I had published an article which gives you the detailed view and usage of all the plugins that are being used by the best bloggers like Pat Flynn and Darren Rowse and Harsh Agrawal. If you have not gone through the post then I suggest you to read it first here. Now you might have already known that configuring WordPress installation is the very basic thing you need to do and the first one after configuration of WordPress you should be doing is to configure the plugins that you installed. For that, the basic and first plugin I suggest to start with is the JetPack Plugin by WordPress. You also know how page load affects your search results along with a visitor’s mindset when it comes to a website. The faster the page loads the users love that website because it is fast. It has been tested and verified that if a website is taking more than 3 seconds to load then that website’s 50% of it’s traffic and 70% of it’s potential customer. So what I am going to do is help you configure JetPack for best page load time. There are other features also which I am going to discuss but mostly it will boost up your performance of the blog and it will perform faster than it already is.
How To Configure JetPack for best page load time
Mostly this is a simple question and complex on it’s own terms on it’s own way. So rather than saying How to configure JetPack for best page load time let’s say what to configure in JetPack for best page load time. As you might have already seen there are so many options in JetPack and normally what we do is activate every option that is available. But considering the page load time it is not advisable at all to activate each and every option that is available there. You might have seen that there are several categories available in JetPack.
If you see properly you will be looking at there are 12 categories of the features available in JetPack. But as I have mentioned before you must not be looking at enabling each and every option in every category. The reason is if you are enabling each and every option then you are unknowingly making your site heavy and heavy website means lots of code, lots of code, lots of java script and lots of un-optimized images. This is the biggest mistake I made when I launched my first blog www.teckalacarte.com and that time it started loading around 7 seconds and I was not aware of what needs to be done and eventually after spending a lot of time trying I figured out the best option that is there is JetPack without any further optimization. I am going to share that with you now so that you do not have to waste your time figuring out how to configure JetPack for best page load time. And Let me tell you that each and every blog I maintain right now loads below than 3 seconds and the first thing is to configure JetPack properly. So here are the options that I suggest you to keep enabled and disable the others. If you are willing to know what others do then you can click on that button and you will be given a brief description of what that module does but trust me that is not required at all. The ones that I am going to share now are the most important ones and if you do configure it right now then you will see the difference in no time.
The options that need to be enabled in JetPack are:
- Carousel: With Carousel active, any standard WordPress galleries you have embedded in posts or pages will launch a gorgeous full-screen photo browsing experience with comments and EXIF metadata. Considering you would be using images to represent what you are talking about and referring to which you ideally should I am suggesting you to enable this.
- Contact Form: Each contact form can easily be customized to fit your needs. When a user submits your contact form, the feedback will be filtered through and sent to the email that you might have provided. I know this sounds insane because there are contact form 7 and all those plugins out there which are giving designed forms but do you want to use those plugins and make your website heavier? I also was using contact form 7 but when I stopped using there was a difference of 1 seconds on my page load time, so what I suggest is to use the Jetpack one and not to use any other contact form plugins.
- Custom CSS: The Custom CSS editor gives you the ability to add to or replace your theme’s CSS, all while supplying syntax coloring, auto-indentation, and immediate feedback on the validity of the CSS you’re writing. This is basically the design of your site and which is also equally important as your content so I suggest you to keep it enabled.
- Custom Content Types: Using this you can organize and display different types of content on your site, separate from posts and pages. This is important depending on if you are writing any specific post types so if you are writing then you should keep this enabled. I suggest you to keep this enabled and start writing different post types because that also helps you to gain Google’s trust and it is easier for the user.
- Enhanced Distribution: Jetpack will automatically take the great published content from your blog or website and share it instantly with third party services like search engines, increasing your reach and traffic.This is pretty handy but these are not covering all the social media that you want to cover but even if that is the case you can use this as it is doing half of your task done in no time and it also takes care of the most important ones for me so I suggest you to keep this enabled.
- Extra Sidebar Widgets: There are several types of sidebar widgets present. Those are:The Twitter Widget shows your latest tweets within a sidebar on your theme.The Facebook Like Box Widget shows your Facebook Like Box within a sidebar on your theme.The Image Widget lets you easily add images to a sidebar on your theme.The Gravatar Widget allows you to pull in your Gravatar image along with some of your Gravatar profile data.The Gallery Widget provides you with a simple way to display a photo gallery or slide show in your blog’s sidebar. Requires the Tiled Gallery module.The Display WordPress Posts Widget lets you display up to ten recent posts from another WordPress.com blog, or a self-hosted WordPress site with Jetpack enabled.
The Social Media Icons Widget lets you add icons for the most popular social networks to your sidebar or other widget area.
Each of these widgets has a number of customization options. To use the widgets, go to Appearance → Widgets. Drag them into one of your sidebars and configure away. These are pretty handy tools to get people’s attention to your brand’s social media so you can configure JetPack for best page load time along with best social media visibility by keeping this enabled. I strongly suggest this to be enabled and configured properly.
- Manage: Enabling Manage allows you to update your self-hosted WordPress sites along with any WordPress.com sites you have, all in one simple dashboard. You can update themes, menus and plugins right from your WordPress dashboard. So I suggest it to be enabled as it is helping you to save your time by going to each website and update the themes or plugins or menus for that matter, so keep this enabled.
- Monitor: Nobody likes downtime, and that’s why Jetpack Monitor is on the job, keeping tabs on your site by checking it every five minutes. As soon as any downtime is detected, you will receive an email notification alerting you to the issue. That way you can act quickly, to get your site back online again! This is immensely helpful if your site is everything for you because of course you do not want your site to be down. So keep this enabled to be notified when your site is down, unless you are using any different tools like Pingdom or something which will notify you.
- Protect: Protect is a cloud-powered brute force attack prevention tool. Jetpack leverages the millions of WordPress sites to identify and block malicious IPs. Protect tracks failed login attempts across all Jetpack-connected sites using the Protect module. If any single IP has too many failed attempts in a short period of time, they are blocked from logging into any site with this plugin installed. Protect is derived from BruteProtect, and will disable BruteProtect on your site if it is currently enabled. Based on the attacks that are happening all the WordPress websites need this to be enabled to be saved from the attacks. So I suggest you to keep this enabled.
- Publicize: Publicize allows you to connect your blog to popular social networking sites and automatically share new posts with your friends. You can make a connection for just yourself or for all users on your blog. Publicize allows you to share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Yahoo!, and Linkedin. This is handy so you are going to need this enabled for sure. By enabling this you are going to have your content posted in all social networking sites that are available and configured by you in WordPress.
- Related Posts: “Related Posts” shows additional relevant links from your site under your posts. If the feature is enabled, links appear underneath your Sharing Buttons and WordPress.com Likes (if you’ve turned these on). So normally it is a good idea to show related contents for more page visit on your articles. Enabling this will enable the related articles that your reader is searching and you will get more page visits. So you have to keep this enabled if you are willing to have more page visits and keep your visitor on your website for a longer time.
- Sharing: Share your posts with Twitter, Facebook, and a host of other services. You can configure services to appear as icons, text, or both. Some services have additional options to display smart buttons, such as Twitter, which will update the number of times the post has been shared. The following services are included: Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Digg, LinkedIn, Google +1, Print, and Email.Enabling this will help your visitors to share your article in his profile. You have to keep this enabled if you are willing to have your visitor share your articles on their social media.
- Shortcode Embeds: Shortcode allow you to easily and safely embed media from other places in your site. With just one simple code, you can tell WordPress to embed YouTube, Flickr, and other media. Enter a shortcode directly into the Post/Page editor to embed media. For specific instructions follow the links below. If you want to use short codes then you can enable this or else you can disable this. I will leave this up to you to decide.
- Site Stats: There are many plugins and services that provide statistics, but data can be overwhelming. Site Stats makes the most popular metrics easy to understand through a clear and attractive interface. If you want to see how many visitors visited your website and how many hits you received you keep this enabled. You can use other services but then in the admin panel of your site you can have this which will help you to boost your site at the same time because you are not using any plugin for this but you are using one existing plugin that you have already installed.
- Site Verification: Use these tools to verify that you own/control your website with other external services like Google, Bing and Pinterest. Verifying your site allows you to access advanced features on these other services (e.g. Webmaster tools, Google Search Console, or getting a verified badge). We’ll just add an invisible
metatag to the source code of your homepage. So from a verification perspective you have to keep this enabled because in case you migrate your site you can just copy JetPack data and using that only your site will be verified you do not need to go and verify each one again and again so keep this enabled.
- Spelling & Grammar: This one you definitely need to have enabled because there are so many things that could go wrong when you are writing but enabling this makes sure that there are no mistakes. And you know that in online world there is no space for spelling and grammar mistakes. Of course you can use services like Grammarly but that is coming with a cost and this one is free and with the existing plugin. So why not use this when there is one less plugin and some cost saving. 🙂
- Subscriptions: E-Mail marketing is the most important thing that you should never forget so always keep this enabled and try to get emails of subscribers as long as you are blogging that will help you in future. So definitely enable this.
- Tiled Galleries: If you are using images to share and add more value then I suggest to use this because this will add album type view to your multiple images where you want which is more appealing and attractive than others. So keep this enabled if you will be sharing lot of images otherwise you can keep it disabled.
- Widget Visibility: Control which pages your widgets appear on with Widget Visibility. You definitely do not want to show the advertising widgets in the home screen or static pages so you keep this enabled and control which page shows in which page.
- Photon: Give your site a boost by loading images in posts from the WordPress.com content delivery network. JetPack Photon caches your images and serve them from their super-fast network, reducing the burden on your Web host with the click of a button. So if you are willing to Configure JetPack for best page load time then definitely get this enabled because without even having a CDN configured JetPack photon will give you the capability of using a CDN by delivering your static contents over their own Content Delivery Network.
So here I have explained how to configure Jetpack for best page load time and after you follow each and every step you will see that the page load time will decrease. Normally this is not just to configure jetpack for best page load time but this should normally be your jetpack configuration. All others are of not any use and I am going to write another post in which I am going to explain why you should not keep the other features disabled.
Once you do these as I mentioned to configure jetpack for best page load time you will see that the page load time will decrease eventually. Let me know the result in the comments below of how it goes and if it helped you to decrease your page load time or not. Cheers!