Below shows the average speed of 50 on-peak reloads in YSlow (version 2) using Firefox on the homepage.
The day after I made the switch, a number of people actually messaged me saying they noticed how the site was noticeably faster, and asking if I had made any changes.
The most obvious barometer is the actual ranking in the search engines, but this is something that takes time for Google to figure out, and I was already sitting at number 2 in Google for the keyword “passive income”, which is where I’ve been for over a year, right behind Wikipedia.
Even some of the experts have keywords that have been sitting right behind Wikipedia for ages without any movement.
Website speed is important not only because a faster site can improve user experience, but Google has made public that they take into account website speed when determining search engine rankings. Even with a CDN (content-delivery network), which is supposed to drastically speed up a website’s load time – SPI was still slow, and I had to do something.
Search Engine Optimization and Coding The current SPI Word Press theme had undergone several changes from 3 different programmers, and a result the coding on the backend of the site became a complete mess.
If anything, I was expecting the site to go down in rankings, which is what happens sometimes when there’s a major change to a website’s coding. I immediately shared this on my Facebook page and other people confirmed that I really did overtake Wikipedia for the #1 position in Google.
3 Days after the switch to Thesis, I see this in my inbox (: The box with the “1” in it is Green because it moved up in ranking – from #2 to #1 – surpassing Wikipedia for the first time ever! I took this screenshot from immediately: Then, within a few hours, I was getting more messages from people on Facebook saying I was no longer ranking at #1. 🙁 Then, for some weird reason, it kept bouncing back and forth until the next day when it seemed to settle back at #2.
In What Else is Wrong With the SPI Blog – SEO Mistakes, I mention that in a paid SEO audit from Joost De Valk of Yoast.com, he reported that the SEO of my site was terrible.
There were problems with the heading structures, incompatibilities with some of the plugins, slow page load time (again), among other issues. Lead By Example I talk a lot about site improvements and SEO and it would be hypocritical of me not to have a well optimized, fast loading website myself.