Tag Archives: website optimisation

My Website Works Again!

My website is 18 years old! It used to hum along like a sewing machine, but over the years it got slower and slower. Google doesn’t like that and marks you down.

I have spent so many frustrated hours, over the years, trying to understand the problem. Every promised remedy only ever delivers incremental speed boosts.

Then a throwaway line at the end of an article about cleaning databases got me looking at the problem differently.

I found it! Hidden away was an enormous file that was being loaded into every page in the background – a file that meant nothing and was quite unnecessary, that had been sitting there, unnoticed, for years.

The file was so large, I wasn’ allowed to find it or access it, but Knew it was there. My service provider kindly went in and deleted it for me – It was like red;easing one of those fat bergs you see on TV that clog up the sewers! Woosh! my pages started zipping along.

Best of all, the admin area, which had always been the slowest was now working smoothly again. It had become an unpleasant experience creating posts like this.

So frustrated was I that I looked for alternatives and had just set up with SubStack, a newsletter blogging site that is favoured by writers. I knew it wasn’t perfect, because it’s really for grown-up writers.

There are many things you can’t do on Substack, but thing that sold it to me was the newsletter angle. I could send my posts out as newsletters to subscribers. I used to be able to do this with my website.

In an effort to speed things up, I’d removed most of the plugins – little apps that add functionality to a website – that made the site interesting and useful.

There was one plugin that I suspected of being the real villain – Jetpack. It’s a plugin full of plugins – a Swiss Army knife of a plugin.

I thought I would risk it. Phew! The site didn’t slow down. But something else happened.

A newsletter subscription pop-up popped up! Just like it would on Substack.

While I had been away, Jetpack had updated . My website had become the website I’d been looking for elsewhere.

Substack had recently introduced a thing called notes – basically their version of twitter. That had rung alarm bells for me. Substack was obviously going to go down the same old social media route and I’d have to stick with them because of all the content I’d upload in the coming years.

There is nothing quite like owning your own patch. So, I shall be closing down the two Substack’s – mine and drawstuffrealeasy – and carrying on here.

Luckily, I’d not done too much work on them.

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