The first Meetup session of a new WP Toronto group, WordPress Pros, is 7 page speed techniques for better UX and higher SEO on 2017-04-16 and we’ll discuss topics for the second and third sessions details of which are set out in this post.

First session

Let’s talk about fast and optimized pages and higher visitor engagement, retention and conversions as well as higher SEO ranking.

Fast and optimized pages lead to higher visitor engagement, retention and conversions as well as higher SEO ranking.

This outline is a selection of sub-topics chosen to represent the several categories of techniques and issues. We’re looking for people to contribute their knowhow and experience to the discussion.

  1. The context
    1. why speed matters and the key trends (e.g., obesity penalties, AMP)
    2. measuring speed and the host issue
    3. plugins to optimize, measure, etc.
  2. Easy no-code improvements
    1. caching
    2. image optimization
  3. Performance optimization best practices
    1. content delivery network (CDNs like Cloudflare)
    2. themes designed for speed and optimization (how do you determine that?)
  4. Fine-tuning WordPress for speed
    1. reduce external HTTP requests
    2. reduce database calls

Topics in development for next sessions

We’ll choose 2 of these 5 and any others the group generates:

  1. The theme selection decision-making process and developing theme requirements: how to choose amongst free and commercial themes, frameworks (including starter and base themes) and custom themes. Is there a systematic client-centered approach?
  2. Developing workflow(s) to create a site design or redesign or to debug a performance or security issue or both (for requirements; for project, task and documentation management; collaboration); Dan Stramer’s Asana-based workflow presentation at the Working with Forms, Membership, Email, and Automation | WPToronto East Meetup on 1017-03-11 was a good example of a workflow.
  3. The WP admin UI and ways to tweak to improve the UX and productivity for either or both admin and authoring (some overlap); examples:
    1. white labelling the admin panels
    2. adding a theme’s styles to the TinyMCE editor for a more accurate WYSIWYG
    3. adding, subtracting and resizing columns in post and page list panels
    4. modifying and reorganizing the left sidebar admin menu
    5. drag and drop ordering of the page hierarchy
  4. The admin UI and ways to tweak UX and productivity for either or both authoring and admin (some overlap)
  5. Findability and UX: is it the issue the McGovern says in Information architecture: still vital to digital design and what can and should be done to address it? What is the role of IA, metadata, etc. to facilitate onsite navigation, browsing and discovery and search?
  6. Use either or both of these posts as the seed(s) for a discussion:
    1. Choosing the right WordPress plugin | Stanislav Khromov (2017-03-12), a technical, data-driven approach
    2. Becoming an advanced WordPress developer | Stanislav Khromov (2016-12-14)

That’s it! See at the first session.

The image above is from In Today’s World Website Speed is Critical for Sales | Matt Knopoff.