Beware of Costly Premium Plugin Subscription Renewals

In the last couple years things have changed dramatically in the WordPress plugin ecosystem and users need to beware of costly premium plugin subscription renewals. That’s because some plugin developers are raising their prices, sometimes nearly 500% more than the original subscription cost. In some cases those prices are escalating so dramatically small local businesses are being priced right out of the ballpark! I’m sorry, but for some plugin subscriptions I’m beginning to feel like I’ve been robbed!

To be clear, I have always been a big proponent of using paid premium plugins and don’t ever mind paying reasonable prices for annual subscriptions. Yes, I want my plugins to be maintained and I’m more than willing to pay the cost. The thing is, when I purchase a subscription based plugin at one price and then when it’s time to renew, the price goes up double, triple or more, I feel like I’m being taken advantage of. In fact, increasing prices that much is ridiculous and that’s where I draw the line and bail out! Unfortunately, replacing a plugin can be a project all on it’s own, so it’s imperative to have a plan in place before hitting the delete button.

See below two real examples of subscription based WordPress plugins with renewal prices that have skyrocketed. It’s so unfortunate and existing customers are taking BIG financial renewal hits!

Yoast Annual Prices for 4 Websites

Yoast SEO Premium Subscription Increased Over 400%

For example, the Yoast SEO Premium plugin now costs almost 5 times more than it was in 2016! I purchased a license from Yoast that allowed installation on up to 5 sites and the cost was $99! Now, the cost to renew is over $400! Yeah, ain’t that a kick in the pants! Even worse, because we used the plugin for redirects and such, it’s no easy job to delete the plugin and move on to a free solution. With the number of Yoast customers it’s hard to believe the cost of development necessitates the HUGE jump in price!

Alternative Solution to Yoast SEO Premium: Do whatever it takes to switch to a free or less costly SEO plugin. Obviously, Yoast is taking advantage of their existing customers and by their actions, it’s clear they do NOT care. In fact, I’m guessing their business is now more directed toward large businesses and enterprise level customers, with the budget to afford their overpriced plugins! Also, I no longer recommend the free Yoast SEO plugin because it’s bloated, sometimes problematic, and much of what it offers is unnecessary. If you were doing redirects and don’t know how to create redirects without a plugin, the Redirection Plugin is FREE. Combine that one with say, “All In One SEO” and you are all set! You DO NOT need Yoast to keep track of your keywords, internal links or tell you how to write! BTW, there’s another outstanding FREE SEO plugin now available called The SEO Framework. It’s super clean, easy to use and no annoying admin nags.

iThemes WordPress Web Designer’s Toolkit – No More Renewal Discount

We’re not sure of the renewal costs on this one, but we are hearing iThemes customers grumbling in some Slack channels. The word is, renewing customers will no longer get a renewal discount and many are angry and jumping ship. I have been an iThemes toolkit customer for years and in the past my annual renewal cost was discounted 40 to 50%. So, this year instead of paying around $350 it looks like the new renewal cost will be around $700. Sorry iThemes but when it’s time to renew in May you will have one less customer. I’m not saying your product isn’t worth it, but I won’t be able to afford it if the cost is that high. Also, you stopped development on the themes and all your training webinars are now free, which were the two primary reasons I originally purchased your kit anyway.

Alternative Solution to iThemes: This is a tough one because iThemes does offer some outstanding utility based plugins. Unlike the Yoast Premium SEO plugin, the iThemes Web Designers Toolkit won’t be so easy to replace.  Still, it is possible and there are other options, but if you have 10 or 20 sites all using their plugins, it’s going to be a job to abandon all their plugins. If using Backup Buddy, I’m hearing good things about the free version of Updraft Plus. Also, the free version of iThemes security works fine. The BEST solution of all is to spend your money on Managed WordPress hosting at Liquid Web. You get iThemes Sync for FREE, as part of your hosting. Your site is backed up every day so there little reason for BackupBuddy. Also, iThemes has stopped development on their themes so if you use one of the iThemes themes, you should be switching to a new theme, ASAP!

Moving Forward With Subscription Based Premium Plugins

Say you’ve found a plugin that solves a problem and it’s just what you need to make your site complete. Before making your purchase check the reviews and make sure the plugin is living up to the hype. Check out the support cases and ask questions. Look at the pricing history. Do your homework and make sure it really is what you think it is. If the current subscription pricing is reasonable I would suggest asking the developers point blank, if they intend to raise renewal prices anytime soon. Most plugin developers offer at least a 25% or 30% discount for renewals. If you can live with your findings, move forward with your purchase.

WordPress Plugin Subscription Bail Out Plan
Anytime I use a plugin, free or otherwise, I always consider what I would do if the plugin is no longer available! If I deleted my premium page builder do I have another good, free page builder option or do I have the skills needed to replace the page builder layouts? This can be a very difficult situation but if you have a plan in place, at least you’ll be ready.

Don’t forget about automatic renewals! I always set advance reminders for each and every paid subscription to see if I want to cancel the auto renewal BEFORE it renews. Be very careful of this one or you’ll find yourself paying an annual subscription for something you no longer want or use.

WordPress Website Audits and Annual Re-Design

I audit all my family websites on a regular basis, every 3 months for SEO and annually for design. For a reasonable cost, I offer the same website audit services to clients. This is a perfect time to check the theme and each plugin. It’s easy enough to check reviews and support to determine if a plugin or theme is being updated and if development is continuing. The minute you smell a rat, it’s time to put your bail out plan into motion.

Final Thoughts About Costly Plugin Subscriptions

WordPress is wonderful and a well developed premium plugin subscription can help make your website something special. As long as the subscription cost continues to be reasonable it’s usually worth it. I’ve been able to reduce the number of plugins to about six for any site I develop. Most are paid, but they work perfectly and rarely do I ever have any problems or errors. However, unless you have an unlimited budget I’d advise using caution and doing your homework. Avoid those developers exhibiting little regard for their loyal, small business customer base and keep learning new skills to limit the number of plugins needed. Do regular website audits and don’t forget to have a solid bail out plan should it become necessary to switch or remove a plugin, especially one that comes with an over priced annual subscription.

I’d love to hear if you have a similar experience with paid plugin subscription prices rising dramatically. Please leave a comment and share so our visitors know which subscriptions they should watch out for.

Cheap Shared Web Hosting Leads to Demise of New Website

It's been years now we've been harping at anyone who will listen to get rid of their cheap shared web hosting in favor of more reliable VPS hosting or managed WordPress hosting. Certainly, if you have a wordPress website and it contributes in any way towards earning revenue for your small business, it's time to get with the times and sign up for reliable web hosting. In fact, if you use WordPress, your best choice is to use WordPress managed hosting.

If you are one of our regular visitors you know how important it is to start your online presence off on the right foot with a rock solid online foundation. Yes, that foundation starts with a well built website, but the next step is to insure your site is using a reliable and high performing web hosing solution, NOT cheap shared web hosting. Nowadays, you want a host using php7 because it's light years faster than the 5.6. Then, you'll want SSL/https, auto updates and built in backups. There's much, much more to choosing web hosting, but that's for another post.

Sad but True Story of Web Hosting Gone Wrong

Today we share a real life true story about how cheap shared web hosting contributed to the demise of a new, contemporary, income earning website. In fact, the site was down for about 11 days, resulting in an estimated loss of at least $110,000 in revenue. As we share the story, please keep in mind we will not get into the difference between good hosting vs cheap shared web hosting, and we're not going to compare one web host to another. We have no ax to grind other then my professional opinions about how important it is for us all to be using reliable and fast performing hosting.

This Website does NOT use Cheap Shared Web Hosting
This site now uses a high performance VPS Web Host!

Nice New Website Generates Leads

We recently developed a very nice new WordPress business website for a reputable home improvement company located here in the US. The site turned out great and the client walked away very happy. We later noticed they were averaging almost two form fills per day from leads many salespersons would kill for.

The business obtains leads via various advertising strategies, directing prospective customers to visit their website or call to set an appointment. An in home appointment is scheduled, a salesperson visits and sells home improvement services ranging from a couple grand to much more. Making some conservative assumptions, if the average sale is worth 10K each, and say they actually convert a measly 100 deals per year, that equals $1,000,000 in revenue that can be attributed in part, to their website. Not bad!

Cheap shared website hosting nightmares
This poor woman looks a bit miffed! Perhaps her website went wonky due to cheap shared hosting?

Bad Advice Leads to Poor Decision

One problem though, upon completion of the new site the client decided to keep their site at their existing cheap shared web hosting account and passed on our offer to move them to our Liquid Web Virtual Private Storm Server. Some might call this crazy thinking! Personally, I'll NEVER understand why any small business, relying on their website for leads, uses cheap shared hosting as opposed to more reliable, faster and up to date web hosting.

This decision was made based in part, on poor advice from their trusted in house IT person. The client also decided against signing up for our ongoing website maintenance package which includes the VPS hosting, regular backups, updates and security. As much as we disagree with the cheap shared hosting decision, they are the client, it's their money, and their decision. However, as the saying goes, you make your own bed, but than you have to lay in it.

Most Trusted Premium WordPress Backup Plugin

Cheap Shared Web Hosting and Backup Plugins Not Allowed

Just before turning this site over to the client we attempted to install our favorite backup plugin, just for our own piece of mind so had our own copy of the website and database files. We were NOT being paid for this, but we wanted something, just in case the cheap shared web hosting backups failed. Unfortunately, because the web host wants to charge the client extra for their own website backups, anytime you try to install a good backup utility plugin a message pops up stating this was not allowed. At this point we could only hope, if there was ever a problem the web host's backups would work. As most of us know, hoping rarely works out and almost never gets the job done!

Houston, We Have a Problem!

Fast forward two months and we discovered something went very wrong with the website. Upon our review we discovered all the posts, pages and images had disappeared. After a bit more investigation and questions to the client, he honestly admitted the cause could be due to some work their ad agency was doing. Alternatively, we supposed it might have simply been a WordPress update gone wrong, occurring at the same time as a major server event. Regardless, the cause doesn't matter and we know from experience it's NOT worth the time and money to troubleshoot and fix. The best and most cost affective solution is to simply restore the website to a previous backup. Of course, in order to do that you must have reliable website backup files and database. Oh, oh!

Web Host Website Restore Failed

Continuing our story, after another day or two the client got back to us and requested we work with his web host provider to restore the site. Doing our part, we performed a full website restore using the web host files and site restore functionality, which failed, repeatedly! Then, the web host agreed to perform the website restore for us. More time passed and during which the cheap shared web hosting provider tried on multiple occasions to restore the site. We even received emails stating, your site has been restored and this support request is considered resolved. Yeah, right! The bottom line here is, the website backups our client had been paying a small premium for, failed when they were needed most. We really wanted to childishly point our finger and yell, "THAT'S WHAT YOU GET," but we held back.

As it turned out, this problem was no everyday occurrence and the web host finally kicked the support request to top level. Even the top level support people were unable to restore the website. Sometimes, after a restore process was complete, the site and it's files would be available for a few minutes. Then, poof, the site and most of it's files would disappear. Luckily, we were able to download some of the files while they were available, knowing they would help with what was to come.

The Worst Case Scenario Comes True

As I'm sure you probably guessed, we had to completely rebuild the website, starting from scratch. Thankfully, I still had most of my original development files along with some screen shots and my notes. It also helped having the image uploads that were previously sized and optimized. Still, it's probable the website would have never failed had the client agreed to leave their cheap shared web hosting environment and move their site to our private VPS. Even so, had the problem occurred and the website crashed, we have reliable backup files coming out of our ears enabling us to restore any site in just a few minutes.

Looking back, it's ironic how one of the reasons the client originally refused our ongoing maintenance package was because they were already paying extra for backups provided by their web host. Of course, we must remember, this is NOT a VPS web host but instead, they had a cheap shared hosting account.

In Conclusion

If you are operating a small business and your website plays any part, it deserves to be hosted at the best and most reliable server available. Truly consider how important your website is to your business, either at the present time, or in the future. Typically our small business websites should be a professional representation of our business. They are also our social hub, lead generator, mobile web app, blog site and so much more. Please folks, no more cheap shared hosting! No more paying to re-build a website when it could have been easily restored. Do it right from the beginning, avoid cheap shared web hosting and give your website the home it deserves.

Disclosure Note: I provided two or three links in this post to Liquid Web VPS and Managed WordPress Hosting. Be advised, I use both of these hosting services and can honestly state, Liquid Web is the BEST hosting provider I've ever used. I'm also hearing good things about Site Ground, so if looking to get rid of your cheap shared web hosting, choosing Site Ground or Liquid Web is a great choice. Also, if you found this post helpful, I would sincerely appreciate using my links to get started.

The Truth About WordPress Page Builder Plugins

Great WordPress Plugins Available at Code CanyonUPDATE 9/10/17 on the Truth About WordPress Page Builder Plugins! Regardless of the date shown, this post was originally published back a few years ago. After a bad experience with Ether Builder, I had decided I abhorred all page builders! Now, with the emergence of the Beaver Builder Page Builder Plugin, I’ve completely done a 180 and once again can recommend a a few page builder plugins. If you want or need to use a page builder for your WordPress websites, Beaver Builder is absolutely outstanding! I will soon be publishing a full post which will include a full video screen cast to share exactly how easy it is to use and prove how the plugin is light weight and FAST! Stay tuned…

Why You Should Know the Truth About Page Builder Plugins

Before I start my report on the truth about WordPress page builder plugins, you should know that I do use them occasionally, and before I discovered the disadvantages first hand, I was using a page builder on almost all my sites. I have first hand experience with three, Ether Builder (NOT Recommended), Visual Composer (NOT Recommended) and Beaver Builder. I preface this post by stating, I love WordPress and it is my CMS of choice for most of the sites I design. For the sake of this review, I originally used the Visual Composer page builder plugin for this post. Since the original post I have removed the Visual Composer functionality from this post and this site. Visual Composer and Beaver Builder are premium plugins. VC is available at Codecanyon, and you can find Beaver Builder here.

Update September 2017 – Sorry, but now days Visual Composer is out! I will say, the functionality still works well, but it’s no longer at the forefront of page builder development for WordPress. If you’re still using VC on your sites it’s probably not worth it to change, YET! However, I do suggest you start searching out a viable alternative. I can stand behind Beaver Builder 100% but I’m also hearing good things about Elementor and SiteOrigin. Since I’ve never used either I cannot comment but I’m hearing good things from the WordPress community.

Note: Please know I sincerely appreciate your time engaging with this post and want you to know, some of the links on this page are my affiliate links. If you find a product of value, I would appreciate your support by clicking on these links if you decide to make a purchase or learn more.

beaver Builder Page Builder Plugin

Page Builders Important UPDATE – 10/16 – Beaver Builder

It’s now October of 2016 and my opinion of some page builders have changed somewhat. Since I first published this post back in January of 2015, there have been a couple important changes in the WordPress page builder community.

First, NEVER use Ether Builder. In my original post, I was very supportive of Ether Builder but I have no idea why Code Canyon is still offering the plugin. It’s no longer being actively developed and it’s NOT playing well with other plugins. The truth is, there are several much better options. Keep in mind, there are also some pretty darn good free options for page builders, so I encourage some research before making a decision to use one. Personally, I won’t use a free page builder because it makes sense they are more likely to discontinue development or updates.

Next, with the emergence of new plugins such as Beaver Builder, I have a much higher opinion of page builders. I will write a separate post on Beaver Builder, but here’s the best part. If you use Beaver Builder and you later delete it, your content is still on the page. Yes, you will lose the appearance, but all the content will display. This is huge for SEO and with this feature you can easily go back and tweak things a bit to make the post or page appear reasonably good.

Beaver Builder has outstanding support and the developers are first class. The code is super clean, fast and sleek! If you are one of those who like the idea of using a page builder, I can highly recommend Beaver Builder!

FYI – The link to Beaver Builder is an affiliate link but I have NO other affiliation with Beaver Builder whatsoever. Nowadays I now own an agency license and I’m using Beaver Builder on new web projects for clients who desire the ability to quickly and easily edit their own content.

For training purposes, this site originally used Visual Composer, but if you’re reading this post in 2017, I promise, any page builder pages you see will be using Beaver Builder! Visual Composer can no longer compete with Beaver Builder and I have deleted VC from this site! Don’t be confused though, because I also sometimes use my own CSS 3 to create simple text columns and such.

Changes for This Site Coming Soon – I’m actually preparing to relaunch this site without any use of a page builder. It’s not that I’ve changed my mind about Beaver Builder or similar page builders, but because I personally don’t need a page builder. I know all the code necessary to create whatever I want and there’s no reason to ever install a plugin unless there’s a reason for it.

What Are WordPress Page Builder Plugins

Most WordPress page builders enable the user to dress up the content area of their site without using code. By the content area, I mean the text edit area you are reading right now! When making the decision to use a page builder plugin, users should keep in mind, they do require a learning curve and do not always perform as quick and easy as we might hope. Some page builders also allow the user to style other areas of the theme but I never use this feature as I believe this should be left to each individual theme.

When to Use a Page Builder Plugin
If I’m writing a typical blog post such as this one, I would almost never use a page builder. On the other hand, if I’m building a beautiful landing page, a page builder can be helpful and make my life just a bit easier. To me, the best feature is the ability to quickly and easily add rows and columns, and then place my desired elements within the new layout. Then, those columns and rows can be easily moved around by simply dragging and dropping. If using a page builder plugin, users have the ability to create different styles and design elements on every page. CAUTION! I’m not a creative type, but I know enough to know, from a design perspective, it’s usually better to keep our web pages consistent, Ha!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Page Builder Plugins

As with most good things there are advantages and disadvantages, so in the lists below we reveal the truth about WordPress page builder plugins.

Page Builder Advantages

  • No Code Knowledge Needed: Page builder users can create interesting and contemporary looking pages without using code.
  • Drag and Drop Technology: Finished your page and don’t like your layout? No problem! Users can easily drag and drop elements to edit the page.
  • Apply Motions and Movements: Some page builders enable users to add cool eye catching behaviors, motions or movements to elements on a page.
  • Can Replace Other Plugin: Most page builder plugins include multiple features, enabling users eliminate the overall number of plugins on their sites.
  • Responsive Desig: Nowadays, most page builder plugins claim to be responsive but be very careful with this. Read their doc carefully to insure correct usage.

Page Builder Disadvantages

  • No Code Knowledge Needed: Even though no code is required, plugin page builders take time to learn, and if you don’t use them often, it can be a steep climb! It’s also important you understand the concepts of padding and margins.
  • Drag and Drop can be Finicky: Sometimes, dragging and dropping is does not always work perfectly and content can be lost while dropping. I will say, as of 2017, Beaver Builder drags and drops perfectly! VC does NOT!
  • Motions and Movements Tricky: It’s time consuming to experiment with the different features and understand the various effects. It takes time!
  • Page Loads and File Size: Page builders will increase the size of your site and slow the backend. Use the cool stuff sparingly and the front end will be okay. I must say, as of 2017 Beaver Builder is light weight and FAST! Still, be sure to use a caching plugin on all WordPress sites. Personally, I like Comet Cache and WPRocket.
  • Responsive Design Not Perfect!: 100% responsive design is a whole other subject! Just because any plugin is said to be responsive, does not mean your site will be! UPDATE 2017 – Beaver Builder does an outstanding job with responsiveness. Still, responsive design can be a chore and it does take more though and time, regardless if using a page builder or not!

How to Decide if a Page Builder Plugin is Right for You

In my humble opinion I believe the advantages of using a page builder plugin outweigh the disadvantages, especially for non coders. Deciding if using one is right for you will largely depend on a number of factors.

First, your comfort level with using code? If you are fluent in HTML, CSS and even Javascript, it’s likely you don’t need a page builder plugin. On the flip side, even if you have coding skills, page builders are still a quick and easy way to whip up a quick landing page. If you know very little code and want to create cool landing pages, go for it. Just keep in mind that regardless of your skill level, there is a learning curve, and you will need to spend a good amount of time learning to use the plugin and developing an efficient workflow. Once you “get it,”  after building some nice layouts you can save them as templates and greatly speed up future page designs. You really will be able to quickly create pages you wouldn’t otherwise have the ability to create.

If I had to recommend one page builder, my current choice for sure is Beaver Builder. Despite my previous comments, Visual Composer does work well, but as far as I’m concerned Beaver Builder is now the clear winner. I’ve done some testing and Beaver Builder has another advantage in that, if the plugin fails, our WordPress content will still be visible on our site!

Caution – There is one huge downside to using page builders. What happens to all those beautiful pages you created if the page building plugin should develop problems? The truth is, past WordPress updates specifically involving the visual or text editors caused many of these page builder plugins to fail! Of course, the responsible plugin developers responded quickly and re-issued updates, but it still took a couple days and in one case, it took over two weeks to release the plugin update.

Note To Website Designers and Experienced WordPress Users: In my case, I thought using a WordPress page builder plugin was going to really speed things up my design process and workflow, but I was mistaken. Honestly, the extra time spent learning the plugins and debugging my pages would have been better spent practicing and learning the CSS and JS I needed to just do it myself, without any plugin. After all, plugins are great but we shouldn’t be using them as a crutch or to avoid enhancing our skills.

UPDATE 2017 – Some page builders now come with professionally designed templates you can easily drop into your page and edit the photos and text. This really does speed things up almost immediately.

Before purchasing any WordPress page builder plugin, be sure to research all current and past support issues. As long as you purchase a premium version from a reputable plugin developer, you can rest assured any future update issues will be dealt with promptly and efficiently.

In Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to view this post and I look forward to your return. Should you need any help with your web design or internet marketing, I can help. Please contact me directly by sending an email to [email protected].

We look forward to your comments about our opinion on, The Truth About WordPress Page Builder Plugins.

Make Website Pages Load Fast On Mobile, or Else!

If you have a website and operate a small business, it’s time to get started making your website pages load fast on mobile, or else! Those lagging behind may very well find their hard earned Google search rankings slipping away. It’s no longer enough for our sites to be mobile friendly! Looking ahead, it’s imperative we move forward by taking our websites to the next level. We have updated this post to reflect the most recent changes to Google Search and urge our visitors to take immediate action by editing their websites to work and function and display perfectly on mobile devices.

The “OR ELSE” Finally Came True!

UPDATE 2017! Beginning January 10, 2017 Google is penalizing mobile web pages with interstitials that obstruct user access to web page content.
Your website’s google search rankings are prioritized more on the mobile device display and functionality as opposed to your desktop version. The bottom line is, our websites must load FAST work perfectly on mobile devices. It’s time to remove popups covering your content and severely limit more slow loading images or excessive css and javascript.

Remove Pop Up Forms from Your Website

Example: How Form Pop Ups Look on Mobile.

Many of our clients really like their web forms to slide or fade onto their page, above the fold. Sorry guys, but I suggest you remove that functionality, immediately. Not only will it adversely impact your SEO, your visitors HATE them, especially on mobile! It would be a a better idea to display your form by activating it to pop up by using small button or inviting linked image.

Making website pages load fast on mobile in now more serious than ever before and CANNOT be ignored! Google is also pushing for the use of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) which basically is a special mobile version of each page, post or custom post type to display on mobile devices. These are basically duplicate pages of each page on your site that display only on mobile devices. AMP pages load up to four times faster because any extra unnecessary script and styling is removed. Yes, there are WordPress plugins that might take care of this for you somewhat, but as of now they still need more development.

We offer web services to update and optimize your website for mobile and desktop! You’d be surprised how much difference it makes by just resizing and optimizing your images. Yes, there’s plenty that can be done and it’s up to you. We can optimize your database, configure site for proper caching, integrate with Cloudflare, move you to a faster server, add limited AMP functionality and much more.

If you want your site to even have a chance of ranking high in the search results, you MUST make your website pages load fast on mobile. If you don’t hire us, we urge you to do it yourself, or hire another WordPress professional to help you. This is serious and it could have a very negative impact on your business if you do not take action.

Contact Us to for Website Services

Desktop page speeds have been a ranking factor for years, but very soon they will also be ranking based on how well your website pages load fast on mobile. Recently Search Engine Land published a informative post about recent announcements by Google explaining how the speed at which your website pages load on mobile devices will directly affect your website’s placement in the search engine rankings! According to the article, Gary Illyes from Google said, this is months, but not years away from happening.

Website Pages Load Fast on Mobile

Website Pages Loading Fast on Mobile Not the Same as Mobile Friendly

You might be thinking, “but, we already made our website mobile friendly!” I’m sorry, but there’s a big difference between making your website pages load fast on mobile and making your website mobile friendly.

Example of Designation in Search Results

Notice the “Designation” in the example above.

Making our websites mobile friendly was primarily about appearance and ease of use. We redesigned websites to display nicely on mobile devices and we were rewarded with that all important “Mobile Friendly’ designation in the Google search results. Now, in order to increase or maintain our search engine rankings, it’s critical our website pages load fast on mobile devices. Keep in mind, it’s more work to make websites load fast on mobile than on desktops. You might say, but my WordPress theme is responsive, but that’s NOT enough! Not nearly enough. Those unable achieve fast mobile page loads can say farewell to their rankings!

Obsessed with making Website Pages Load Fast on Mobile

Lately I’ve been hyper focused and obsessed with developing plans to best reduce mobile page speeds of those websites I currently manage or develop. Some family members and associates have even accused me of over reacting, but I completely disagree! Keep in mind, mobile page load speeds will be determined by Google! Have you ever tried testing your page load speed using Google’s speed test? I have no data to back this up and I could be wrong, but I think the Google website speed test is less forgiving than other page load speed testers!

UPDATE: As of 2017 I’m seeing more similar page speed test results form Google as will as other well known page speed test sites.

Google Page Speed Test

As I said, Google’s page speed test is much less forgiving than some of the others. After you test your page speed using Google’s Page Speed Insights, try GTMetrix. You’ll be much more pleased with this result than Google’s, but remember, when it comes to search rankings, Google’s speed test is the only one that matters!

As Usual, Small Business to be Impacted to Most

I’m sorry, but the future of how our website pages rank in the SERP’s will have a huge impact on many small businesses. This is a BIG deal, especially to those small business operators dependent on how well their website’s rank in the search engines. Like, we don’t already have enough on our plates! So, where do we go from here? How soon must we take action making our website pages load fast on mobile? According the announcement they said Google’s plans for implementation was months away as opposed to years. That means we must start some serious planning right now.

Small Business impacted most by mobile page speeds

How to Make Website Pages Load Fast on Mobile Devices?

As a web designer with some development and SEO experience I’m working hard to come up with a plan of action I can pass on to my clients. Remember, this is not an easy task! There are some websites absolutely requiring certain functionalities making it near impossible to receive high page speed test marks. On the plus side, their competitor’s will be faced with the same problem. I will soon be publishing a full post with plenty of tips to achieve fast mobile page load speeds, but for now, here are some things to consider:

  • First, test your website using your mobile device, but without a high speed wireless connection. Make sure you have reasonably good reception. Sit down, relax, and take a long and serious look at your site. Be objective and ask others for their opinions. Put yourself firmly in the shoes of your typical visitor and ask yourself if you’d bother to wait for your site to deliver content, especially if you’re on the go.
  • Improve your site’s load times using most of the same optimization methods used for desktops, but take it to the next level.
  • Eliminate ALL the unneeded fluff! Pretend your taking a long vacation but only have one very small bag. Remember, mobile users could care less about special effects such as animations and scroll effects. What good are all the special effects if the mobile users refuse to wait for your site to load on their mobile device?
  • If using WordPress, avoid bloated themes and plugins. They might look great on a desktop but they are of little use for mobile device users. I’ve looked at hundreds of themes with many cool features, but most websites using those cool themes don’t use them.
  • Remove excessive javascript and css. Google page insights gives us advice for speeding up our sites. You likely won’t understand their direction unless you are a developer, but they tell us exactly how to speed up our sites. If you’d like, contact us for a free website evaluation. Upon completion we’ll provide you with a full status report along with a quote to make improvements.
  • I still have a few clients who refuse to give up or change their image sliders. One well known company has one slider with more than 50 oversized images! That’s just insane and unless they remove all of it, they will eventually pay the price!

Remove Website Bloat to Speed Up Website

Remove Non-Essentials to Make Your Website Pages Load Fast on Mobile

If you’re ready to make your website pages load fast on mobile, we can help! Before you contact us please be prepared to lose the fluff and have certain functionalities removed. If your website does not absolutely need extended functionalities, we will insist on removing it! If your theme is even the slightest bit bloated, plan to losing it! Also, be prepared to lose some plugins. Sorry, but like we said, most of the fluff has got to go! You’ll soon find out, it’s no longer needed anyway. Once we finish you website re-work, your site will still look great, but with more minimal and subtle design effects.

If you plan to pay us to make your website pages load fast on mobile devices, you must agree in advance for extensive changes and let us do our job. I can’t tell you how many clients insist on certain features, regardless of our advice. When it comes to page load speeds on mobile devices, there’s absolutely no choice but to heed our advice, or fail! Regardless of how you accomplish making your site fast on mobile, the end result will be the same. Remove the bloat, remove the special effects, minimize the functionalities, cache, optimize and repeat!

What to Do if Certain Slow Loading Functions or Features Absolutely Must Remain?

Some website owners will have no choice and will NOT be able to achieve the high page load speed marks Google would like.

Take for instance the large nationwide real estate websites such as Zillow! Their website serves up homes for sale all over the United States. They have no choice but to use extensive code and files to deliver their web pages. Well, I tested their site and though they don’t have the highest mobile page speed results, it’s not horrible, given the functionality provided. I also checked their competitors and they have the exact same problems. So, when certain functionalities must remain, it will be about give and take. Just be realistic, do the best you can and be prepared to let the chips fall where they may!

Conclusion, for Now

We published this to give our visitors fair warning about what’s to come. Most of us are way too busy operating our business than worrying about our webpages loading fast on mobile devices. Well, that’s what we are for! If you’d like to hear about how we can help you with your website, contact us today.

We provide affordable online web services and offer a free one hour consultation. We’re always interested in hearing your comments.

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