Friday Finds: Focus on Customers, Facebook Tips and Website Load Times

by Sherryl Perry on August 2, 2013

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This week in my #FridayFinds series, I share links to: a motivational video, seven statistics on Facebook engagement, tips on improving your website performance and a step-by-step tutorial on how to delete the “Admin” user in WordPress (a known security risk).

Why Do People Fail?

Have you ever spent too much time thinking and not enough time doing? Years ago, (when I started my first consulting business), I worked with a business consultant from the SBA (Small Business Administration) who warned me about “paralysis analysis”. While those aren’t the exact words that Derek Halpern uses in his Why People Fail video, that’s basically what he’s referring to:

 

(Bottom line, Derek is talking about focusing on customers.)

How Can You Increase Interactions on Facebook?

7 Powerful Facebook statistics you should know for a more engaging Facebook page by Belle Beth Cooper is one of the best articles I can remember reading on how to increase engagement on your Facebook page. Through the use of graphics, Belle presents useful statistics that you can use to develop a strategy for posting on Facebook. She includes information on:

  • Photo Posts
  • Post Length for Facebook
  • Using Emoticons
  • The Best Days to Post
  • Question Posts
  • Contests
  • Discounts & Coupons

The sources that Belle compiled her data from include: Bit Rebels, BuddyMedia, BufferApp, HubSpot, Kissmetrics, LeadersWest, Ragan, SocialBakers, SociallyStacked, Track Social and Wildfire Interactive.

How Slow Does Your Website Load?

This week, Reginald Chan wrote a guest post for BloggingWizard.com entitled How I Got My Websites Loading Time to Around 1 Second. One of Reginald’s tips is about optimizing and hosting images. He also talks about plugins and importing custom fonts. His last tip is on using Gzip compression. (This is the tip that I implemented immediately on my blog and it resulted in a significant increase in performance.)

For those of you who are hosting with HostGator (and probably other hosting vendors as well), there’s no need to tackle the code that Reginald includes. Turning website compression on in HostGator is as easy as going to your cPanel and turning on the “Compress all content” option under “Software > Services > Website Optimization”.

Do You Still Have the “Admin” User in WordPress?

Last week, in my article 5 Basic Tips for WordPress Bloggers and Website Owners, I talked about the importance of deleting the “Admin” user account in WordPress. (This account is created by default when you install WordPress unless you override it.) Since it is the default, many hackers target websites that still have it. It’s a security risk that you can’t afford to not address.  In my post, I instructed you to create a new account with administrator rights and then delete the existing admin user. For those of you who may be reluctant to do this, check out Kimberly Castleberry’s easy to follow post Delete The WordPress Admin User To Improve Security. Kim’s step-by-step instructions and screenshots should easily walk you through the process.

Over to You:

What do you think? Have you ever missed an opportunity because you were over-analyzing or procrastinating? Did you find the statistics about Facebook enlightening? Are you implementing any of the tips that Reginald suggested? As always, feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section.

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Jeremy Norton August 11, 2013 at 4:02 am

Thank you for sharing these very useful information. I am most interested on how to deal with the loading time of a website. Any surfer wouldn’t want to open a site that loads so slow.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Jeremy,
As I mentioned above, turning on Gzip compression made a big difference on my site. I’m sure you’ll find other helpful tips in Reginald’s article too.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Friday Finds: Pinterest, Amazon Collections, Twitter Vine and InstagramMy Profile

Nile
Twitter:
August 7, 2013 at 3:02 am

Thank you for sharing this wonderful roundup. I enjoyed the Facebook tips more so that the WordPress as I already know WordPress inside and out to even core development…lol.

You should try labeling your Friday Finds like you did on Facebook- with the hashtag. 🙂
Nile recently posted..Why A Website Review is ImportantMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 7, 2013 at 10:55 am

Thanks Nile. I should use the hashtag in my title! I think I did at one point and stopped. I seem to write these on the fly sometimes on Friday mornings! I really need to get on a better schedule and not be in such a rush.

I’ve been thinking of concentrating on one topic on my Friday Finds but as you point out, you were interested in the Facebook tips and not WordPress. It keeps it more diverse this way.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Responsive Design or Mobile Site? Which is Best For You?My Profile

Leora Wenger
Twitter:
August 5, 2013 at 6:27 am

Derek Halpern has a winning style. I wonder if I will have the patience to watch more of his videos. I find the cuss word humor distracting and not appealing. Too bad, because the basic idea of focusing on one customer is great! I’ve been working on keeping my best customers happy. Some people, however, you can never please. I call them the bottomless pit customers. Beware.

You are talking about how Friday Finds take you a long time to put together. Too bad, as they are quite good! In general I find my better/longer laster posts are ones that I put time and research into putting together. Part of me would like you to write a post focusing on just one of these news stories. But whatever you offer, I (and others) will continue to read.

I’ll try out the speed ideas at some point. Would love to hear your thoughts on how we are so dependent on these web hosts. What I hate is when someone says they upgraded to the higher web host price and the problems continued. Sometimes speed is related to the web host, sometimes it’s a corrupt database or faulty plugin, sometimes all of the above! This business of websites (and blogs) is not an easy one.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm

That can be a turn-off Leora. I understand completely. When I started blogging, I followed an extremely popular female blogger who uses profanity quite often in her posts. Eventually, I found other bloggers to follow who didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. I’m sure there was more I could have learned from her but it reached a point where it just wasn’t worth it to me.

“Bottomless pit” customers. I had a lot of experience working with them when I worked for a major non-profit. It reaches a point where you’re best off not working with them.

Thanks for your input about my Friday Finds. You must have been reading my mind! I’ve been toying with the idea of just selecting one topic to focus on. It would be a shorter post but it may end up being more valuable to those people who are interested in it. Maybe, if I did that, I’d find the time to write more often.

It seems no matter who we host with, eventually, we’re either going to outgrow their ability to satisfy our needs or they’ll “grow bigger than their britches” (as my grandmother used to say) and fail us. I’ve burned through a couple of hosting vendors and eventually, they try to convince me to not use their shared hosting plans. ($$$$) It’s a pain to move sites but I think the best service is sometimes from the newer/small companies who haven’t become famous yet. BTW – Did you read Kim Castleberry’s post on what was behind all the inaccessible websites last Friday? EIG (the owner of BlueHost, HostGator and HostMonster) was dealing with a DDOS (Distributed, Denial of Service) attack but (obviously) they couldn’t announce it at the time.

Leora Wenger
Twitter:
August 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I didn’t read Kim’s post, but that was what I assumed(the attack). Bluehost had one just a few months before. Maybe the previous attack was before EIG swallowed up HostGator.

I’m going to wait until I really feel comfortable before moving. I don’t need any questions answered, just need the darn site to work! I was earning affiliate money as well. MaAnna Stephenson of BlogAid has already switched to A2 Hosting.
Leora Wenger recently posted..Going on a Blog Hunt: Finding Blogs to ReadMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 7, 2013 at 10:44 am

Leora,
I wasn’t affected by the Bluehost attack a few months ago but I’m still dealing with issues from the HostGator migration. There hasn’t been any major issues but my full backups with BackupBuddy were creating huge files and never completeing It turns out that the name of the root directory had changed. Database backups weren’t affected. It’s always something with hosting . . . and blogging . . . and tehcnology. 🙂
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Responsive Design or Mobile Site? Which is Best For You?My Profile

Karmakar
Twitter:
August 7, 2013 at 10:34 am

Hi Sherryl,
Please do not ask me to recall my 3rd Aug 2013 experience… 🙂
I have BluHost account and I was terrified on Friday when I got the message “Your website is no longer available”…

Seriously I almost had a heart attack… I tried to log in to my CPanel but it gave a message “Log in failed”…. I tried to call the customer care.. waiting… waiting… waiting…..

At last I decided to call “SiteLock” my website security provider through BlueHost…. From their customer care I came to know about the situation as like me many of their clients already called them to know whether any security problem is there on not… eufffff… what an experience!!!!.. 🙂

Now, I am NOT sure whether I will use any of EIG brand for my future sites…

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Karmakar,
I can commiserate with you about the 3rd. I couldn’t understand what was going on at first either but as I started checking client sites, I realized that it was broad reaching. When I got through to BlueHost I mentioned HostGator and they told me that the entire data center had been affected. Of course, my main email account was knocked out too. After a few hours, I decided to take it as the universe sending me a message.So, I cleaned my house. 🙂

It seems to me that whenever a hosting company starts getting really popular, it reaches a point where I need to move. So far, I’m still sticking with EIG vendors. A DDOS of that magnitude would take any hosting vendor offline. (Their communication could have been better but their first priority needed to be getting everyone back online.) On the other hand, I’m moving a few sites from a 3rd vendor and it won’t be to an EIG host. I’m going to a lesser known company that seems promising.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Responsive Design or Mobile Site? Which is Best For You?My Profile

Catarina
Twitter:
August 4, 2013 at 8:45 am

Watched the video last week when you posted it on Facebook. It’s absolutely correct that we need to focus on getting customers and not aim for perfection.

The last few months I have used Facebook with a plan of building up a network in Swedan and it has paid off handsomely.

However, there unfortunately is one fly in the ointment. A man with a multitude of fake Facebook profiles is terrorising Swedish groups with insulting photos that he posts. Luckily didn’t become friends with any of his aliases. But for the time being I, and all other entrepreneurial Swedish Facebook members for that matter, have to be really careful before accepting a friendship request. If not, we will have the pleasure of him uploading “nude photos” of us:-)
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 4, 2013 at 11:30 am

Thanks for sharing your Facebook strategy with us Catarina. Good luck with that! It sounds like you’re filling a need. You are lucky that you didn’t become a friend with that man.

Jake August 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

over analyzing can be dangerous, timing is essential, you have to be fast and effective. But also the opposite is not a good thing.
many new entrapreneurs dedicate too much time to too many things just because of their enthusiasm and fail in all of the tasks because they are too much fast 🙂
so, a good balance is my wise suggestion, in business and in life.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 3, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Jake,
I agree with you that we need to find the balance. I think the key is to keep in mind that (for most of us) our websites and our online presences (for example social media which can be a huge time waster) are part of our business/brand. Successful business people measure results and adjust their strategies accordingly. Over analyzing can be a huge time waster.
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Lisa
Twitter:
August 3, 2013 at 7:02 am

Cheryl, great finds! I loved the one on Page speed and followed some of the suggestions to make mine load faster. Very helpful post. Great video too. Love the term business constipation 🙂 Love his enthusiasim. Have a great weekend Sherryl.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 3, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed my shares. I found Reginalds’ suggestions really helpful and Derek’s video both funny and true. You have a great weekend too! (The FB tips and Kim’s tutorial rounded the whole post out.)

Silviu
Twitter:
August 3, 2013 at 6:16 am

Hi Sherryl,

I am very interested in the Gzip compression part. This seems very new. I have always avoided compression technologies because, in my mind, these were slowing down the process. That’s because you first need to unzip the item and then show it. However, if Google came with a new technology and recommends it, I will try it.
I have just read Reginald’s article and I will check Google’s page.

One interesting thing I have found this morning may help but not with the loading speed of your site but with the memory of your computer. You know that Google Chrome eats up a lot of memory. I have just found a way to reduce the amount of resources Chrome needs. It is called “One Tab Google Chrome Extension”. I haven’t tried it, yet. I just telling you about this here. Did you know about this? Have you used it? The name of the site is http://www.one-tab.com

Have a nice day
Silviu recently posted..Creative Bloggers Series: Tim BonnerMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 20, 2013 at 11:37 am

Hi Silviu,
First, I need to apologize to you for not replying to you earlier. Somehow, your comment and a few others ended up in trash. I have no idea how that happened.

I had forgotten about Gzip myself. It’s so easy to turn it on. In HostGator, I was able to turn it on in cPanel and it worked on all of the add-on domains as well.

Thanks for the tip on one-tab! I had never heard of that one before. I confess to being a bit of a “tab-junkie” when it comes to browsers. LOL So, I’ll definitely give it a trie.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Responsive Design or Mobile Site? Which is Best For You?My Profile

Reginald
Twitter:
August 2, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Hi Sherryl,

Thanks for sharing this info. Voted up on BizSugar 🙂

Of course, appreciate the part where you said about the ‘Compress’ part (p/s thanks for bringing back to memory lane – used that option years back when I didn’t know a thing about IT).

I just want to add about the Facebook part. Facebook engagement is a great thing to do but if you want to place widget on your page, you need to think if your hosting company can cater for it. Most of the time, it is going to affect your website loading speed. Pulling data from FB to your site would take sometime 🙂

Alternative? Remove the FB images and the counts. I think you are doing great here with your site though. Your site loads up rather fast on my end.

Have a great weekend!

Reginald
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm

You’re welcome Reginald. Thank you for writing it! It was finally the motivation that I need to address some of my site performance issues.

I’m glad you mentioned the Facebook widget. I suspected that my FB like box may be affecting my load speed but I tested my site on Pingdom both with and without that widget and it really didn’t make a difference. (The biggest difference that I noticed was when my site pinged off a US based server as opposed to one in Amsterdam, which was a considerably slower response.)

At some point, I am going to replace the like box, mainly because I don’t actively participate on my FB page. I take a more blended approach where I post blog related info on my personal page. (I know I shouldn’t but I have a lot of non-techie friends who appreciate it and wouldn’t see it otherwise). Anyhow, it could just be that my hosting company doesn’t object to it.

Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing your thoughts with everyone here.
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Heather Stone August 2, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Hi Sherryl,
Hard to believe there are still issues with page loading speed. Even harder to believe that website owners aren’t holding Web hosting companies more accountable for this issue. Thanks for sharing with the BizSugar community.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 3, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Heather,
Sometimes, I feel like we’re at the mercy of these hosting vendors (especially if you’re using a shared hosting plan). The prices are so competitive at that level that these companies don’t invest the resources necessary to serve us well.

After yesterday’s debacle when Bluehost, HostGator, JustHost and HostMonster all suffered severe outages (after being recently purchased by the Endurance Group), maybe there will be a movement to make these companies more accountable.

You are very welcome Heather. Thank you for dropping by and joining the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Facebook Graph Search Privacy Concerns – Be Careful What You LikeMy Profile

Susan Cooper
Twitter:
August 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Sherryl – Another wonderful Friday Find. I was particularly interested in the Facebook article. I have witnessed myself the fact that photos get more interaction. I did not know that there are more high traffic days to post. That was interesting. I completely understand that shorter posts get more attention. I am off now to watch the video and check out the other gems you have listed. 🙂

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
August 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Thanks so much for letting me know that you enjoy my Friday Finds. I’ve been unsure whether it was something that I should continue with. They take longer to write than I initially expected.

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