Welcome back to tech help Tuesday, slightly later than planned but hey, that’s life. This week we’ve got a couple of questions around some hot topics in the blogging community – site speed and domain authority.
Site speed is really important because Google do take it into account when ranking pages in it’s results. Domain authority is a metric that brands and PRs use to decide whether or not to work with a blogger and how much they’re willing to pay.
As always if you have any questions please get in touch over at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First up this week is Alexandra from That Butterfly Effect who asked:
How do you easily speed up your website? I’ve done the speed test and mine is really slow but the list I’ve been given of things to sort out might as well be written in a foreign language as I don’t understand a word. Is it something I can do myself or do I basically have to pay a professional to do it?
Site speed is a very common problem, so common that next month I’ll be running a free email challenge on how to improve it, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
There are a few basic things that you can do to help with blog loading speeds.
The main problem I find is with images. So much so that I had a bit of a rant in a facebook group just the other day about the correct formats to use. I’ve also got a full blog post dedicated to optimising pictures for bloggers coming later this week.
Most bloggers use Canva templates for their images which recommends that you download your pictures as .png who h tend to be higher quality images. But with high quality comes bigger file sizes which means they take longer to load. So I always recommend that you use .jpg images and use a plugin like WP-Smush to compress them when you upload them.
Plugins and Widgets
Next up are plugins and widgets.
- Make sure you have a caching plugin set-up like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache (check out the video below to see how I have W3 Total Cache set up).
- If you have any plugins or widgets installed but not activated delete them, they’re just taking up unnecessary space.
- Take a long hard look at your social media widgets. How many likes and follows do you really get from them? They might look pretty but if they’re not serving you they’re costing you precious page loading time.
I’ll be going into much more detail about the few points I’ve talked about here and more in my free email challenge next month and I’d love for you to join in.
If you can’t wait or are a bit worried about doing it yourself why not let me do it for you? A site speed audit is just one of the many jobs I can do for you.
Here are the settings I use for the W3 Total Cache plugin on The Blog Genie:
Can you transfer domain authority from one domain to another?
Melanie from Life at Number 11 asked:
What’s the right way to swap from one domain to another so you can take content with you whilst minimising impact on DA score (for example because your old blog name is no longer relevant to what you do/has a short shelf life).
How many of us begin blogging about one thing only to find that it doesn’t really do it for us? You can count me in there too. Thankfully my first domain name was general enough just for a change of tagline to link it to my new niche, but that doesn’t work for everyone.
Ok so before I had this question I thought that the answer to this was no. But I thought I’d better do some research to make sure before declaring that as the answer.
What I discovered surprised me.
It is possible
It turns out it is possible but you’ll need to permanently redirect from your old domain to the new one. This does however, mean that you’ll need to keep the original domain hosted somewhere which adds additional costs straight away. In an ideal world the redirect would be in place forever or at least until the new domain is no more. But let’s be honest, we’re not all made of money and would much rather be investing money in the blog that is actually earning. One article suggested that you should have the redirect in place for at least a year and that during that time you should be looking to change any links to the old domain to the new one.
Redirecting from one domain to another is quite straightforward via your .htaccess file.
There are several factors to think about when it comes to improving your blog loading speeds, including images, plugins and widgets.
It is possible to take your domain authority with you to a new domain. Depending on how big your domain authority is, personally I’d be tempted not to bother. Obviously if your domain authority is quite high, like 30+ I’d give it a go at least while I changed the backlinks from the old domain to the new one.
You may also enjoy: