You might be losing visitors and hurting search rankings on your 4HWW Muse and not even know it.

The cause? Slow loading time on your website.


Why Does A Slow Loading Muse Website Lose Money And Hurt Search Rankings?

The speed of your website significantly impacts conversion and revenue.

Faster site = more sales.

40% of visitors abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

A 1 second delay in page response results in a 7% reduction in conversions.


The speed of your website is also a significant factor in SEO and search rankings.

Faster site = higher search rankings.

In April 2010, Google stated on their webmaster tools blog that site speed was a new factor within their search ranking algorithms. Faster sites = better user experience, and this is what Google prides itself on delivering.


How Do I Find Out The Loading Time Of My 4HWW Muse Website?

Test your website speed with gmetrix.

Under 2 seconds? That is great and you probably don’t need to optimize much.

2 – 4 seconds? Your load time is ok but speed improvements can reduce bounce rates and increase revenue.

Over 4 seconds? Your site is definitely loading too slow and as a result you are losing visitors and potential revenue.


My Phoenix Abroad blog scored a decent 2.98 second load time with gmetrix before any optimizations.



Following the optimizations below – I decreased my blog’s load time by 22.5% with about 20 minutes of work.


How Can I Improve My 4HWW Muse Website Loading Time?

If you followed the 4HWW Muse Quick Start guide then you are running your site on WordPress. Here are 3 steps to improve WordPress site performance for free.


Step 1: Install W3 Total Cache plugin to optimize the serving of content from your site

W3 Total Cache plugin is the most popular WordPress plugin for optimizing site performance and can give significant performance improvements. It can be somewhat complicated to set up properly so use the settings below to get the best performance on most websites (some setups may require additional tweaking):

Here are the plugin general settings you need (for more detailed instructions check out this guide):

  • check enable all forms of caching
  • uncheck enable CDN
  • go to cloud flare section and disable for now (You will enable the CloudFlare component later but keep it disabled for now so you can confirm the plugin is working so far.)
  • Click “Empty All Caches”.
  • Disable Preview Mode so the plugin is active.


Step 2: Install WP to reduce the size of images on your site

Once this plugin is installed then every image you upload from now on will be optimized automatically.

However, you probably have lots of images on your site already so you should run a bulk smush on them. This can take several minutes if you have a lot of images so let the process run to completion. Restart it if the smush times out.

Run a bulk smush on all your images: In WordPress Dashboard go to Media -> Bulk

The performance benefits you get from will depend on how many images you have on your site and how large they are.


Step 3: Get CloudFlare to improve your site load time even more

Cloudflare is a free Content Delivery Network (CDN) which keeps saved copies of your website on servers all over the world. When a visitor comes to your website Cloudflare will deliver the saved copy of your website from the server closest to your visitor which can decrease loading time significantly.

Go to, sign up for a free account, and follow their instructions

Go to your domain registrar (bluehost if you followed the muse quick start guide)

Click on your website domain in the domain manager and then click on “Name Servers”. Enable “Use Custom Name Servers” and enter the information that Cloudflare supplied to you.

Go back to W3 Total Cache plugin general settings and enable CloudFlare support. Enter in your Cloudflare information and API Key. Click “Save All Settings.”

Allow for up to 24 hours for the new Name Server settings to take full effect. In the meantime your website will still remain active with no downtime.


After 24 hours test your website speed again.

What was your total performance improvement?



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Filed under: 4HWW Muse How-ToOnline Business

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