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Author: Timothy Anido

The 3 WordPress Plugins We Can't Live Without

We’ve recently started working heavily with WordPress. What became quickly apparent was that there are some must-have features (for us at least) that don’t come with a vanilla WordPress installation.

These are the 3 WordPress plugins that we use for every WordPress site that we build here at Pictura Creative.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

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I was surprised to discover that WordPress has no built-in support for basic SEO related tasks such as customising the meta title or adding meta descriptions to posts or pages. The web today is driven almost entirely by search, which makes this omission all the more glaring.

The WordPress SEO by Yoast adds support for many SEO-related tasks, including the basic meta tag editing on a per-page or post basis, adding site-wide social metadata and connecting your site to external search tools such as Google Webmaster Tools.

WordPress SEO goes further, adding advanced features like focus keyword analysis, breadcrumbs & XML sitemaps just to name a few.

All in all, a fantastic plugin.

For more, see the WordPress SEO homepage, or the official plugin page.

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The Route 66 Motor Inn Website

We’ve recently redeveloped the Route 66 Motor Inn website for our client. The hotel is conveniently located within Emerald town centre. It offers custom designed rooms with an exceptional blend of comfort and convenience. The restaurant inside the hotel offers modern Australian cuisine in a contemporary setting. Guests can enjoy their meals either with white tables indoor dining room of the restaurant or the relaxed outdoor canopy area while watching the sun goes down.

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Quality Hotel Powerhouse Multisite

We were asked to refresh Quality Hotel Powerhouse‘s web presence, which involved updating the look and feel to match their recent change in branding and fitting out the site with all the modern web goodies.

The Quality Hotel Powerhouse is unique in that it is a conglomeration of two hotels in Country NSW, Powerhouse Tamworth and Powerhouse Armidale. Two separate entities are often marketed together.

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Optimising your website's speed

As we all know, website speed is very important. It is not only for the user experience, but also for search engines like Google in search rankings. Therefore you need to optimise your website’s speed and take it into account by optimising as many components of your website as possible in order to reducing the loading time of the website.

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Simulating a slower connection

When developing a website locally it’s easy to forget about loading times and their impact on the browsing experience. Luckily, we have plenty of tools at our disposal to diagnose and improve our web page loading performance – YSlow, Google PageSpeed Insights, and the Chrome website performance auditor.

While the aforementioned tools are great, sometimes it can be more helpful to actually experience the loading process on a slower connection.

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Optimising Website Graphics

The website loading time is an important factor to get people visit the website. It is even more important when it comes to search engine rankings. Both search engine and website visitors tend to care more about speed of the website they visit. Some research show that 75% of users would not return to the website if it does not load within 4 seconds; and they will leave the website if it does not load within 3 seconds on smartphone devices. 44% of people would tell their friends if they had a poor experience with the website. This means that the website owners do not only lose direct visitors on their sites but also lose potential visitors. Unfortunately, so many website developers even don’t realize about this situation.

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