Tech Blog – Site Update, “speed it up!” :)

Hi, this is just a quick note to my readers and many of you who have left comments or sent me messages about my tech blog being slow. First of all thanks for the heads-up. I've been working with my hosting partner (Network Solutions) on these issues for the past week and I think progress has been made. There was a combination of two-three things going on which caused the site to run slower than normal over the past few weeks. The first two being my fault. This is a WordPress blog and with WordPress you can have plug-ins that add enhancements to your site. My problem was that I was running too many plug-ins. The more plug-ins you have the more RAM it takes and I was bumping into the RAM limit imposed by my ISP. This is why you'd sometimes get the weird database connection issues. The second problem was having too much content on the blog coming from other sources (like the RSS feeds on my main page from my other sites). The way my WordPress page is currently setup each external piece of content/feed had to be loaded first before you'd see anything. This could cause the page to take 30 seconds to load (sometimes longer). So I've eliminated a lot of the external feeds until I have some time to have the PHP code looked at. Lastly there was a server outage at Network Solutions day before yesterday that caused my page to fail intermittently. That server has been fixed. 

In my recent testing the page is loading in 10 seconds or less (it's a big page) on my hotel connection. So you should see a huge improvement starting  now. I've also installed a new caching plug-in that should help as well. Thanks for your patience!

6 Replies to “Tech Blog – Site Update, “speed it up!” :)”

  1. Hey Terry, you could try using JavaScript to load the external content. Dreamweaver makes this kind of task fairly easy with the Spry Data Set wizard. This way the page loads and then the external content is fetched via the web browser rather than your PHP server.

  2. Thank you! I think I tweeted about this (still new to it). Yes things are a bit faster. Some links load faster than others. It just goes to show you so many people want to hear what you have to say!

  3. I noticed it too.. but hey, its a free blog, so….

    Thanks for fixing it though.

  4. There’s still quite a bit you could do, Terry. Almost half of the total size of the resources loaded by this page is Javascripts of all sorts – you’re loading prototype, jquery, and a bunch of others – if you can minimize this, that would help a lot. You could also minify and bundle these into one resource to save the HTTP overhead of many requests. Also, some of the images are way bigger than they need to be, such as the “Check out Terry’s must-have apps” image – I would use PNG24 for that to save some size (JPEG is not appropriate in this case as it is not a complex image). Overall, though, it looks good and seems to load faster (although I still get quite a lot of latency just to get the first byte of the HTML, which is probably slow generation of the page). You may look into some of the page caching solutions that are out there for WordPress – just be sure to set the cache timeout fairly low so comments show up in a reasonable amount of time. Love your blog and good to see you caring about it and your readers so much!

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