It was back in 2014 when I purchased the domain Alapan.me and started this WordPress blog. I chose WordPress mainly because of its popularity and the customizability it offers. Being an open source technology, WordPress has its own set of problems, so I had decided from the very first, to go for a Premium theme so that I have a regularly updated theme at par with the WordPress updates. Other than installing the theme, I installed a Google Analytics plugin, a WordPress Backup plugin, and a security plugin and that was pretty much it. All my focus after that was in writing only. Juggling between office and personal life, it continued like this for last 3 years, until a few days back when I tried to access my blog from a friends laptop, it took me around 9 seconds to load the Home page. It was then I decided to revamp the blog, by making the following changes.
Minimal Web Design
The CSS of the existing layout was a bit bulky and I wanted to change that. I have always been a fan of minimal web design, but to implement what I have envisioned was bit of a challenge because of my degree of exposure to CSS and JS. Although I was familiar with basic CSS and JS, but to implement a design change I had to go deeper and for that W3Schools came to the rescue. Finally, after days of trial and error, I was able to achieve what I was looking for.
Old Homepage UI:
New Homepage UI:
Old Posts Page UI:
New Posts Page UI:
Basic Search Engine Optimization(SEO)
If it’s WordPress and SEO, then the best plugin for the job is Yoast. It takes care of both On-Page and Off-Page SEO for your site. SEO is a very big topic in itself and require lots of research and implementations. But if you’re like me who blogs out of passion, Yoast will be more than sufficient to get the SEO basics right.
Submission of Sitemap to Google and Bing Webmasters Tool
A sitemap is a list of pages that a website has. Although when I started the blog, it was on my checklist at that time to submit the sitemap to webmasters tool, but somehow it got missed. After 3 long years, I finally submitted my sitemap to Google Webmasters and Bing Webmasters.
Social Media Share
Social Media nowadays play a pivotal role in driving organic traffic to your blog. Keeping that in mind, I installed Monarch. Monarch is a premium plugin from Elegant Themes which takes care of social media sharing. It has a number of features which will help you manage all aspects concerning Social Media sharing.
Page Load Speed
Nobody likes a slow website. When I started working on the blog, I was shocked to see that the page load speed was close to 9 seconds; which in layman terms is terrible. Nobody will wait 9 seconds for a page to load.
To improve the page load speed, I implemented Caching using W3 Total Cache plugin. I then compressed all the images by stripping out their metadata. Post upload I used a plugin called Smush Image Compression to further compress the images. I enabled Gzip Compression and also minified all CSS and JS files. After taking all these measures, the page load speed lowered to around 3.5 seconds, which is still on a higher side, so it’s a work in progress. The ideal page load speed should be somewhere between 1 to 2 seconds.
Improved WordPress Search
Default WordPress Search is good, but it can be better. I have used Search Everything for a better search functionality. The best feature that I like about this plugin is that it highlights the search keyword upon matching in the search results.
So these are some things I did to revamp my blog. Let me know in the comments section on how you are revamping your blog or plan to do so.