On Wednesday evenings from 8 to 8:30pm ET, I host #MakerBizChat, an Instagram event to help Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs build a solid business foundation, increase your income, and use your business to create the life you love. Our topic last night was Top 5 (Easy) Ways to Improve Your WordPress Website, and the conversation was lively and informative.
Our guest was Jennifer Smith of the Eco Office Gals, an eco-friendly and paperless green virtual assistant services company offering WordPress design services and resources for businesses interested in making a lighter environmental Impact.
You can read the full transcript on Instagram, including tips and resources shared by the comunity, at this link. Because Instagram is designed for mobile viewing, the entire chat on Instagram, which has dozens of comments and some great questions and discussion, is best viewed on a mobile device. Here is a summary of last night's #MakerBizChat.
Q1: @EcOfficeGals: HOW DO I MAKE SURE MY SITE LOAD TIME IS ACCEPTABLE?
A1(a) Use Pingdom.com to check your site load time. If it takes more then 4 seconds to load, you're losing audience.
A1(b) Make sure your hosting company is not slowing your load times. Don't skimp on hosting! (I recommend Hostgator.com)
A1(c) Keep plugins up to date and don't load your site with to many plugins, which can slow down load times.
Q2: @ECOOFFICEGALS: HOW DO I OPTIMIZE MY IMAGES FOR THE WEB?
A2(a) When you take a picture or purchase on from a stock site, it will usually be delivered in high resolution, which uses massive amounts of bandwidth and disk space.
A2(b) Images should be 72dpi for the Web, so they do not slow down load times. Images should load fast, keep your customers entertained and facilitate quick purchasing decisions.
A2(c) Here is a great post from Mashable with a list of free (or low cost) tools you can use to optimize your images for Web use.
Q3: @ECOOFFICEGALS: WHAT SIZE IMAGES SHOULD I USE AT MY SITE FOR BLOG POSTS, PAGES AND SHOPPING CARTS?
A3(a) Think BIG! Gone are the days of thumbnail images. People want big, beautiful visuals that they can be proud to share on Pinterest and other social networks.
A3(b) No one will share a 150x150px thumbnail, EVER. Give people a nice visual, no less then 500-60px wide to span the content area of your page nicely. Use Canva.com and Picmonkey.com to make your images pop. (Remember to optimize! (See Q2))
Q4: @ECOOFFICEGALS: WHAT ARE GOOD FONTS AND FONT SIZES FOR MY WEBSITE?
A4(a) If you're still making your audience read 12pt Comic Sans, we need to talk! LOL! 16pt font is the new norm.
A4(b) Desktop and mobile screens get bigger every day, and people do not like having to squint to read text. Dated, over-used font styles are boring.
A4(c) Boost your font sizes and use resources like Google Fonts for clean, modern font options.
Q5: @ECOOFFICEGALS: HOW DO I MAKE SURE MY WEBSITE IS MOBILE FRIENDLY? DO I HAVE TO?
1. Have Patience.
A5(a) Your website must be easily viewable on a mobile device. More and more people are buying products with their smart phones, especially young people and especially wealthy people.
A5(b) Starting April 2015, Google expanded its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This means that your search engine rankings are directly related to the mobile-friendliness of your website. If your site is not mobile-friendly, it will be pushed down in organic ranking. You do not want that to happen.
A5(c) If you use WordPress, make sure your theme is mobile responsive. If you are not on WordPress, make sure your website designer (or you) design your site to be mobile ready.
Connect with Jennifer Smith of Eco Office Gals:
When Is The Next #MakerBizChat?
The next #MakerBizChat will be Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at 8pm ET.
Our guest and topic will be announced shortly.
#MakerBizChat takes place Wednesday evenings at 8pm ET on Instagram. Be sure to follow so you can catch all of the questions and participate in the live and lively discussion.
What are your favorite WordPress site optimization tools? What words best? What should we avoid? Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below, or share on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.