This month’s column is very different from most of my topical social media columns and I will apologies in advance for being a bit on the technical side at times.

The reason for discussion your website’s speed has a direct link to your social media marketing. It’s like this, all the effort you do online with your social media marketing is meaningless if your website visitors come to a site that loads slowly. It’s a known fact that visitors will wait for at the most 5 seconds when visiting a site before moving on to another when doing a random search.

Over the past month we had been experiencing intermittent issues with our server where our websites were loading slowly and in some cases stalling out. After several weeks of several days of numerous calls to our technical team and a lot of trial and error, we discovered a single file on just one of our sites was experiencing a brute force attack. With a bit of code added to a file on the site called .htaccess, the attacks stopped and all was well.

During that month of trial and error I was introduced to many tools, programs, and plugins to use on our sites. The one tool I want to share with you is one called GTMetrix.com. GTMetrix has become my guide to increasing the speed on our sites along with adding code to the .htaccess file. [Word of Caution] .htaccess is a hidden file on your site on purpose. Adding code to this file should ONLY be performed by your website developer.