A Deep Dive Into the GTmetrix Speed Test Tool

If you're looking to improve the performance of your website, GT Metrix is a fantastic tool to get you started. At Brown Box, we love using GT Metrix and use it whenever we need to diagnose any performance issues!

GTmetrix was developed by GT.net, a company based out of Canada, as a tool for their hosting customers to easily determine the performance of their site. Besides Pingdom, it is probably one of the most well known and used speed testing tools on the web today! In fact, the reason we are writing this is that we have a lot of Kinsta customers that are always asking us how to follow the advice they see on their GTmetrix reports. Compared to other developer tools, GTmetrix is pretty easy to use and the beginner can pick it up pretty quickly. It uses a combination of Google PageSpeed Insights and YSlow to generate scores and recommendations.

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Introducing The Website Speed Test Image Analysis Tool

This is an interesting new tool for measuring the performance and optimisation of your site, specifically with regard to images. Initial impressions are positive, but we'll be evaluating this over this next little while and considering whether to add it to our arsenal of performance testing tools.

Enter Website Speed Test, a free and drop-dead-simple tool that leverages our (Cloudinary’s) image smarts to let you measure, diagnose and (crucially) communicate about the image performance of any website.

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WordPress 4.8 Improves Accessibility on Admin Screens

As accessibility reaches the foreground of web design and development, more and more users are able to access the web than ever! Increased accessibility surrounding the WordPress Admin screens now means that more and more people are able to manage and use WordPress admin screens!

In WordPress 4.3, the Accessibility Team restored H1 headings to the admin screens. This paved the way for the team to change the headings hierarchy in WordPress 4.4. In WordPress 4.8, admin screens are more accessible thanks to organizing the header text on pages.

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Creating Better, Faster And More Optimized WordPress Websites

There are some great pointers here - such as making sure you have a development version of your site, and using tools like Cloudflare. Definitely worth a read.

There is a reason why WordPress is used by over 28% of all websites on the internet. And that is because it’s a very robust, easy to use and feature rich content management system (CMS). Everyone from stay at home bloggers to fortune 500 companies rely on it every day. Just like with most platforms, if it isn’t properly used or optimized it can turn into a big headache very quickly.

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How to Optimize Images for Web and Performance

As developers we put a lot of effort into tweaking and optimising our code to try and get the best performance out of it that we can. Yet many site owners end up slowing their sites down more than we ever could by using huge, unoptimised images. This article explains why optimising your images is so important, and how you can go about it.

According to HTTP Archive, as of April 2017, images make up on average 66% of a total webpage’s weight. So when it comes to optimizing your WordPress site, images is by far the first place you should start! It’s more important than scripts and fonts. And ironically, a good image optimization workflow is one of the easiest things to implement, yet a lot of website owners overlook this.

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How to communicate the value of WordPress website maintenance to your clients

Maintenance is an incredibly important component of running a successful website, here are some key items that'll help you highlight its importance to your clients.

Maintenance as a concept isn’t sexy. Who enjoys maintaining their car, or technical appliances, or even taking their skis for a service after a fantastic ski season. In that case, how can we get excited about offering website maintenance as an additional value to our clients, and better yet how do you explain to them it’s essential to their website’s success.

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5 Steps to Making Sure Your Users Trust Your Website

Research by the Nielsen Norman Group suggests that the average Internet user will leave a web page within 10 to 20 seconds of arriving. Typically, the user will quickly scan the content of the page, get a rough idea of its intrinsic value, then decide whether to leave or stay. The challenge is encouraging the user to spend more time on your site. One of the key factors that determine how long a user stays on a site is how they perceive the website’s trustworthiness. If a user believes a website is credible, they are more likely to spend time thoroughly reading the site’s content and possibly browsing multiple pages. Of course, the longer they stay on the site, the more likely they are to make a purchase, click on an ad, sign-up to a newsletter, share an article or engage with your organisation in one way or another. This article will share five simple ways to make your website more trustworthy, helping you to retain more of your website’s visitors. These techniques are easy to implement and can significantly improve the effectiveness of your online presence!

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Image Management Best Practices

As the web continues to evolve into an increasingly more visual place to be, image management is now more important than ever. Here's some of the best practices for managing images on websites.

There’s no debating the fact that including images on your website or mobile app draws the interest of users and leads to stronger engagement. For example, posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts, according to a WebDAM infographic. Use of attention-grabbing images is only going to grow. Consider that by 2018, 84% of communication will be visual, the infographic noted.

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Optimizing Images for SEO

Images are an essential part of a rich user experience on your web site. But they're not just for your human visitors - search engines love them too! This article goes through how to make the most of your images from an SEO perspective.

When optimizing an image you make sure it as small as it can be in terms of download size by using the right image compression. A well-optimized image also has the right name and alt text, so it’s optimized for search engines too.

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The Science of Micro-Commitments: Transform Prospects into Buyers with 5 Small Steps

An interesting approach to convincing your visitors to give you their contact details. It doesn't entirely make sense for fundraising, but in other contexts such as a newsletter signup incorporating at least some aspects of it could potentially make a significant difference.

Even if your headline, your copy, and your design are all on point, you might still be losing a significant percentage of your prospects because the action that you’re asking them to take (putting in a name and email address), is actually too threatening.

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The 6 Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins Compared

A great looking website is not enough to make it successful. Performance (including image) optimisation is one of the most important parts when it comes to developing a website that stands out.

Compelling content is often not enough. Every visitor will use different criteria to judge whether your site is worth their time, but few issues can sink you as quickly as slow load times.

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Using Giving Levels to Drive Donations

Gift arrays can go a long way to helping optimise your online donation experience.

“Fill in the blank” and “name your amount” aren’t just things you hear on a game show. Many nonprofits make this open-ended offer on their donation pages. It can be less pushy and unrestricted. But who said setting limits was always bad? Parameters can actually be about possibilities. Setting specific giving levels on your donate page can be a good thing if they can influence (and hopefully increase) donations.

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