20
May
2009

The importance of a fast, light blog. 12 rules that you must not forget

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wordpressWell, today I have decided not to write any post. Don’t worry, most probability you won’t notice any difference because there are a couple of scheduled posts on their way, so in a couple of hours or even less (keeping up the suspense here) you will be able to read them.  I have decided to take a day off because, less than half an hour ago I solved an issue which caused me a lot of stress and the loss of more than 400 visitors. I am happy because I have got them back! (what a lucky guys they are!). I hope the problem I am reporting here is going to help a lot of bloggers and webmasters as well as teach them the importance of having a fast, snappy and light blog or website.

All started a couple of days ago when, for no apparent reason I lost 200 visitors. OK, fluctuations are quite normal on a blog, above all if your visitors comes from search engines. I decided not to give  too much importance to this fact. A brief look at Google Analysis revealed that, at a first glance, I was right. The loss I was experiencing was related to visitors coming from search engines. The next day the loss reached 400 visitors. At this point I thought there was something wrong, definitely. I went to Google Analytics again and I saw that I was loosing visitors from search engines, from Google especially. The first thought was that I got a penalty of some kind.  I was not inclined to believe the penalty theory because I had not done anything…illegal  nor I had broke the famouse Google TOS. I decided to dig a little more.

Still in Google Analytics, I started looking at the Visitors options to know more about them. A brief look at Network Properties – Connection Speed made me understand what was wrong , right away. As a matter of fact, all the 400 visitors I lost were using slow Internet connections such as dial-up and ISDN. Basically, visitors with slow connections were unable to visit my blog. Or maybe my blog was just too slow for them. This made me think about the fact that I was using PHP 5FastCGI and XCache to improve my blog speed. I had a look at a my Cpanel and…Bingo! For some unknown reason something or somebody (maybe the guys at Bluehost) disabled PHP 5FastCGI and XCache. In less than 15 minutes I re-enabled these two great features and useless to say, my visitors are back to normal, now.

This brief story should teach a great truth to webmasters. Never underestimate the number of people using slow Internet connections. The fact that you have got a super fast ADSL connection doesn’t mean that the whole world has got it as well!  Having a light, fast and snappy blog or website is vital for those webmasters who care for visitors  “less fortunate” visitors  which ,as you see, they are still in good number!

Here are some great articles of mine teaching you how to have a fast blog and get more visitors:

  1. How to reduce bandwidth slow queries in your blog.
  2. How to know how many queries your blog’s pages have got.
  3. Boost your blog and website byusing htaccess to cache it locally.
  4. How to make your blog faster with XCache.
  5. How to improve your blog’s performance thanks to simple tricks.
  6. Install WordPress locally on your computer.
  7. 10 reasons why your blog is loosing visitors (less  visitors).
  8. Protect your blog from Hotlinking and save your bandwidth for your visitors.
  9. Protect your blog from hackers and SQL injections.
  10. Understand why your blog had a drop in visitors with Google dance. ( or Google Sandbox)
  11. Protect your blog part I.
  12. Protect your blog part II.



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