A Zippy Blog

You might have noticed blogan.net is a little zippier. A few things have changed recently:

  • My web hosting service moved my site to a new, faster, shared server. Thanks, WebHostingBuzz! This is what inspired me to make more changes.
  • I combined my print CSS into my regular CSS file. One less file to download.
  • I removed all the Facebook, Twitter, and +1 social media cruft. It’s amazing how much these slow down a page load. They also allow Facebook and Google to track when you visit blogan.net.
  • I installed W3 Total Cache. Very full-featured with caching, minifying and setting expires for browser caching.
  • I removed a bunch of plugins, with the hardest to remove being Easy Fancybox. It’s very pretty, but includes multiple JS, CSS, and image files.1I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep Easy Fancybox disabled. It would be nice to have a quick Lightbox alternative without a bunch of support files. I haven’t found one yet… Maybe the minification will make it a non-issue. Yeah, that’s it. ;-) Update: I wasn’t able to keep Easy Fancybox disabled. It just works too well on posts with large galleries of pictures. Adding it back dropped my scores to 95.
  • I started using Cloudflare.2This seems to be causing a “Network Error (tcp_error)” using the standard proxies at work. WHB doesn’t think it’s their issue.
  • A little while back, I started using WP Smush.it which losslessly compresses uploaded images automatically.

I think the results speak for themselves: a YSlow rating of 100!

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    I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep Easy Fancybox disabled. It would be nice to have a quick Lightbox alternative without a bunch of support files. I haven’t found one yet… Maybe the minification will make it a non-issue. Yeah, that’s it. ;-) Update: I wasn’t able to keep Easy Fancybox disabled. It just works too well on posts with large galleries of pictures. Adding it back dropped my scores to 95.
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    This seems to be causing a “Network Error (tcp_error)” using the standard proxies at work. WHB doesn’t think it’s their issue.

I Learn Something Every Day

I learn something every day. For example, a web hosting company that includes “web host” in its name doesn’t consider whether the sites it hosts are web-accessible in its uptime statistics. I found the following in my inbox today in response to my reporting yet another instance of blogan.net being “down”:

Please take into account that web service is down is not equal server is down.

I have rebuilt web service configuration files, started it and the summary web service outage time was about 5-10 minutes. All this time the server (Star) was online.

If I wasn’t getting a screaming deal or actually depending on my blog being up, I’d look elsewhere. As it is, I think I’m getting what I’m paying for.1And an education, to boot! ;-)

Is this common? Do all web hosting companies only consider whether the OS is running in their uptime statistics?

Update: When I shared this post on Facebook, one commenter referenced the Wikipedia article High availability, which makes a distinction between “uptime” and “availability.” My host guarantees “three ninesuptime, which it easily meets. I would guess availability is closer to 99.8%.

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    And an education, to boot! ;-)