Blog / Thursday, March 13th, 2014

I’ve been obsessed with speed lately. Page speed. You might have noticed that this website loads damned quick. Or you didn’t really have time to notice. That’s because of me.

When I redesigned the website, I only took looks into account. I wanted clean and simple so that’s what I built. Then I came across a page speed tool, Pingdom. My website averaged a couple of seconds to load. It was requesting information from a hundred different places. The page size was huge compared to now and it was ranked rather poorly.

Now I average 800 ms to load a page. The hundred different sources of information has been more than halved. The page sizes were cut into thirds. And now my page loads faster than 94% of all the tested websites by Pingdom. That’s something to write home about. These stats are better than Google.com. If you’re from Google and would like me to work for you, I can be contacted at danny@sassyhacksaws.com.

The work website that I wrote about earlier this week, however, is a whole different story. When I designed that, I didn’t consider speed or complexity or anything really that I should have. Working as a committee, with each person bringing ideas to the table really muddled the thing up too. The speed of that website is abysmal. Pingdom tells me that it’s slower than 80% of all websites that it has tested.

I think I know why. The website is bloated. It’s filled with plugins and requests for information and it’s poorly coded. Because of all this, I’ve been obsessed with making it better. I’ve stripped the test version of the site down to the bare bones. I’m working on a redesign of it using a the same theme I use as a basis (though I will have it looking identical to the current version so no one will be the wiser and I can avoid the tiny company red tape). I’m pulling plugins and I’m reassigning which things do what.

At the same time that I’m doing all of this, I have this fear that it’s not going to help nearly as much as my website. I have a hunch that the sever that hosts the company site is what’s slowing it down. Consistently, with my tests from Pingdom, I see long wait times for the core parts of the site. I think the web server or the MySQL server is underpowered and it’s killing me. I need it to be efficient otherwise it’s a testament to my work, but not a good one.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress.

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