I’ve been seeing a ton of sales and marketing videos on Facebook and LinkedIn lately. It’s a great way to show your expertise in an area in a new and exciting way. However, I’m seeing a lot of room for improvement in these videos. In today’s age of microscopic attention spans, you need to capture someone’s attention quickly. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to improve your videos today.
Google is morphing it’s long-standing Google Drive program into a new offering called Google One.
I’ve written for years about cloud storage. It’s been very interesting to watch as prices fall and storage allowances increase.
According to TechCrunch and Fast Company, Google is relaunching its Google Drive product as the new Google One. This new program will continue to offers its 100GB of storage for $2 plan they currently offer, but will add a 200GB plan for $3. The 1TB plan, which sells for $10 per month, will increase to 2TB.
FastCompany wonders if Google One and this new storage offering is the first part of a larger offering. They say:
This sounds like the start of a broader Google subscription plan that bundles many services together, in a way that might compete with Amazon Prime.
I use Gmail, Google Calendar, Maps, and several of their APIs, and I could be interested in a larger subscription plan. As an iPhone user (and Spotify subscriber), I’m not part of the Android ecosystem so if there are mobile components to this plan, that would mean less to me. One nice part of this new plan, TechCrunch says, is the storage can be shared with family members.
So when can you take advantage of these new plans? That’s not exactly clear. From TechCrunch:
Over the course of the next few months, Google will upgrade all existing storage plans to Google One accounts starting in the U.S., with a global rollout after that. Google also tells me that it will roll out a new Android app to help users manage their plans (not their files).
Speaking of being an iPhone user, I am slightly encouraged to see Apple not falling too far behind in these storage wars. I am happy to pay a dollar a month to backup all the iOS devices in my home. I’m not letting them off the hook though, they have a long way to go to catch up with some of the other players.
I regularly see results like this from YSlow and GTMetrix all the time when I plug WordPress sites in to see performance data:
I’m most likely salty about this because I learned how to make websites in the days when the majority of our users were on dial-up connections. We worked to get every kilobyte we could out of our images in order to serve them just a little faster. Photoshop would even tell us how long it would take to download that image on various modem speeds.
There’s no reason for sites to be three, four, or even five megabytes in size. That’s especially bad in our current era of mobile usage. But there are easy things site owners can do to improve their site speeds.
A few thoughts on optimization
First, a question to ask. Is the functionality a plugin is adding something that you can accomplish by coding it into your theme?
It’s less taxing to input, for example, your Google Analytics or Tag Manager code in your theme’s header or footer file than use a plugin to do it for you. Not only do you remove the need for a plugin, you also do away with an additional database and PHP calls. The less calls to the server and to your database, the faster your site will be. You will also have less to manage in terms of plugin updates and security.
Second, there are times you need multiple plugins due to your site’s requirements. In that case, it makes sense to minify, combine, and cache as many of your static files as you can. I have used Fast Velocity Minify and Autoptimize to do this heavy lifting for you. These work in the background to combine those 30 CSS files into one or two files. This will allow them to be served much faster. Combined with good caching, your site speeds will improve.
Don’t forget to optimize images too!
I’ve blogged about options like ImageOptim and TinyPNG before in this post. If you don’t want to add a step to your workflow, or perhaps you have users who are uploading content to your WordPress site, you can do optimization on the server side.
There are several plugins and services that will optimize your images for you when they’re initially uploaded. Some will also go through your media library to optimize previously uploaded files.
One such tool is EWWW Image Optimizer. They offer a plugin that will do the optimizations right on your server. This is a good choice if you’re on a dedicated server or VPS. This free plugin will optimize your images right on your own hardware.
If you are on shared hosting, or use a hosting service like WPEngine, this type of local image optimization plugin may be blocked. It uses processor and memory power to run, which can impact performance in shared environments. Worry not, EWWW has an option where they will optimize your images in their cloud seamlessly and return the file to your site. This means you can use it at hosts like WPEngine.
Whether you are an experienced developer, or someone relatively new to WordPress, it’s worth the effort to make your site as fast as possible for your users. There are tools to make this process simple, and more importantly, automatic. Your users will thank you, Google will thank, and I will thank you.