October & November 2015 Website Journey – full speed ahead!
Q: What’s it like starting a website whilst you’re still learning about them?
A: It’s great.. but sometimes slow – there’s a constant desire to improve, without really knowing what needs to be done.
I’ve been trying to improve the website; tinkering with a widget here, and a plugin there. Reading as many tutorial posts as I’ve got time for and picking up the snippets of gold they’re giving me.
By the end of September, the website was all bells and whistles which, although it looked pretty, slowed it right down.
For website timing, it had almost ground to a halt. I’m talking “over 12 seconds to open the website” slow!
And that’s not the only thing that happened this month in my Website Diary:
1. Where did all that traffic come from?
You’ll see from a quick scan of PeasOnToast, that there’s not yet many comments [… but, hey, feel free to change that statistic]
It was a nice surprise when comments appeared on my Saving Stream review. I was over the moon, but disappointed that it had a negative tone – from my own and others’ experience, I knew that Saving Stream’s a good product. Why else would I be using it?
Comments should add benefit to a post and help other readers. I invited Saving Stream to respond with their side of the story, so the comment could be understood in context.
For the next few days, my traffic soared. The social media shares had increased and the numbers whirled ahead.
What was happening?! I couldn’t work it out.
I didn’t put 2 + 2 together until I spotted a particular inbound link had sent a lot of people to my website.
Ah, now I understood: the person who commented on my website, had also posted about the same issue elsewhere. Someone noticed that Saving Stream had replied, and had linked to my website from the forum.
How kind – lots of traffic and new visitors for me. Thanks very much!
I guess it’s true when they say “all news is good news”
2. Are you contacting me?
I’ve noticed when other websites contact me, they’re telling me about a product or asking me to include their link.
I assume that’s the norm.
And, if their website’s respectable, and their post’s related or adds benefit to my topic, then I’m happy to oblige.
However, there’s one thing I need more than a link, and that’s quick feedback from someone running their own successful website.
I thought this’d be a good time to ask. But I was caught off-guard when my request was ignored.
Perhaps we’re not “supposed” to reach out for advice. I don’t know.
I thought it strange, but didn’t bring it up again.
A few weeks later, I was contacted by Devesh of WPKube.com – a website chock-full of helpful information and reviews about WordPress, plugins and webhosting, which also happens to be included in my Resources page.
Devesh broke the mould.
He gave me several ideas for my website and lots of feedback. How kind that an experienced website owner reached out from their busy schedule and generously offered me help and advice. Thanks Devesh!
A big thanks for helping a beginner
3. Speed is the key
One of the things I’ve been dealing with recently is my website speed.
In the last few months, I added quite a few plugins and widgets for Twitter and Pinterest, revolving posts and Amazon products.
I didn’t realise they’d clutter and slow down my website.
Now that I’ve removed alot of them, I prefer how it looks (although I know there’s still lots to change). The speed increased quite a bit.
Read my “10 reasons your website didn’t help me” post, and you’ll see that the speed was cut in half from being over 12 seconds, thanks also to the Autoptimize and Hyper Cache plugins.
The speed had slowed back to 12 seconds and I didn’t know how else to improve it. I needed someone with website experience who wouldn’t charge the earth to help me.
That person: Noor (aka niceveg) via the Fiverr app choosing the gig “speed up your WordPress website, FAST”.
He was able to speed up my website by using the plugin W3 Total Cache and linking me to Cloudflare CDN. I’m not sure if the gig’s still available but if you need help fixing or customising WordPress css/html/php, then I’d totally recommend it – lots of help, explanations and updates.
What’s been learned?
- if someone comments negatively about one of the products reviewed, invite the company to respond
- a surge in traffic can happen when least expected, you just need to track down the reason
- don’t fill your website with clutter
- keep an eye on your website speed so that it doesn’t get out of hand
Honest stats – October & November 2015
Monthly website traffic increased in October to about 1,380 having taken a big nosedive in September, with the Revolut review still the most popular. I wonder if September’s drop in traffic was partly caused by the slow website speed?
Affiliate revenue – I’m beginning to realise [lightbulb moment] that affiliate income may trundle along for a while. That’s ok – I’m quite happy reviewing products for they’re good quality alone. That’s PeasOnToast’s purpose.
So, that’s my update for October and November 2015. What did you think – leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear from you?
Note: This article is intended to be a general resource only and is not intended to be professional advice.
- reviews to save you time looking for good value, quality household/fintech products
- blog/tutorials for any of you website newbies to follow my PeasOnToast learning curve
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