I got sidetracked a bit earlier today by what is commonly known as a “clickbait” article, and although I hate the type of site that you have to click NEXT for the follow-up photo, I was interested in knowing who they thought hadn’t fared well with age, and why, so I thought a few clicks on NEXT wouldn’t change my lifestyle too drastically, and the next thing you know I was agonizing over the time it took for that NEXT to actually appear. Turns out that gaining weight is the #1 criteria for having aged badly.
I didn’t get to the end of the “article” before I couldn’t take the numerous ads slowing the pages down so terribly and decided knowing that Bridget Bardot wasn’t as foxy at 70 as she was at 21 was something I could live without.
Take a look at these numbers.
It was SO slow, I decided to find out just HOW slow so I went and ran the URL at GTMetrix. I wasn’t really surprised by the results. The number of requests is due, I’m sure, to the number of advertisements they have on the page. I’m not saying that I’ll never have any ads on my site, but I sure as hell won’t have so many that they hinder someone from wanting to ever return. I’ll never go back to this particular site, and I happened on it accidentally anyway. I just had a weak moment. What really surprised me though about this site, and it was something I’d never seen before, was the intermission between NEXTS so you could pay proper homage to their “sponsors.” When I left the site there were no less than 6 pop-under ads open. How are they making any money at all? If they’d lose some of the dead weight and speed their site up a bit I’m fairly certain they’d have a better chance of return visits. I imagine their bounce rate is higher than any basketball team.
It did get me to thinking though because it’s been quite a while since I’ve paid any serious attention to my own site and I thought I’d be fair and go see what speed I was getting here.
Holy hell! It really has been some time since I’ve paid much attention here. The common rule of thumb is 3 seconds that a visitor to a website will wait before looking elsewhere for whatever it was they arrived there for, to begin with. I think that number is a bit low because I’ll wait at least 5 myself, or longer if there’s something I really want or need to know; like being shown Jack Nicholson doesn’t look like he did when he starred in Easy Rider.
Anyone that actually knows me, though, and knows that I maintain and put all of my own sites together, knows that I’m anal when it comes to page speed. I’ve created sites for quite a few people and I’m never happy until I can reach a speed I don’t mind waiting on myself.
There are many things that can slow a site down other than advertisement and are easily avoidable. Allowing your site to sit basically abandoned for a few months at a time never fails and by far the biggest culprit that I know of is social media. The sharing and liking applications for each different social media site slows things down a fair bit no matter how they’re loaded and Facebook is the biggest snail of them all. Knowing this, the first thing I did to rectify those horrible numbers was take off the app I had for sharing my Facebook page, The World According to Draggon. I then disabled and deleted every plugin and theme that I’m not using on here and checked to see how files were being loaded etc.
Time well spent wouldn’t you say?