Page Speed and WordPress Blogs

As I’ve been attending presentations, workshops and conferences over the past months, there has been more and more emphasis (segments) on Page Load Time – the speed with which a page displays. (Since 2010, speed has been one of the factors that contributes to a web page’s rank in the search engine results pages.)

Google’s Steve Vinter  spoke about page speed in a March presentation to the Marlborough business community. Jonathan Hochman gave an entire presentation on page/website speed for SEMNE in June, and there were two or three sessions that I attended this weekend at WordCamp Boston that mentioned the importance of page load time. Indeed, I attended the presentation Optimizing WordPress for Speed and Scale given by Ben Metcalfe which was loaded with tips on how to decrease page load time.

I mention all of this to let you know that I have taken ONE baby step. I installed a highly recommended WordPress plugin called W3 Total Cache to my websites today. Prior to doing that I used pingdom tools to get a benchmark of the current speed.

I will wait some time and re-measure and keep you posted as to the results.

Have you been using W3 Total Cache? What kinds of results have you experienced?

2012 WordCamp Boston

I attended WordCamp Boston held at BU this weekend. The schedule was loaded with interesting topics; three sessions running at a time with no repeats… Even though my head wanted to explode at the end of each day, I am grateful for the information shared, the tasks I now have on my to-do list, and the new connections I made.

I’m very excited about being able to do even more customization for my clients to simplify the WordPress interface, plus speed up the loading of web pages. I have already begun to apply some of what I learned – and that is a good feeling.

The venue was great – easily accessible, large enough and cool with a seating area outside if you wanted the heat.

I’ll be writing about some of the topics I learned here, so, stay tuned.

Kudos to @kurteng and @wordcampboston for the great presenters and great organization of the days.

WordCamp Boston in July

This week I signed up for WordCamp Boston. I’m excited about this because I’ve known about the WordCamps for a couple of years; wanted to connect with other WordPress geeks like myself, and have been “just” missing the dates. I had been checking Boston, New York, D.C., Utah, Las Vegas… Every time there was a WordCamp, it had just taken place, or I was going to be in another state or attending another event.

Karen Callahan SmilingAnd… now the stars have aligned… and I am SMILING

What’s so hot about a WordCamp?
WordCamp is a place where people gather to talk about WordPress – and the WordCamp Boston this year is for 2 days (July 14 & 15). I’ve been talking about blogs since August of 2005. Started building them soon after, and, pretty much have stayed exclusively with WordPress. So for me – it is very exciting to connect with others who know the tool as well and BETTER than me. I can learn. I can share.

It’s going to be great weekend in July!

WordPress Rules Top 100 Blogs

Pingdom recently posted the results of a study they had just completed regarding the top 100 blogs on the Internet (WordPress completely dominates  top 100 blogs). They chose the top 100 blogs from the  Technorati Top 100.

We just completed a study and found that WordPress is in use by 48% of the top 100 blogs in the world. This is an increase from the 32% we recorded three years ago.

A 50% increase in just three years!  This is great news for a blog developer like myself. Now that this information is public, I expect an even greater increase during the next three years. Why? Because it is very common practice that people who want to achieve a higher level, look at those who are succeeding, and model themselves after them. They go where they go. They eat what they eat. They blog as frequently as they blog…Now they know that 48% of the succcessful are using WordPress as a blogging platform, and they’ll choose WordPress as their blogging plaform.

Other developments since then include that custom blog publishing platforms are more common now, TypePad has all but disappeared from the top 100, Tumblr has made an entrance, and some companies really don’t want to spill the beans about what solutions they use.

It is really interesting to me that businesses are using custom blog publishing software… hummmm…wave of the future.

To see a list of the other blog platforms and the list of the top 100 blogs Pingdom researched , follow the link on the article listed in the first sentence.

Steve Vinter from Google presented at Distinguished Speakers Breakfast

The Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce held its Distinguished Speakers Breakfast this morning. Presenter was Steve Vinter, Director at Google.

Mr. Vinter is a relaxed presenter with a sense of humor. He kept the crowd’s attention using his humor and switching topics fairly frequently. He spoke about AdWords, Analytics, Google+, Speed, Ripples, Android, the Google Body Project, Non-Profits, Page Speed, Sharing, and more.

He demonstrated

  • How he used a form in a Google Docs spreadsheet to get votes from a group of employees about where to have a celebration.
  • How to find ‘gas stations’ within X miles radius of a location on Google Maps.
  • How website developers like myself can improve page delivery speed using Google’s Page Speed tool to measure speed and suggest improvements

I learned new things about Google and some of its products.

The highlight for me was when Mr. Vinter demonstrated the use of Page Speed. He first tested CNN.com and the tool gave that website a rating of 81%. Then he tested the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce‘s website and that received a rating of 89%. Higher than CNN – and by 8%! That made my day, since CNN has so many more employees… and here I am, plugging away, able to get one of my clients such a fabulous rating! Very gratifying and a good way to start the day!

There were “oohs” and “ahhs” in the audience. Many people know that I maintain the Chamber’s website. I, of course, was more than happy to stand and take a bow. It was a moment to remember.