How I Boost My Mobile PageSpeed From 35 to 96

Three years after starting GadgetReactor, it had become bloated. Google PageSpeed scores were dismal 35 (Mobile) and 42 (Desktop) which translates to a poor user experience for my readers. No one wants to wait for a page to load. So for the last week or so, I dived into some drastic measures to boost my PageSpeed scores and the results have been positive.

The Google PageSpeed insights tool focuses on mostly front end speed improvements, such as compressing and resizing images, removing render blocking javascript / css and optimising delivery of assets. A relatively small amount of weight is given to actual server response time. You can combine this with Pingdom speed test to check more on back end delivery and the overall load time of your website.

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Moving a WordPress Website to a New Webhost

GadgetReactor had a server outage on 26 Sep 12 with our previous webhost. If you were affected, we are very sorry! We have since migrated to another host, which should improve loading times too. 000webhost offers free web hosting and while they have been great as a free host, they do have a 20% CPU limit and hitting the limit unknowingly was a bummer. It would be good to keep it as a backup server though.

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Facebook Open Graph: How to get your FB Shares and Likes to Appear Right

I had a problem with the site where if a reader were to share a post or like a page, the resulting box that appeared on Facebook had the wrong thumbnail and shared post excerpt. It was frustrating to see the wrong information being submitted. Luckily, we have since been able to resolve this! This helps to resolve Facebook using the wrong thumbnail and summary for the pages that you share.

Well, the best way to ensure your WordPress site gets recognised by Facebook is to include the Open Graph tags. Facebook Open Graph protocol allows you to share your blog content not only with your readers, but their Facebook friends as well. The best part is whenever someone liked your content(s), it will be published on their Facebook profile and shared with their friends. But that’s not all, Open Graph has a few more advance features which we might explore in future. It allows you to explore more interesting ways to interact and engage with your readers (such as watch a movie, or ate at a restaurant, instead of just liking everything). Ultimately, if this is done right, it builds up your brand and increases your site’s traffic.

HongKiat.com has a very good article that clearly explains  how to integrate Facebook Open Graph with a self-hosted WordPress in a detailed step-by-step guide. It will require editing your existing WordPress theme and creating a Facebook application (if you don’t have one).

However, you may encounter that even after doing this step, when you try to share your old URLs, the information that Facebook displays is inaccurate. If that is the case, it likely means that the Facebook had already crawled your website and created the little preview that you see when you try to share a URL into its cache. This can be frustrating when you are trying to integrate the Facebook Open Graph into an existing website. Other tips recommend that you add slashes to your URL or use a URL shorterner but those just messed up your Facebook analytics. It turns out you can force Facebook to re-crawl or re-cache your site and update its cache by putting your URL into this tool: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug. That seems to shake the cache out.