How to resolve “Specifying a character set in HTTP headers can speed up browser rendering”

It is important for a number of reasons why your web site page load speed is as fast as possible. Our previous article “How to speed up your web page load time” explains the importance of the issue.

Increasing your web site performance usually involves a number of small changes to your web page. Some of Google’s PageSpeed suggestions are easier to resolve than others.

The Message:

Google’s PageSpeed reports “The following resources have no character set specified in their HTTP headers. Specifying a character set in HTTP headers can speed up browser rendering.”

The Issue:

Specifying a character set in the HTTP response headers of your HTML documents allows the browser to begin parsing HTML and executing scripts immediately.

The solution:

This is easy if your pages are PHP encoded. Simply add the following line of code to the top of your PHP page:

header(‘Content-type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1’);

The Result:

Re-run Google PageSpeed and see the warning message vanish!

Top 10 Web 2.0 Places to Post Articles

As explained time and time again, it is of utmost importance to get great Web 2.0 sites to link back to your site. You may have covered all the obvious Web 2.0 sites but there are plenty you will have missed.

We have compiled a list of 10 Web 2.0 sites of PR6 which we think you might have missed.


This week, make a pact with yourself to take a few hours and and sign up to each of the above services. Keep a copy of your username and passwords in a spreadsheet.

Keyword Targeting

Compile a list of keywords and key phrases that you would like to dedicate all the lovely link juice that these articles will bring to your site. Use these keywords in your anchor text which will link the article back to your site.

Putting Pen to Paper

As much of a drain that it is, write a unique article about your web site and post it. A good unique well written article will be accepted by the site owners and in time will begin to pass link juice to your site. Try not to include more than 2 links back to your site. A good rule of thumb is one link back to your root domain and one to an inside page.

SEO is a long term effort. The seeds that you sow here will help you reap the rewards of the future.

Top 5 Tips since Google Panda Update

The Google Panda update is well and truly rolled out to UK sites.

Some sites lost a high percentage of their traffic, others were unaffected. To minimise your site exposure to the new rules, consider the following 5 very important tips:

  1. Unique content is more important than ever
  2. Links from low quality directories and blogs are worth less
  3. Quality relevant backlinks are worth more
  4. Quality relevant links from authority sites are worth more
  5. Remove duplicate (and spun) content or risk being de-indexed.

Keep your site within the new rules and your traffic will return and if you were unaffected, significant gains could be realised.

Get your Facebook Pretty URL now!

Facebook is becoming one of the world’s largest search engines. Use it as a way for your page to be found. If you have not set your username (Pretty URL) on Facebook, do it today!

Directing visitors to a business page is so easy with a URL like:

Some points to consider:

  • Facebook’s usernames will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Once you pick a name, it’s yours for life.
  • You don’t necessarily have to use your real name.
  • You won’t be able to get a ‘generic word’ as your username.
  • You’ll have to use at least five characters

While Facebook is encouraging the use of real names, you aren’t limited in that regard. The system will suggest a few available options based on your first and/or last name, but it’ll also provide a blank field in which you can type something completely unrelated.

Each Facebook account gets only one username, and you can never change it. You can’t transfer it to someone else, either. Even if you delete your Facebook account, Facebook says the name won’t go back into the pool.

So go ahead, grab your name before someone else does….

Good luck!