Hey guys! I just wanted to pop in a let you know what I’ve been working on with the site the past few days…
1. Mainly I am trying to make the site faster…I know that is pretty slow at times and I am trying to do all I can so that it doesn’t load so slowly. Aside from getting new hosting (which I can’t afford right now), here’s what I’ve done…
– Installed a couple of plugins that are supposed to help speed things up. Not sure how well they are working, but things seem a little faster.
– Removed some unneeded things from the layout, namely the Tweet and Facebook share/tweet count buttons (no one uses them anyway) along with the Twitter module that was in the sidebar. These things took up a bit of resources so I thought they should go. If you want to share any articles, there is still the “PeepThis” thing at the bottom of every post, which lets you e-mail, tweet, share on Facebook, or do whatever with the post.
– Installed a different plugin to do the post excerpt thumbnails. This thing was annoying to set up, but it’s really nice. Before, the thumbnails were shrunken down versions of the original card picture, which is a big file. Now with this plugin I have the option of specifying the image to be used for the thumbnail, so I can use the actual thumbnail that WordPress produces, which is a smaller file size and nice quality too. You can probably notice a difference if you look on the front page at the last few articles compared to older ones. I’m not going to be able to go through every post and give it the proper thumbnail, but for any new posts they’ll be the smaller file size one. This should help page loading time (and make things look nicer).
– Removed the card images header. I know they look cool, but they make they pages load slower.
– Last thing I can think of doing to help page load times is use different ads because the Google ones load slowly sometimes. I will try to look for some site sponsors in the next week.
2. Added a view counter for each post and made some minor layout adjustments. The view counter is sort of nice just to give a gauge of what posts people are reading most, but not necessarily commenting on. I am thinking about changing the Popular Posts sidebar thing to whichever posts have the most views, but I think most comments is good for this site.
There are a few posts I need to edit and schedule, I’ll try to get to that later today.
One other issue I can’t seem to fix deals with Facebook. I use some code to specify which image is supposed to be used as the thumbnail for when each post is sent to Facebook, but it hasn’t been working since I updated WordPress. Right now it keeps picking the top logo which looks dumb. I think it has something to do with my host because my sites on other hosts still send the right image. I’m still looking for a solution to this.
Good luck at Cities everyone…and GO BIRDS!