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Page Speed

Posted on 5 April 2011

The other day, I was trying to load my blog and I noticed it was taking a long time. The same thing happened when I clicked around onto individual posts. I’d noticed this happening more frequently lately, and decided I should actually do some investigation. I ran a Google page speed test and found that my blog ranked a dismal 42 out of 100.

I’m not overly concerned with most search optimization things, but I do want people who are trying to access my site to be able to actually access it. A couple of times in my tests, it took upwards of ten seconds for content to load, and occasionally didn’t even work.

I’m not much of a web designer, but I found the main culprit was my header. I use a (slightly modified version of a) lovely theme designed by Derek Powazek for WordPress called “Depo Skinny” that allows you to pull your most recent Flickr photos as an online banner. This is what it looked like:

Unfortunately, doing this meant querying the Flickr site every time you visit a page on my blog, and that was causing really slow load times. So I’ve scrapped it, and now my speed ranking is in the 80s.

I’m glad it’s working faster, but I miss the banner. I don’t like the look of the site as much without that splash of colour at the top. So I guess I’m going to have to make some sort of static banner that can be cached and not affect load times too much.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping if you ever try to visit my site and things don’t work, you let me know. I think most readers have their own way of getting in touch with me, but just in case I’m akurjata [at] gmail.com or on Twitter @akurjata.

Thanks.

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