Head in the Clouds, Speeding up my Blog
So, it's time to review the week – yet again. At one level it's been a very productive week, doing the work for my book-keeping clients, but my Internet and Hair Analysis work takes a hit. Never mind, at the moment the book-keeping is the more profitable!
Speeding up my Blog
But I have made some progress – and the cloud by the side is a clue. Those of you who follow Jan Kearney's blog will have read about the Cloudinary plugin, where you host your images on the Cloud, to speed up your blog's image load time. Another cool feature of the plugin is that you can manipulate the images “in situ” and apply “effects”. Jan's post goes into it all in far better detail, so read about it there. To try it out I applied rounded corners to my rectangular cloud picture 🙂 There's much more you can do, including resizing – which is really useful.
My main reason for trying Coudinary is for speeding up my blog – but a little image entertainment here will do me no harm. It took me a little while to get used to their rather clunky image uploading and tagging, but if it improves my health site's load time I can certainly live with it.
One thing I really like is that the images are stored centrally so I have access to the same images from both my blogs, instead of having to upload them to two WordPress sites and wonder where to find them.
At the level I shall use the plugin it's free, but there's an upgrade for heavier users.
Using Cloudinary is just a start for what I need to do on the speed front. I did some speed tests on my health site and it's almost the slowest website on the Internet! Great….. NOT. 🙁 That's something I'll have to address when I've finished my paid work. I'm beginning to think I'll need to abandon my “Pinterest-like” theme on that blog. But I've tried so many themes and that one was my favorite, apart from load time.
Would a new theme make my blog load faster?
Many people have recommended their favorite premium themes and it's hard to choose. My ideal requirements are:
- Easy to set up and maintain – NO techie stuff! I'm spending more time on techie stuff than on writing about hair analysis
- Good support if I get stuck
- Flexible with side-bars and a customizable header
- Free trial so if I can't make it work I don't have to stay with it (I've tried several and not managed to find one I really liked) The existing theme is one I paid for, so I'm not best pleased at the thought of spending more money
- Easy to put a selection of images on the front page
- Fast loading!
Anyway – that's not today's problem. I'll try some other tips suggested by Sue Worthington for speeding up my blog. She suggested them about a fortnight ago and I'm so far behind I've still to try those:-( Other progress has been adding a new squeeze page to offer a free sample of my minerals to prospective customers.
Meeting Real People!!
I recently did some business networking with real live people, as opposed to my online friends. That has led to me getting my profile on a site for complementary therapists: Healer Zone. Even that has had its problems as there are meant to be sub-menus and it turns out that using Firefox, some people can see the sub-menus and some can't. Happily that's not my issue, but the owner's (Jen Tiller). Jen's another helpful lady who is patiently answering all my questions and encouraging members to share the site in general, and our profiles. I've got my videos up there, and after this blog post I'll be heading over to try and load my first article. Then some sharing to be done!
Business Cards – What Site Do People Show?
While musing about meeting real people I'd value people's opinions on something. I need some new business cards for my health business and I've ended up with so many different profiles and websites (blog, sales site, Facebook page, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc) that I wonder whether to just put the Healerzone site on? It does have the virtue of showing off several of my sites, plus the videos and articles as I add to them. Which of all the huge array of social networking sites do other people use on their business cards?
Rescue Time is still recording my hours faithfully. The time I spend on email is scary, but much of my work is done by email, so it's not all unproductive. However one good result that's come out of logging my time has been that I was so horrified to realize I've been doing NO writing about Hair Analysis that it spurred me on to write the article I'm going to post at Healerzone.
So – that's been my week. Overall a positive week because of the paid book-keeping work, and I'm happy to have finally made some movement on the complementary health site too. Watch this space next week to see if I've made any progress on speeding up my blog!