Acutely aware of the recent relative slugishness of my blog a loading time, I have just spent a couple of days trying to optimize and streamline it. I hope it will have improved things a bit.

Of course we are talking about shaving milliseconds here and there. Yes, you read that right: milliseconds. But in a wild wide web world where everything counts, a millisecond gained is money in the bank.

So I moved all the scripts to the bottom of the HTML page so that actual content would render first, optimized my database, implemented better caching with the Apache server’s .htaccess file, combined all my external CSS into one file, removed the scripts that weren’t absolutely necessary, eradicated the plugins that had a reputation for being time or resource hogs and decreased the number of entries served on the home page from 10 to 8.

In the process, fed up by nagging Firefox freezes, I switched to Chrome. But this will be the topic for my next post.

There remains one variable I cannot change. My web site is hosted by a cheap (as in $ cheap) hosting provider and obviously does not benefit from dedicated hosting. Instead, it is run by a virtual server on a shared space. So while I have a dedicated IP address, I am actually impacted by the load on the physical server where my site is hosted, no matter what I do. If the other web sites hosted there are experiencing heavy traffic or worse, attacks (like the nasty spamming attack that got me banned from my previous hosting provider), mine will suffer too. Sigh. When budget improves, I will upgrade to a real dedicated server.

Any way. I hope these minute improvements will have made a difference. In my tests, they did. Provided there is not slow-down on the server side, you should now have a fully loaded page in under 6 seconds, and actual readable content in under 3 or 4. At this stage, it’s the best I can do. Thank you!