Two Top Web Performance Tools You Need

If you have a site hosted with a third party or are self-hosting a blog here are two tools that can illuminate any problems you might have even if you’re not aware that you have a problem. Best to catch them before they become problematic. (grin)

The first one was shared with me by a collaborator today. Host-Tracker.com

I was blown away by the amount of data and testing this site does. Here’s an example of the report on Uber.la.

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The site literally pings your site from all over the place and reports back on the performance. When I compared my site to another site I am working on what I got was some dramatic differences. Enough to suggest that we move the other site to a new hosting provider BEFORE we start driving a high volume of traffic.

What I’m not going to show you is the report on the other site. With a response time nearing 7 seconds, this means that the blog you are on might pause up to seven seconds after you click on a link or tab. You might be clicking again after just 3 secs. Response time is critical. If it’s low you will lose visitors. And if your traffic goes up, YEA!, the response time will be the first place to show the stress of a shared-hosting environment.

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The second tool is a blog testing tool that examines some of the essential performance factors for blogs.

Is My Blog Working

Checks things like caching and compression settings to make sure they are enabled and functioning correctly. After installing WP Super Cache this is THE tool to check the performance increase. Here is unedited version of today’s run of this tool. (fingers crossed, I hope it’s good!)

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Wow, how does Bing have almost 30x more index points than Google. I’m liking Bing more and more.

Anyway, kinda cool that 1.65 seconds is “slow” for page generation. Maybe I should expose only 2 posts per page. Let’s try that and rerun the tool for fun. Here’s what I got with only 2 posts per page:

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Gone was the “slow” warning. The page fetched in less than a second. NICE! BUT… for convenience I’m gonna bump it back up to 4 posts per page. I think I can live with the 1.65 sec page build. Now if that number starts going up towards 6 – 10 seconds, I start looking at other ways to reduce page load.

One plug-in I use in addition to WP Super Cache is WP Widget Cache. Since I run a few widgets this plug-in allows me to set their refresh time. Some of them, banners, I have set to 200,000 seconds. And the plug-in allows me to have them reset the cache upon the publication of a new post.

So that’s it for today’s tip. Keep your post count high and your performance above average and you’ll do fine!

@jmacofearth
permalink: http://bit.ly/dev-tools

Additional Resources:

FluentSearch.com – wordpress resources and do-it-yourself tools

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