Mitt Romney's Compressed Images

Mitt, don’t skimp on image optimization

I just visited Mitt Romney’s website for the first time and noticed right away that his site looked cheap because his button images had been so compressed for load time.

 

For comparison, here are some similar boxes on BarackObama.com

 

Look for yourself

I don’t think the affect of the bad quality comes across in these pictures. I encourage you to compare and contrast.

How to prevent your Google background image from fading in slowly.

Google + slow loading = not worth having background images.

In trying to keep their homepage as minimal as possible, in December Google switched to fading in the home page links only on an event: moving your mouse or tabbing out of the search box. This was fine when the home page was only white, as it wasn’t taxing on computers to fade in on white.

Now that Google allows for custom image backgrounds (likely in response to how beautiful the Bing backgrounds are), the fading in process can be tedious, even using blazing-fast Chrome. I can only imagine what users using Internet Explorer 6 are going through: fading in images takes a lot of work and time!

This was annoying me, so I made a quick modification to my SEO Stylesheet (a Custom Stylesheet to display search results and no-follow nicely in Safari, IE and Firefox). This mod will make the image load solid, with no fading or resulting lag. Continue reading “How to prevent your Google background image from fading in slowly.”

Auto-Optimize WordPress Database without a Plugin

These horses are somehow not cool. Speeding up your blog is.

I am working on a WordPress project that has a pretty heavy database, and I want to be able to auto-optimize the WordPress database. Even though they are integrating this functionality into WordPress 3.0, I want it now, and without having to use a plugin (I have had some issues with WP-DBManager configuring properly on a few sites).

If you add the following code to your functions.php file, it will automatically optimize your WordPress database every 6 hours, keeping it squeaky clean. Continue reading “Auto-Optimize WordPress Database without a Plugin”

How to Prevent Loading WP-DownloadManager's CSS File

Stop loading WP-Downloads CSS File

If you want to disable the WordPress plugin WP-DownloadManager‘s download-css.css file from being loaded, add the following code to your functions.php file:

remove_action('wp_print_styles', 'downloads_stylesheets');

Alternatively, if you would just like to use your own stylesheet, you can add a file named download-css.css to your theme’s directory, and the plugin will automatically load your stylesheet instead.

Load time improvements

Load time matters

Imagine waiting 18 seconds for a page to load (on a high-speed connection) — not just the home page, but any inside page of a website.  Pretty frustrating, right?  Having bad load times makes a huge difference to your customers.  I helped a new client reduce page load time from 19 seconds to 3 seconds.

Continue reading “Load time improvements”