If you saw my post about the Facebook Like Box – you might recall I gave it up because it loaded slowly on my website. Given visitors will give up on you rather than wait 3 or more seconds for your site to load – a slow loading plugin can be costly. Dear Facebook Like Box – it’s been fun but now you are a drag… ciao baby!
During the last series of tests when preparing the Facebook Like Box article – I noticed another plugin was also looking a bit slow. So I have been running tests weekly to see how it is doing – no improvement. Darn – time for a change.
Sometimes You Need to Pay for Plugins
I know, we are spoiled with WordPress – it is simply a wonderful piece of software we don’t pay for! But sometimes we need to pony up. Results matter and I am always on the lookout for plugins that will improve my client’s website engagement.
Once again my website is the guinea pig and decided to try out a plugin several of my colleagues like – SearchWP (affiliate link). My previous plugin was an earlier darling child fav – SwiftType Search which has a no-cost version.
Rev Up Your Engines…
I did a site speed test so I can have a "before" result. Unfortunately it looks like I lost some ground and the site is up to 3.44 seconds. Not ideal since my site is no longer under 3 seconds.
During the test – I noticed a lingering Facebook script, deleted that shaved off a little time. Uninstalled SwiftType Search and installed SearchWP (after having ponied up $29).
Back over to Pingdom for another speed test. Now the site speed is back down – 2.48 seconds – WAHOO, happy dance!
Do You Need Improved Searches?
Not everyone will need to improve their website searches. Base that decision on your Google Analytics results. If people are searching for things frequently and not finding them, that’s your sign.
I’m not by any means done – I saw some other areas for improvement and also have been researching for the best CDN (Content Delivery Network) service. Oooh goosebumps, I can hardly wait to finish the research and get started!
Do you enhance your WordPress search with a plugin?