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04-25-2010, 08:34 PM
Post: #1 Site Optimization

My name is Travis Walters. I am the owner of It is in the process of becoming an environmental website. People will be able to connect with green businesses, purchase green products, and learn how to enrich their life with new ideas.

First off, I would like to say that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this page speed testing website. I have been a programmer for about 5 years now and I have not really taken page speed into consideration into building my websites until recently.

The first time I ran the page speed tool on this website I found there to be a large amount of time to get to the first byte of any webpage on my website (for the first run). I did not understand what this first byte concept ment. The website always loaded fast for me on subsequent runs so I did not know the problem existed. I ended up running a blank coldfusion file through the page speed tester and that first byte time was still there. That is when I realized this must be the time it takes for the Application.cfm file to process queries. On the first run, my website captures the IP address of a user to find geographic location to give better search results. Instead of returning the one result it needed right away, it was reading the entire database table. It was very inefficient so I fixed that issue and the time to the first byte is now a lot less.

* One suggestion that would be nice for is an easy-to-find description of what the first byte is. If the first byte takes longer than 2 or 3 seconds, a hint might pop-up that says you might want to check your database queries to make the first byte take less time.

I also combined about 5 javascript files that were in the header section of my webpages. I noticed over an entire second came off the load time. I guess this is because browsers wait until JavaScript files are loaded before processing the rest of the page? The merged JavaScript file is not minified or compressed yet. I will see what impact that has on page speed shortly.

I also plan to come up with a large list of questions I have about page speed that may enlighten other programmers that are just learning about this page speed concept.

Travis Walters
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