Blogging 201: What are three goals you want to accomplish with your blog?

So I am taking WordPress.com’s Blogging 201 course.

Why aren't you blogging?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/4379144635/in/photostream/

 

Today’s assignment: consider what you want to accomplish with your blog. Write down three concrete goals you want to achieve.

After having written a How-To book about WordPress, I want to have a site whose posts build upon and expand beyond the book. So that is goal number one. I have been posting a lot more often about WordPress so I feel like I am achieving that goal.

Two, I want to build a following for my site. Within twelve months I would like to have at least 500 readers to my site.

Three, I want to blog at least twice a week.

The Need For Speed (Part 2)

aka How to find out if your site is slow…

 

Nanyang-Walk-slow-lettering-20060317-400x300

 

If you think your site is slow, it probably is. But to really tell, you need to do some testing. And to test it right you need to vary up how it is access and where so that you have an idea if it is you, your site, or your hosting provider that is slow. The last one is the hardest one to prove without disabling everything and running WordPress in its most stripped down form to see if it still tests slow. When you are done, you may want to read Part 1 and Part 3 is on its way.

The first way to test is using Google’s PageSpeed Insights. https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Type in your web address and hit Analyze.

Ugh!!!!

Google-PageSpeed-Insights-Analyze2

80 isn’t horrible but it isn’t like making an A either. Consider it a C. And the first thing it says is optimize images. Oh, How did I do on Mobile?

Google-PageSpeed-Insights-Mobile

 

I failed. Mobile phones probably hate me. I am the poster child for the slowest site on the Interwebs. Let’s get a second opinion. Just like going to the doctor we should check two sources.

So next we go to Pingdom to do the full page test. http://fpt.pingdom.com/ and it appears for my site, the rests are similar to Google’s.

Pingdom-Results

 

To make maters worse, my site had been faster just a couple of weeks ago. What happened?

Pingdom-History

 

To really figure it out, it might be good to analyze our site on a page by page basis.

We can do this by installing a plugin called Google Pagespeed Insights for WordPress. To use this plugin, you will have to install it from WordPress.org or your usual way of installing things and then go to here https://code.google.com/apis/console and register for a Google API key specifically for Google PageSpeed Insights. Visit the Install Page of this plugin for detailed information on how to do this. Go to Tools, Pagespeed Insights and go to the Options tab to put in your API key.

After you get your API entered, scroll to the bottom of the page and choose “Save Options & Check Pages”. This will take a while if your site has some size to it but you can proceed to do other things while this happens in the background.

Google-Pagespeed-Insights-Plugin-Options-Save

 

 

Go to the Report List inside Google Page Insights Plugin settings (Under Tools) to see the results. And the results are in.

Google-Pagespeed-plugin-Results

To see which pages are the worst, visit the Report Summary tab. In the lower right corner you see “Lowest Scoring Pages”

Google-PageSpeed-Insights-Plugin-ReportSummary

In the upper right corner you see graphs that show what are the biggest offenders to our speed.

Google-Pagespeed-Insights-Plugin-Bad-JavaScript

In this case, it is JavaScript. This could be caused by bad plugins, too many plugins (yes, it is possible to have too many and they will slow your site down).

All we can do is roll up our sleeves and being trying to figure out what slowed our site down so much.

If we click on our slowest page in “Lowest Scoring Pages” it will give a score for that page and a breakdown of what made it so slow.

Google-PageSpeed-Insights-Need-For-Speed-Results-graph

And the culprit in this case? It says server response time. But I am not so sure. Something is up with JavaScript and CSS too. Everything below the top result we have immediate access to in order to work on speeding things up. Let’s make sure our house is in order before we blame someone else.

Google-PageSpeed-Insights-Need-For-Speed-Insights-Key

 

In Part 3, we tear this all down and find the culprits and optimize what we thought we had already optimized.