When I was developing eViewVillage several years ago the last thing on my mind was the speed of the site. My goal was to launch a site with 50 online Canadian shops under a variety of different categories. The initial release offered 1 category per shop, no shop data (profiles) and direct links to merchants’ sites. I struggled to find 50 “victims” who would agree to allow me to advertise them for free based on an idea. I had nothing to show them. 🙂
Once the site was launched it evolved and grew. As more features and more shops were added it became noticeably slower to load.
In Nov. 2014 I upgraded from shared hosting to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) -and response time improved significantly.
As time went on the site continued to grow and the issue with speed returned. I noticed Google was labeling my site as “Site may be hacked”. I tried following Google’s instructions to resolve the issue but was unsuccessful. I discussed my site with someone I met at a WordPress meetup group who suggested the issue might be speed related. Though I was skeptical I decided to modify the code to only display 20 images by default. I suspected that displaying all shop images at once was causing the problem. After modifying the site the load time was reduced and “Site may be hacked” disappeared!
As time went on the site continued to grow. I now feature more than 670 shops! For months I’ve been frustrated by load time as I know it is affecting my SEO with Google and reducing traffic to the site. I’ve known for a while that a significant redesign was required so that all shops were not retrieved when the site loads.
As a self-taught web developer I’ve been learning as I go along. It was time to “pull up my sleeves” and start modifying the code to improve the efficiency of the design. This was a non-trivial, scary, confusing and complicated task but I finally took it upon myself to tackle this important issue.
I hope this “faster-loading” site improves the user experience and helps increase traffic to the site.