certain file types by extension:<Files *.html>
SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
</Files>

 

Simple! Enjoy your extra site speed.

How to Sell your Plugin or Theme

 

If you have designed a theme or created a plugin, how do you go about selling it?

The truth is most developers and creatives can spend countless hours going over code and design, but when it comes to selling their work, they struggle with even the basics.

Website

You only need a simple website, people like to know a little bit about the people behind the product, it gives them a connection. If it is a theme, give them a demo page, link out to your social media profiles and the marketplaces where they can purchase your products.

The marketplace

The two biggest marketplaces are ThemeForest (themes) and CodeCanyon (plugins). Even though you will still have to work hard to get noticed, it is far easier to sell on these platforms then relying on your own website as they have an established customer base on them.

Free

If you are just starting out, it is a great idea to offer a free version of your theme or plugin. You want to build momentum and reviews for your product, so just remove one or two features from your plugin or theme or add one or two features so that you also have a premium version to sell.

Reach out

Contact WordPress bloggers, they’re the people who will most likely buy or have interest in your product. Some may even offer to review your product on their website.

Advertising

If you are just starting out, getting noticed is one of the hardest things you can do, and that is where advertising comes in, unfortunately this costs money, beg, borrow, sell stuff and even logbook loans (which I did once to get finance) can help you out. From Facebook ads to search engine clicks, advertising need not be expensive, bid low and see what works.

Virtual assistant

If all the above seems daunting, then consider hiring a virtual assistant that can take care of all these points, freelance sites can get you the right person for a very small outlay, while you concentrate on your next project.

 

Facing the ‘White Screen of Death’

One of the worst situations you can face is seeing your WordPress site and facing a blank screen, even enabling debug mode can sometimes show you nothing.

This situation could be down to various factors, a broken theme or plugin, and/or exhausted memory. Check with your hosting provider to see if the problem stems from there, such as a poorly configured server, if not, here are a few solutions to the situation.

In most cases of the ‘white screen of death’ you will not have access to your WordPress dashboard, so you might have to go in via FTP. You can do this by navigating to wp-content/themes or wp-content/plugins, using your favourite client.

Broken theme

De-activate your current theme and see if that fixes the problem, if it does, delete or update the theme. You can also check the theme’s ‘function.php’ file to see if there are any coding issues causing the problem.

Broken plugin

Go to your plugins, and de-activate them all, if your website comes back to life then slowly activate one plugin at a time to find the culprit. Update or delete the offending plugin, and maybe let the author know about the problem, the good ones are always glad to help.

Out of memory

You may of reached your memory limit, although the memory is defined by your server, it may be different to your wp-config.php file.

Contact your hosting provider about your memory limit.

To change your wp-config.php file, use a text editor and add this line of code –define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘128M’);
This will increase your WordPress site memory to 128mb, but make sure that the memory size is not greater than your server side memory, if not, then you can even increase it to more than 128mb.

WordPress for business or an alternative?

Started for blogging, wordpress has grown into a wonderful content management system that is search engine friendly and in the main, free.

As an open source cms, it has led to some of the worlds top designers and developers to contribute to its functionality. Developers have created WordPress plugins that have added everything from ecommerce capabilities to stringent security. Designers have created themes that cater to photographers right through to designs for law firms.

But what about the competition?

Joomla

Another open source application, Joomla offers a middle ground between Drupal and WordPress and the ability to structure more complex and flexible sites than wordpress. A strong user community help this great cms. Supports ecommerce and social networking sites.

Drupal

Known for its strong taxonomy and ability to create complex content, Drupal is another open source cms. Requiring the most technical expertsie of the three, it is also capable of creating the most advanced sites. A great developer lead community, Drupal is well suited for complex data sites like multiple user community sites.

 

In conclusion, WordPress is a great cms for most businesses, but for more complex data driven sites, then it is worth looking into Drupal and Joomla, both offering fantastic robust platforms.