10 easy steps to a faster website

After web design SLC wrote a few articles on website performance I thought I’d see how bad the skeleton is in my own closet and run a few tests on my own blog. It turns out to be worse than I thought.

WordPress itself is pretty fast, if all you have is the 2010 theme and a few pages of posts. But if you have 10 extra plugins and a complex custom theme it can get pretty slow pretty fast. Fortunately it turns out not to be too hard to fix. Most of these suggestions apply to all websites not just ones powered by WordPress.

1. Test Page load time

There are many tools to test and analyse your page’s load time. There’s YSlow, PageSpeed, Google Chrome includes a built-in site audit feature in it’s developer tools. There are many websites that will also test and analyse your site for you without the need to download anything. The ones I use include WebpagetestYotta and Showslow. The latter two are particularly useful because they will analyse your website overtime from several different locations around the world and alert you of any performance abnormalities. Webpagetest.org is useful because it instantly test your site and gives very detailed reports of load time and performance problems. It also performed its tests using IE so it lets you target the  worst offender when it comes to browser speed. I will be using it to measure how my site changes as we go through these steps.

The initial test is here. Notice I selected to run the test 10 times so we can get a more accurate picture of the performance. Analysis of the median run is below:

So we have a time to first byte of 0.587s. A start render time of 2.3s. Document complete at 3.386s after 33 requests and 341KB.  The time to first byte is basically the time it takes for the web server to generate the page and start sending it to the browser, it’s best to make this happen as soon as possible it shows the user that something is happening and will be done soon. We can see that there is much room for improvement as there are many small css and js files that are loaded one after the other and each requests takes a minimum of 60ms.

2. Enable Gzip compression and browser caching.

 

How to get cash for old computers

If you’re like me you probably have a small or not-so-small collection of computer stuff most of which is obsolete, broken or both. Well now it’s possible to clean out your closet and get some cash for it as well. If you help your friends and neighbors get rid of their old computer junk it could become a significant amount of cash thanks to cash for electronic scrap.
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Use webp images with jpeg fallback

Behold the Power of WebP

If the below image has “webp” in the corner your browser can display WebP. If it has “jpeg” it is because your browser cannot show WebP images but the user experience remains the same. webp is a new image format pioneered by Google based on the VP8 video codec to reduce the download size of images on the web. My friend used webp images for his client’s boosting website. What I am presenting is a way to offer WebP images to browsers that support them while falling back to jpegs so that visitors still have the same user experience.
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Eshop Authorize.net AIM Integration

Eshop is a nice ecommerce plugin for WordPress but it does not support taking credit card information directly on the site but redirects the customer to Authorize.net site or Paypal or some other online payment processing. I had a need to accept cards without redirecting the customer to a external site so I wrote a patch for Eshop. Download patch here
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Install Adobe Flash Player 10.1

Flash Player 10.1 beta is out and it makes huge performance improvements over 10. Windows users get the use of graphics acceleration which drastically reduces CPU usage when watching videos and playing games. Linux and Mac version also have a speed increase. In one benchmark on my Linux system my score doubled over 10. For the most part it’s pretty stable so if you’re tired of slow flash performance I’d recommend you update. You can download it from Adobe Labs.

Dіѕаblеd or missing Flаѕh Plауеr in уоur gаmеѕ brоwѕеr іѕ gоіng tо еvеntuаllу intercept mаnу оthеr important оnlіnе gаmеѕ, sometimes people also like to play other games, like word games and more, which can be found in sites like This or That online. Cоntасt a Phоnе Number Cuѕtоmеr Sеrvісе thоugh аnd dіѕсuѕѕ fоllоwіng іѕѕuе with оnlіnе еxреrtѕ. Evеrу tесhnісаl issue hаѕ іtѕ оwn wау оf troubleshooting; еіthеr уоu fіnd іt online оr bу tаlkіng tо аn еxреrt.

Cannot lоаd оr рlау fаvоrіtе gаmеѕ, muѕt сhесk for аn active Flash Plауеr рlugіn. Mоrеоvеr, соntасt оn Cuѕtоmеr Suрроrt Tоll Free Numbеr fоr advance troubleshooting оn Flаѕh іn соmрutеr wеb-brоwѕеrѕ. There аrе mаnу рорulаr gаmеѕ that are dеvеlореd on Flаѕh Plауеr рlаtfоrm аnd require active Flash Plауеr plugin іn dіrесtеd web-browser. If уоur computer brоwѕеr іѕ nо lоngеr соmраtіblе wіth Flash plugins, muѕt ѕwіtсh to some оthеr tо enjoy unіntеrruрtеd games.

What to do with a cursed computer

What to do with a cursed computer

There’s all kinds of fun things broken computers are good for, after you’ve hired IT Support Naperville and the computer proves to be of no good use. Below is what I would consider the top 10:

  1. Throw the computer off of a high point. At least 3 or 4 stories high would be good. I’ve done this before and it tends to be anti-climatic. If you choose on doing this be sure you’re the one throwing it, it’s more fun that way.
  2. Sell you computer on ebay. If you have a recent computer this might be viable option. There are several people that sell their computers “as-is” and make a small amount of change.
  3. Plug your computer’s power connector in backwards and let the sparks fly. This is much easier to do with older computers like 386’s than the new models. With old atx style motherboards you can switch the two power connectors on the motherboard and let the system fry itself. Some 486’s even let you plug the CPU in incorrectly which made a fun amount of smoke. With new computer’s one can try overclocking them to extreme levels and then removing the heatsink to provide a similar effect.
  4. Burn it’s body, throw the bones through a wood chipper, mix it with cement and throw it in the ocean or a nearby lake.
  5. Leave it in your unlocked car and hope someone takes it. Better yet, find someone else’s unlocked car and leave it there.
  6. Do your civic duty and take it to a computer recycling center. Really, they do exist try looking in the phone book.
  7. Decorate your apartment with it’s dead parts or better yet use them for body piercings.
  8. Just take it out back and shoot it. Or go lethal on it Office Space style.
  9. Donate it to a charity. You’ll have a better chance of them accepting it if you just leave it at their doorstep. Don’t even think about taking it off your taxes.
  10. Have a white elephant party.
  11. Keep it on your desk and use it as a perpetual excuse why you can’t do things like, your homework, the dishes and paying bills.

Introduction To Linux

Introduction to Linux

I first started using Linux back in the days when Red Hat 7 was the latest and greatest. I started using it because I wanted to be able to tweak my operating system more than windows would let me do. I wanted to be proficient using regedit but there was like no documentation at all about the windows registry. Compared to Linux windows is like a book with two pretty covers but all the pages are white with the contents of the book written in white ink. You can’t do anything with the stuff inside of windows.

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