I made a very hard decision last 2 years ~ to be a full-time blogger. I was employed as Application Developer in Intel Malaysia for 5 years. It is not an easy decision to make because Intel really pay well and has lot of employee benefits like stock, bonuses, free medical, dental & optical… My blog income is no way near Intel salary back then. However, I decided to make a change of my daily job. And by looking back now… I can confirm that I made a right choice.
It is much better to be a full-time blogger. You control the time, task, job… In short == everything. No need to travel to company for work because I work in front of my computer in my room now. I have more time with families. However, being too flexible is a curse for full-time blogger too. I saw lot of bloggers stop / lazy to write. And some was hit by Google Panda and Penguin algorithm update. Therefore, traffic is getting lesser each day. Some even worst ~ banned by Google AdSense. This translates to less income. Besides, income from blog is not stable like fixed monthly salary when employed. There will be up and down.
If you would like to be a full-time blogger, be sure that you have a dedicated mind. Have a goal that you want to success in blogging world. Overcome all the obstacles along the way no matter what. Don’t even thinking of quit, and keep on learning everyday. You will success someday. Remember… A good blog takes time to build up. Put all your effort…
Err… Busy with JayceOoi.com lately. Almost put all the time and effort there. And did not study much on stock market at all. Therefore, did not update spBlogger.com at all for almost a month. I noticed that SP Blogger traffic dropped 30% after no update for long period. Google search engine traffic dropped. Seem like Google search engine does not like inactive website.
So I am writing this to keep a reminder to myself. And also let Google search engine know that SP Blogger has new content now.
Yeah… It is time to show the result after speeding so much time on blog optimization. Here you are ~ JayceOoi.com site performance after optimization.
JayceOoi.com performance overview
On average, pages in your site take 6.7 seconds to load (updated on Feb 14, 2011). This is slower than 85% of sites. These estimates are of high accuracy (more than 1000 data points). The chart below shows how your site’s average page load time has changed over the last few months. For your reference, it also shows the 20th percentile value across all sites, separating slow and fast load times.
Based on chart above (from Google Webmaster Tools), there was a drop in the middle of January. That was the result after blog optimization ~ about 5-6 seconds faster. And another 1 in early February ~ Moving out from HostMonster shared web hosting to HostGator VPS hosting ~ 1-2 seconds faster.
As a result, blog optimization is very important. And good web hosting does help too.
WordPress has lot of good themes that we can choose from. However, if you are using old WordPress Theme likes mine which has lot of small images. CSS sprites will help to improve your blog loading speed. What are CSS sprites? A sprite combines multiple background images into a single image. This is a technique for making web pages faster because it reduces the number of downloads in the page.
Yes, the more images in your WordPress Theme, the more HTTP requests to server will be made. Therefore, the slower your blog will be loaded.
CSS sprite that use in spBlogger.com
There were 11 images before I combined them into 1 image as above. As result, I managed to reduce 11 HTTP requests into only 1 HTTP request. This will reduce web hosting CPU usage too as lesser requests are made.
How to speed up WordPress blog with CSS sprites?
SpriteMe is a great tool to help you. It is even better if you have CSS knowledge. Else choosing a good optimized WordPress Theme will do the trick.
I tried Malaysia advertising companies like Advertlets, Admax Network, Innity Performance Network and Nuffnang. Only Nuffnang performs well compare to the others. However, Nuffnang has a serious slow loading issue on its ads. My blogs can’t even load when Nuffnang leaderboard ad on header ‘hang’. It needs to wait for several minutes until it is timed out then my blog can continue loading. Therefore, I removed both leaderboard and rectangle ad. Left only 1 skyscraper ad on sidebar. Why? My blog right sidebar is the second last component to be loaded (the last one is footer). So readers don’t have issue to read the article even when Nuffnang ads ‘hang’. Nuffnang ad will be gone from JayceOoi.com if it is still slow from loading. Besides, its revenue cannot catch up with JayceOoi.com traffic like Google AdSense and Vibrant. Does it worth to continue publish?
During lot of testing and optimizing blog with WebPagetest, Nuffnang ad is not the only one that slows down my blogs. ContextWeb ads slow down too. Therefore, lot of ContextWeb ads had been axed too. I published 7 ContextWeb ads in 1 page last time (yes, I know that’s a lot. What to do? I want more money. ). And reduced to 3 main types of ads (rectangle, leaderboard and skyscraper) now. Will further reduce it if ContextWeb revenue does not meet my target (now still don’t). Cut cut cut…
Reduce advertisements on blog == decrease in revenue. But I am willing to take it as readers like you and me don’t like to wait for long for 1 page to load, right? By removing those non-performing ads, it might increase other ad companies’ revenue due to faster loading time. Why? Vibrant In-Text Ads will only be loaded after everything is loaded (Ad script at footer). If Nuffnang ads ‘hang’, Vibrant ads will not be able to see the day light anymore. Do you get the point?
Is your blog filled with lot of advertisements? If yes, it’s time for your blog to keep fit.