Tag: digital agency surry hills

11 Ways to Make WordPress Faster

The need for speed

When it comes to your website‘s loading time, every second counts. The need for speed nowadays translates into every aspect of life, including the time spent browsing the web.

In fact:

  • A website’s loading time is a contributing factor to page abandonment. We now know that a user’s expectancy when it comes to waiting for a webpage to load is 2 seconds or less.
  • Faster loading time improves your website’s search engine ranking.
  • Your website loading faster can also increase your website’s conversion rate. Research shows that a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

Identify speed bumps

Now, the next logical step towards fixing the problem with your website is identifying it by running a speed test.

Pingdom is a well-known and free tool that offers website monitoring services. Another great thing about this tool is that it has a user friendly interface, offers easy to follow summaries and it helps you to easily identify the existing issues with your website.

Make it faster

Once you’ve identified the issues it should be a little easier to fix the problem.

Keep it simple at the core

Think about your WordPress website like a body. If you want to strengthen the whole body you have to find ways to strengthen the core.

Now, what is the core of your website? Your website’s core would be: the hosting, themes and the plugins. Keeping these simple and uncluttered will help making it stronger, aka faster.

Choose a fast host

When it comes to choosing a server to host your website, you have to do your research. Reliable and fast hosting options aren’t always the cheap ones. The quality of the hosting service is definitely linked to how much you have paid for it.

Choose a clean theme

Choosing a theme can be overwhelming, especially with so many options to choose from. A solid framework and clean theme are going to help your website run faster. This way you won’t need excessive plugins, which will keep your website uncluttered.

Use caching plugins

W3 Total Caches is a plugin designed to improve your website’s user experience by increasing server performance. It can also help with loading speed by reducing download times and providing transparent content delivery network integration.

Only keep what you need

When it comes to using plugins for your website avoid installing non-essential ones. Every once in a while it’s best to do a check-up of the plugins you already have: keep the ones that work and get rid of the faulty ones.

Optimize images

An image optimizer will reduce the file size of an image while maintaining its quality. WP-Smushit is a free plugin that can do this automatically for you while also boosting your SEO.

Optimise the website homepage

Optimising your homepage contributes to a faster website loading time. The homepage is the page that needs to work faster, since it’s also the one that most users will be landing on.

A few quick ways to optimize it are:

  • Show excerpts instead of full posts;
  • Reduce the number of posts shown on the page;
  • Remove unnecessary widgets (you can include them in posts).

All in all, just keep it simple and minimalist – it will look better and load faster.

Optimise database

Database optimisation plugins are simple but effective clean-up tools for your website database; an automatic organiser. WordPress offers many options for database optimisation, such as: WP-Optimize andWP-DBManager.

Revisions control

Revision Control is a simple plugin that allows you to control the amount of post revisions stored. Less clutter means more storage space and faster loading time.

Image loading time

When a post contains lots of images it may take longer until they can all load. This plugin can help with this – it loads the images above the fold and as the reader scrolls down, the other images begin to load just before they come into view.

Storage space and security

CloudFare is a great tool that can not only increase the loading speed of your website, but can also offer the website its needed security. Along with W3 Total Cache plugin, they make a great combination that can drastically improve your website’s loading speed and security issues.

 

How to Apply for Business Grants Online in Australia

Raising funds is one of the most important things to think about, whether you are a startup looking to develop a mobile app or an established business that wants to take it to the next level.

There are plenty of options available to do this these days, from finding investors, creating a crowdfunding campaign or even borrowing money from friends and family to raise funds.

One great way to do this is to apply for a business grant from the Australian Government. Business grants can provide you with funding anywhere from $500 to $2,000,000, depending on the nature of your business. Although it takes a considerable amount of effort to apply to one, it is well worth the time as the business grants are non-repayable, unlike investors who would typically demand partial ownership of your business (equity) or request repayments depending on their contract with you.

1. Access the grants website business.gov.au/Assistance

Depending on the nature of your business, you will want to apply to a different set of business grants available. On the Grants & Assistance page, there is a form that will help you search and list the most appropriate grants for your type of business.

2. Select the reason for your application

This is where you will choose the reason for applying to your business grant.

  • If you are a startup / business that has only an idea but is looking for a grant to research and develop your idea into an actual product, then click on “research and develop a novel idea”.
  • If you are a startup / business that wants to expand their existing business or to scale, then click on “expand my business”.
  • If you are startup / business that has an existing product developed, understands your market and has intellectual property rights to your product, you would want to “commercialise a product”.
  • Similarly, if your need for a grant relates to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Arts, Disaster Assistance, heritage projects, hiring more employees, training existing employees etc. then select the appropriate categories.

3. Choose your State, Industry, Annual Turnover and Years of Operation

Your selections here will also influence the type of business grants that the website will suggest you apply for.

Not all grants are necessary for you to apply for, especially if your startup / business is within a certain industry. Some grants are only offered to applicants who are within a specific industry or specific lifecycle / stage of their business.

Click on the “Show Assistance” button and the website will list the grants that are most relevant to you.

4. Go through the list of suggested business grants

Click into every business grant that is listed to you and have an in-depth read of the requirements for each grant.

Inside the business grant information, you can click on “Tell Me More”, which will give you information on:

  • The overview of the grant
  • Who the grant is targeted towards
  • Who can apply
  • The eligibility criteria
  • How to apply.

5. Commence applications on relevant business grants

Once you have read through the list of suggested business grants, decide which ones you may want to apply for. Choose the most relevant grants for your startup / business that you should apply for and don’t waste time on ones that aren’t, as it is time consuming to try apply for every grant and you will need solid detailed research and solid preparation to build your grant application.

Depending on the business grant, you may be able to apply directly on the website or you may have to contact an external government department to start your application.

6. Do enough research and preparation before submitting the application

Make sure you do enough research to back up why the government should provide you with the business grant. Your should:

  • Have prepared a professional, but unique application.
  • Have outlined a solid business strategy.
  • Understand all the necessary requirements and upkeep for the grant.
  • Make sure the grant is the right fit for your business.
  • Keep an eye on the grant deadlines.

Considering the high number of applications for Australian business grants, half-complete applications or ones that aren’t thoroughly researched enough will most likely be rejected.

 

Why do you need a responsive website?

Why are all web designers and web developers insisting you to have a responsive website?

You may have heard a lot of people talking about responsive websites, but nobody took the time to explain how come they’ve become SO important almost overnight.
So in today’s article we’ve set our minds on presenting the 4 key benefits of responsive websites and how they came to be.

The birth of responsiveness

Remember when all you could do with a phone was… well, give phone calls? Those days are long gone, as now we use our phones as our second selves. And that’s not all. We also use tablets (thank God for those super-mini-smart-laptops!) and laptops, and smart watches – and what not!

Technology is now available everywhere. Accessible from almost anywhere.
There was only one problem… the websites were not adapted to the size of the screens they were being accessed from.

How can websites adapt?
That’s the question a lot of website developers asked themselves. They noticed that more and more people were ditching the traditional desktop PC and embracing the “internet on the go”: accessing the internet from their mobile phones or mobile gadgets.

Thus, within the last years a technique known as “responsive design” started to gain traction. Nowadays, it is the main and most popular way to deal with “mobile vs desktop” web design issues.

Shortly put, responsive eliminated the need for users to zoom in and out when navigating on a website from their mobile devices.

Can you believe that by the end of 2012 there were more mobile devices than people?
Knowing this, it’s easy to understand how responsiveness has become SUCH an important factor in an online business’ website conversion rate, ROI, profits, and search results rankings.

Improve your search results rankings

On April 21st 2015, Google released a new algorithm update. It marked one of the most important changes in the way the search engine ranks websites.
Thus, for the first time in history, the responsive websites were being given an edge over the non-responsive ones.

By having a responsive website you can actually BOOST your search engine rankings and occupy the first page in Google search results! If you want more online exposure and more visitors to your website, making it responsive is the first thing to consider…

responsive web design

Make your website accessible on all screens

What is your target audience? How are they using the internet?
Regardless of their sex, age, marital status or geographical location, most of your potential customers have a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop that is connected to the internet. What is more, a large percentage of them are making purchases from their mobile devices.

Now, a responsive website enables you to SELL to your customers while they are on a train, walking in the park, or in a club with their friends. All it takes is for them to go to your website from their mobile devices, and press the BUY button.
Do you want that? Then click here to see how we can help.

Unrivaled user experience

Talking about sales, if you want to close the deal with a client from their mobile device, you need immaculate website user experience. A responsive website redefines the way you communicate with your clients by highlighting your business top deals and best services in a way that is visually appealing.
This helps to build the Know-Like-Trust factor, meaning that users will come to Know you better (because you are available where they are searching for you: from their mobile devices!), then they will Like you (because your website is easy to navigate, it is branded, and it is visually appealing), and they will eventually come to Trust you (because a responsive website looks professional and works flawlessly across all types of screens).

All it takes now is for the user to click the Purchase button – see how we can help you achieve that!

Now is your turn…

– Do you think a responsive website helps you keep up to date with the latest online marketing trends?
– What are the reasons you have chosen to create a responsive website, and why would you recommend having such a website?
– Do you want your business to be available on all screens?

Click here to see how we managed to come up with practical solutions for our customers and contact us for a personalised responsive website project!