19 thoughts on “A New Secret to Increasing Your Page Views Leave a comment

  1. Hey there, might I inquire what kind of VPS you’re hosting on and what kind of setup that is? I need to do something about pagespeed also and quick. Thanks Ben.

    1. Hi Simon – I use Liquidweb.com for my VPS hosting and have been quite happy with them, however they are more expensive than average. I am considering moving to some sort of cloud hosted webserver, something like vps.net.

      1. I see thanks for the reply. I’m having somewhat a hard time to choose where to host for my needs. I for one, have had bad experiences trying out the vps provider you mentioned.

        Thanks though!

  2. I have not heard of having a fast-loading site having any bearing on page rank. But I’m all for giving it a go. πŸ˜‰

    I would also suggest removing plugins you do not require. We all find ourselves collecting plugins like playing cards! I also optimized my database and removed a couple of the ads.

    I created a post about it on my own blog, you and your readers might find some of it helpful. πŸ™‚ http://ineeddiscipline.com/2010/08/17/4-ways-i-made-my-blog-load-quick-as-a-flash/

    1. Page speed definitely affects google page rank – Matt Cutts, Googles head of web spam explains all here: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/site-speed/

      I only use about 3 plugins on here – I code everything custom myself as part of the theme.

      Thanks for the link to the post. I will have a read and see if there’s anything extra I can learn.

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  4. Very fast on my end and its a joy browsing page to page.

    One thing you didnt mention was using sprites to decrease the http requests. Im not sure if this was part of the speed upgrade but I do see that you utilize sprites.

    What tools did you use to benchmark and improve you load times for this project?

    YSlow seems to be my current go-to for site benchmarking for the past few years.

    1. I am glad the article was of use to you! You’re right – I didn’t mention sprites, but I have been using them for a couple of years so they weren’t part of my improvements this time around.

      In terms of benchmarking, YSlow and Googles Page Speed are really useful gauges. I also used a couple of websites but can’t remember their names off the top of my head.

  5. Yup, website speed plays a large part in how Google values your website now. One of my websites (linked to in my name) sits on one of my VPS’s but the platform the site is built on and the amount of js the site uses along with many other factors results in the site taking a little longer than I would like to load pages.

    Speeding the whole system up in a similar fashion to what you have done is something I want to look at soon myself.

    I want to use a CDN for a lot of our content as well (don’t know how much is involved with this) but it is something I need to get done, it should make quite a difference.

    1. Wow – you have a lot of external css files. You could easily combine them into a single file and speed up your site massively (with or without a cdn). Those files are pretty tiny so reducing the amount of connections to the server is the thing to do.

  6. Hey Ben,

    Thanks for taking a look and the advice. You’re right, the site uses more than 100 CSS files throughout, it’s crazy the way it is set up and makes modifications and website updates very time consuming. Heh

    It’s certainly something we ought to definately be looking into then if you feel this alone would make a significant improvement on our website speed.

  7. Forget all that promo-bullshit about CDNs.
    You can just balance your content across your own hosts like images.myhost.com, css.myhost.com, js.myhost.com, etc. and reach good results. It’s because all browsers have per-host limit for the number of parallel connections.
    You use CDN wrongly, with only ONE host cdn.binarymoon.co.uk. It ruins the whole idea. And you don’t need to move your own js files to the bottom. Maybe third party ones, but I don’t think it can really help. Actually you need to combine all js files and all css files, that’s all.
    Check your site with http://siteloadtest.com
    You have too many broken images, it slows down your site too.

    1. Wow – who got out of the wrong side of bed today? There was nothing promotional about this post and I am not using a cdn wrongly. You’re right that sub domains on your website is a good idea, but it’s not doing the same thing as a cdn. I assume you know what a cdn is so I don’t know why you would compare parallel downloads with distributed content.

      Yes – combining css and js into one file is the best thing to do but moving them to the bottom helps also. The reason isn’t that it speeds up the download of your page, but that it speeds up the ‘appearance’ of the content on your site. the content loads at the same speed, but the user gets the visible content quicker (since you don’t have to download any js) so it gives the impression of extra speed.

      Thanks for the link to siteloadtest.com – that has some interesting pointers and might just speed up my website even more!

    2. Promo-bullshit? Do you actually understand what a CDN is? By using a CDN you’re decreasing latency to the client by a huge amount – CDN’s will serve content from a server closer to the client, therefore decreasing page load massively. People who serve content worldwide should always consider a CDN.

      You’re right about the parallel connections, but the effect is negligible. Moving non-essential Javascript files to the bottom of the page WILL decrease the loading time, as Javascript needs to be executed too.

  8. The Yahoo! Developer Network has a pretty big list of best practices to speed up a website. http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html

    Thanks for the great blog post Ben. It pushed me to look into some changes on my own site.

    I recently threw together a very rough and stripped down mobile version of my site, and while not a great design it was enough that I’ve been experiencing a consistent increase in the amount of visitors.

    1. that’s interesting – so there’s definitely a direct correlation between the mobile site and the increase in visitors? That might be a new one to try πŸ™‚

  9. Interesting indeed – not what I expected to read at all!

    One of my sites now has 1500 pages, runs on WordPress with W3 cache, but I’ve really noticed it slow down recently so was thinking of moving to a faster web host as I think that is the problem.

  10. Key thing is cache and how many worker process you have. If you have the ability to put up vmware or get a freelance programmer to code specifics for you, then that’s the best way to speed it up. Use tools to speed it up or post a freelance project to get someone to do it for you.

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