Archive for the ‘cms’ Category

Give WordPress a Speed Boost

Friday, January 8th, 2010

The other day I was looking at my sites performance score in Google’s Webmaster Tools. According to Google, my site was considered slow. This was very concerning as Google has made it known that in 2010 site performance will influence its rankings.

When I looked at my source code it became very clear what the problem was. I use WordPress to host this site and all of the plugins I was using were dragging down the performance. Each plugin had it’s own JavaScript file, it’s own CSS file, and several images. What makes WordPress so great can also be a detriment to you page load times.

Web Page Analyzing

I used the web page analyzer at www.websiteoptimization.com to find what areas of my pages could use optimization. The web page analyzer tool pointed out several JavaScript files that could be optimized along with CSS code that could be condensed.

WordPress Page Caching

Now that I knew where the problem was I had to find a way to fix it. There are several caching plugins for WordPress but the one that worked best for me was W3 Total Cache. This plugin allows you to perform several caching and page optimization techniques that will save you seconds on your page load times.

Page Caching
You can cache each page on your site to improve your response times.

Minify
Minify will shrink your web pages, JavaScript code, and CSS. It removes spaces and even comment tags to reduce the size of the files that are downloaded to support your site.

Database Caching
Caches database objects to improve your response time

Each of the features above have additional customizations which you should look at carefully. I found the minify settings to reduce my page load time significantly by putting most of JavaScript files into a single JavaScript file and the same for my CSS files. There are a lot of different features. I’d recommend trying several of them and then rerunning the web page analyzer to see which improve you site most.

Overall, I knocked several seconds off the load times shown in web page analyzer tool above. You’ll need to experiement a little to see which JS and CSS files can be combined in single files without breaking your web pages. I found that I could make great use of this feature but it didn’t seem to work with the Disqus plugin I’m using. This is unfortunate as Disqus is one of the biggest causes of slow page loads. If anyone is able to get W3 Total Cache and Disqus to work together, please let me know.

Why Content Management Systems Need a Brain

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

If I Only Had a Brain…

Web analytics is the brain behind your web site. It knows exactly what people are doing.

So why is it that web analytics isn’t built into every content management system? I’ve worked with several different CMS – large and small – over the years and none of them included statistical tracking and visitor analysis. CMS’ are missing their brain!

Why Do Content Management Systems need Web Analytics?

CMS’ are great at managing and publishing content for static web sites. But static web sites are like your body without a brain, they just exist. Instead, they should be dynamic and by dynamic I mean, personalized to each person visiting your site. If someone comes to your site 5 times, they shouldn’t see the same home page banner each time. The CMS should be smart enough to show a home page based on the information it learned from the person’s previous visits. This goes for all of your web pages.

Completing the Web Content – Visitor Loop

To accomplish this, a CMS should include analytics data – a brain – that it uses to control content. This would allow it to discover visitor trends and display related content and promotions based on this data.

A continuous feed back loop should be created between the CMS and the visitor. This can be done by packaging web analytics within the CMS. The CMS pushes content to the visitor and the web analytics feature reports back to the CMS on the results. Now it knows what the visitor clicked on and the next page they visit is personalize based on the their previous history and the CMS’ knowledge of what content and promotions past users in the same situation responded to.

Closed Loop, Found Brain

The loop between the CMS and the visitor is now closed and several new opportunities have opened. Your site is now engaging to your visitors. It’s personalized based on their needs and it’s easier for them to find what they want. New content is recommended based on an intelligent CMS that is constantly learning with each new visitor.

Integrating Content Management Systems with Web Analytics Data

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

One of the problems which Marketing for Mavens solves is that content management systems and a separate web analytics applications don’t talk to one another.

Every day your content management system pushes out the same content to the same people and it doesn’t know whether that person has visited your site in the past or what they were looking for. Instead, web marketers are left looking at reports on a monthly basis and then trying to configure the site content accordingly. This response is far too slow and you’re reacting to the masses and not individual visitors.

Marketing for Mavens helps to solve this problem by tagging you’re visitors based on the web pages they view. It then knows each visitors interests and can push the appropriate promotions and content to them in real time based on these interests. Now your site can be personalized to your visitors without them having to register for your site. This is important as you can now target your content and messages to only the visitors interested in seeing it. If you are interested in seeing how Marketing for Mavens can help you to manage your web content and promotions and deliver them to targeted visitors, please check our our short demo video and join or beta program.

Content Management Meets Web Analytics

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Right now, our home page doesn’t go into a lot of detail on the features provided by Marketing for Mavens, so I’d like to explain it in more detail. You can imagine Marketing for Mavens as the link between serving content and analyzing web traffic. Most companies do both but they tend to be used in a linear fashion and neither integrates well enough to make business decisions on-the-fly. Your typical setup looks something like this:

Content Management -> Web Site -> Web Analytics -> Analyze Data -> Make Content Changes

What Marketing for Mavens does is store promotions/content that you setup and track web analytics information. Then, based on how a person interacts with your web site, it distributes the most appropriate content or promotion to them. It looks more like this:

Marketing for Mavens Web Site

As a person reads through your web content, we’re learning more about this person and what they want. The close interaction between your web site and Marketing for Mavens ensures that you don’t need to take the time to analyze the data before you can respond to the needs of your citizens (citizens = visitors; I prefer to use citizens as it gives a much better level of respect to the people who take the time to come to your site). Best of all, this is customized to each person meaning you no longer need to try to be all things to all people.

Some of the key features:

  • Customize messages/promotions based on your site’s visitor history.
  • Analyze individual citizens so you can determine who is most interested in your products and services.
  • Tag and assign points to your web site URL’s to determine areas of interested and the level of interest.