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The Speed Of Your Site Is Largely Beyond Your Control :-O

warning... rant :P

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#1 EGOL

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:36 PM

I am on the second round.... no third round... of trying to speed up parts of my website.

In the first round caching, compression, image file size reduction and hardware upgrades were the big goals... in the second we cut server-side includes, made custom css, cut whitespace from the code and more... now we are hitting the images again, cutting posts/page and reformatting the presentation.

The problem.... speed has not increased very much and I am now realizing that AddThis, TribalFusion, Facebook widgets and Adsense are the real culprits.

So, after you work on the things you control the things that you don't control will still be there - and they were probably the big buggers from the beginning.

The only solution is to throw them overboard because complainin' to FaceBook or AddThis isn't going to help.

I am going to throw the FaceBook widget overboard.... and converting AddThis from preferred services to specified (this seems to have helped).



A few of the sites that I visit suffer from what I would call "geek bloat". Sites such as Mashable and Techcrunch have slapped so many widgets and bidgets onto their sites that their pages are a LOT slower than mine. I thought that they would be examples of speed.


Have you been working on the speed of your site? Any success stories or rants to share?

#2 DCrx

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 05:49 PM

This is why your website is slow may not pertain to your situation, but it's interesting nevertheless.

#3 EGOL

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 06:28 PM

lol..... LagTags. Great name. Thanks! That was interesting.

#4 jonbey

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:49 AM

Yeah, I have been playing about with speed on and off since Google mentioned it was a ranking factor. Like you, the things that really slow my site down are the adverts and social sharing widgets. Basically anything not hosted by me. A few photos are still a bit fat, but that is rarely the main problem. But social is important too and without the adverts there would be little point in running the site at all (other than the warm feeling I get when I help people!). Swings and roundabouts.

I like to think that if the page content loads quickly and it is not obscured in any way then this is far more important than total load time.

sorry about the weird formatting, had sign in issues!

<<<reformatted to remove unnecessary weirdness>>>

Edited by iamlost, 02 December 2011 - 09:46 AM.


#5 glyn

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 05:36 AM

Those third party plugins ca really slow things down EGOL.

If your site is big contact them and ask about self-hosting the script.

#6 A.N.Onym

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 07:16 AM

The only things I've mostly done are:
- use a high performance CMS (Drupal.org)
- use a number of caching modules (some have been built into the core recently)
- use a text-heavy theme, which also uses most of the speed recommendations (few CSS files, etc)
- always use static-file caching (compression, PHP acceleration - optional)
- try to reduce 3d party JS scripts to the minimum (that's why I use links/images under the posts, but insert JS buttons manually in the posts I want to promote)
- avoid 301 redirects, where possible

Truth be told, though, my site doesn't even have hundreds of thousands visitors, by then it'd be a different league altogether by fully complying with the Yahoo speed guidelines.

My next steps would be to use either a faster cloud hosting provider, which can withhold burst traffic, and reduce the number of HTTP requests (CSS files, images, JS files, etc - maybe combining them might help).

I agree with you that some sites load so slowly only thanks to the 3d party plugins (Twitter, Flickr streams, Youtube sidebar videos/ads, etc. Oh, don't ask me about those annoying video ads that jump at you and increase in size, when you hover over them ;) )

Edited by A.N.Onym, 02 December 2011 - 07:21 AM.


#7 EGOL

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 08:16 PM

Just thinkin here..... If Google wants to speed up the web they should go straight to the biggest widget and ad networks to find out what is mucking up the works. Would make millions of websites faster in one single shot! Would save millions of years of webtime.

Edited by EGOL, 02 December 2011 - 08:16 PM.


#8 DCrx

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:26 AM

Can I store my recovered web time in the same box I put my daylight savings?

#9 Wit

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:46 AM

Quick question: if these plugins and lagtags are mainly javascript, why would Google and other search engines even be arsed to bother? I'm pretty sure that their bots aren't bothered. Surely they know that it's mainly their own crap that's keeping websites from fully rendering fast....?

#10 jonbey

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 06:10 PM

yeah, that is what I think too. If webpagetest can determine the time to render as well as the time to total load, so can Google. What Google always talks about it page load speed for users, so if users see the content quickly, that has to be what counts.

#11 A.N.Onym

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 03:22 AM

But Google bots doesn't actively parse every JS, but they parse most of HTML content (including CSS, apparently), that's why they are focused on server/HTML load speed, rather than JS ;)

#12 Wit

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 04:05 AM

Exactly, hence my trick question: does it even matter that adsense or facebook buttons or whatever take ages to load? To bots, I mean?

I know that it can be annoying to human visitors, especially if the page content shifts after these javascript thingies have finally loaded... But to bots?



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