I recently started another blog using Jykell and decided to use the Travelogue theme. It uses images in the background for a nice effect. I wanted to know how fast the page loads. A quick Google search lead me to http://www.webpagetest.org/. Creating fast loading pages is not a trivial matter.

The first problem on my site was the image size. I turned up the compression to the point where one can see artifacts. This isn’t a problem for the background images, but for other images it isn’t a good solution.

The second problem is I am not compressing my images or my JavaScript and CSS. Googling for compress images jeykll quickly leads one to the jekyll-assets pipeline plugin. That will go on the todo list.

The third problem was not enabling browser caching for static assets. Not setting a max-age, or expires header means that the browser doesn’t use strong caching. That is, the browser still issues the request, but receives a 304 not modified response and serves it from the cache. Better than nothing, but still not optimal.

Finally, the site tester has a big black X beside “effective use of CDNs”. I looked into CloudFlare and it seems like a good idea. My DNS resolution will likely be faster, I can reduce the load on my hosting server, get analytics, geo-replicated CDN and don’t need to worry about DDoS attacks. And this all for free! Seems like a good idea.

Before making any changes, I will setup daily speed tests using web page test’s REST API. You can only improve what you can measure, or so the saying goes.