February 20, 2015 at 3:05 pm #141553
Hi, my site RallyWays.com used to run on Minimum 2.0 (not pro). Due to the heavy use of images, my load average load time for pages as 15 seconds for load time and 1 second download time, according to G Analytics.
Note, I optimized all my images... unfortunately, as is the case with car blogs, they often use a lot of images... which results in slow load times.
I know, that's awful.
I recently redesigned the site to run on Magazine Pro. I've done many things to help improve the load times, but the new theme made it worse. Now the average is 20 seconds.
I have a nice bit of traffic and loyal readership, but the load times are really messing up my bounce rate.
Can anybody tell me why Magazine Pro might have made it slower?http://rallyways.comFebruary 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm #141563
Is there possibly a plugin that barring the featured image will load all the other images AFTER the page has fully loaded? Possibly AFTER the visitor starts scrolling or something?
I need the images there, but I HAVE to get the page load times down.
I noticed that the site Petrolicious.com has something like that. In their articles, when you start scrolling, the images posted below begin loading. Here's an example: http://www.petrolicious.com/this-is-how-ferrari-na-parties
Note how the images begin popping up as you scroll down.February 20, 2015 at 6:38 pm #141585
IMPORTANT UPDATE: The 20 second page speed I noted about was Google's page speed report average. The results from GTmetrix and Pingdom are much better:
GTmetrix: 5.62 seconds
Pingdom: 2.95 seconds.February 20, 2015 at 8:13 pm #141593
This is a tricky one. Many times, GA lists load times includign all external scripts, that is why it takes up to 20 seconds some times depending on what is called externally.
Pingdom normally reports how many Bytes has been downloaded and not necessary including ALL scripts.
Here is something that you might be interested to work on: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/150221_E3_4DJ/
First load time is 10 secs. This is typical of a shared host.
2nd time loading is 3.5 secs. Not bad, so your caching seems to be working ok. Are you running caching? Numbers say you are but Grade on top of the page says your site is not.
These times are ok unless your host helps. Not sure you can make things any better with all the gorgeous images you load on your homepage.
See the C, C, D, F, F. If you really wanted to tweak things even more, you can try and work with your web host to get these closer to a A rating.
Hope that helps.February 21, 2015 at 5:45 pm #141683
^^^ Hi @Mealtog - Thanks for the great advice.
Yes, I'm currently running shared hosting - though one of the "better" shared hosting plans. Pretty much the best setup before going VPS, Semi-dedicated, or something of sorts.
I'm not currently running caching, but I was running WP Super Cache a week or two ago, so that's what you may be seeing. I turned off Super Cache while I've been making some website updates, because I was getting fed up with not seeing my updates immediately. Also, I've been planning on switching over the W3 Total Cache instead very soon.
So here's the plan:
1. I'll see about using more galleries instead of so many 750px images on my main posts. I'll still use a few, but with most images in galleries, the posts will load faster because the thumbnails are only 330px.
2. I'll install and configure W3 Total Cache after that.
3. I can't afford it just yet, but when I can justify it, I'll move the site to a VPS, Semi-dedicated server or maybe Copyblogger's Synthesis or something.
Thanks for the good words on the images. I shoot just about everything that's on the site myself.February 22, 2015 at 2:44 pm #141789
Hey nice photos. Very nice indeed.
There comes a time when readership grows and the site owner has the urge to move to a faster server. But there is always hesitation with cost and stability. Even if you move to a new faster host, there is always fear of losing stability, good backups / recovery protocol. I hear ya.
There are more and more options when it comes to premium hosting these days. In fact, there are some that will take care of backups, caching, and page load speed, CDN on your behalf. It's not nearly as expensive as it used to be a few years ago.
I see you run 3-4 CPM / CPC ad spots and maybe even a few direct paid advertisers. That is good. With a PR4 site, growing readership and a good following in social media, I am guessing it is only a matter of time before you optimize revenue even more and move to a dream host of your choice. All the best.February 22, 2015 at 6:28 pm #141816
@Mealtog - Thank you! Very inspiring words there. I appreciate it.
Yeah, this had been a labor of love and it has grown quite well. I even have a sponsored show car coming up this early spring that will be tied to the site's branding.
Cars is a hugely competitive market. But I'm in the right place. If I weren't in SoCal I wouldn't even bother.
Social media has certainly helped a lot. Specially Instagram where were currently managing 37,000 followers. G+ has been good too, now at 65,000 followers - But they are much ore dormant than the IG folks. FB has been tricky, but it has started growing now.February 22, 2015 at 8:15 pm #141821
I think Instagram is a hit and miss and really depends on the medium and vertical. G+ is just an oddity. People rave about massive followers but extremely few marketers in my contacts have yielded any positive net results yet. With G Authorship dieing, not sure G+ is as important it was before (or as useful as Google makes it out to be).
FB can drive traffic and so can Pinterest, much more than IG or G+ in my experience. It takes lots of time, effort and know how to maximize all these channels. We can only do so much right?
Given your articles, I wonder if you see any good results coming in from Stumbleupon. Interesting.February 22, 2015 at 11:40 pm #141830
Yes, you're absolutely right about G+. We have lots of followers, but oftentimes the engagement is very low. That said, we have a good handful of posts that have yielded a couple thousand likes, 300+ comments, hundreds of shares and well over 500,000 views. But those are rare. This one is a perfect example: https://plus.google.com/116126649033199284338/posts/UB1w1AQat54
Instagram is not so much for traffic as it is for brand awareness and cementing yourself as an authority. Strong accounts really do present a sense of legitimacy and credibility. Plus, it's a very fun network that I truly enjoy using.
We are doing pretty good on Pinterest. That said, it's not as good for cars as it is for hats, blouses and necklaces. And Facebook, that's a whole other story. If you started building pages early on, you're in luck. Nowadays it's much harder. See, you need shares to grow organically, but no one will share your stuff if you are not already big, which means you need to pay to play. The trick is to know how to target your potential audience with ads and also have the budget. Unless you get big, you can expect people won't be bothered to share your stuff. At 2,000 likers, we're are nowhere near the authority we need to be shared. When we get to 10,000 likers, things might change.
We have had a number of articles go viral on Facebook, and have also gotten a few that have been popular on Stumbleupon and Reddit. That said, I've been so busy with the site, the photography and the other social media channels that I honestly don't even understand those last two networks yet. But, yes, they are on my radar to tackle them soon, thanks.February 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm #141906
I think the niche you are in is perfect for the online medium. Young readers who have a big passion for your subject matter. This itself is a big bonus in running a business.
Often, website owners think they run a website. I think you have already discovered that you are running a business. 🙂
And the biggest question is how much time you dedicate to social media. What measurements do we use to gauge success and how many hours a week you put into this business. Give and take 🙂February 23, 2015 at 4:36 pm #141930
^^^ Haha. Those lines are blurry. I enjoy doing all this, but I'll admit I spend a lot more time working on this business than the money it's making at the moment. However, it's one of those things where "do what you love and you will not work a day in your life."
I don't really have exact numbers on how much time I spend on social media to be honest. But I also believe that if it weren't for social media, RW wouldn't be where it is now.
I see this all as a very personal level though. A lot of people that "run websites" like you say, do it because they don't want to deal with people. Makes it easy to hide behind the screen. However, even with all the time I spend in social media, I'm willing to bet I spend more time socializing with people about in cars IN PERSON than I do online. Just recently I drove up to LA and spent a whole day in meetings with companies for an upcoming sponsorship project. I'm happy to report, the meetings went well and I got the sponsorships, so the project is a go. 🙂
What field are you in @Mealtog ?February 23, 2015 at 10:37 pm #141984coralseaitMember
Take a look at MaxCDN, for image heavy they'll do wonders for your load time and at very, very reasonable rates. Our real estate and photographer clients love it.
We piggy back our clients off our services for savings, if you're interested contact us (we don't mark up).
EDIT: We also offer a range of VIP hosting on extremely fast VPS using nginx fast-cgi cache, memcached op code and db cache, w3 total cache stack that's very, very optimised. If you're looking at running your own VPS we can have a chat and give you pointers on a similar config.
February 23, 2015 at 11:29 pm #141988
@coralseait - Sounds good. I'll keep that in mind. I'm surely going to have to do something to improve this soon enough.February 24, 2015 at 12:18 am #141990
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