In my last post I talked about some measures that I’ve taken to speed up my WordPress blog and while this is something I have to do every now and again I’m lucky enough not to have to worry about my PC. I used to worry about it some time back when I used to take ages deleting old files and stuff in order to get the old gal to go a little faster but now I’ve got a little utility to do it for me.
The program I use is called TuneUp Utilities and I’ve set it up to scan my computer every Friday. So, every Friday at 5.15 pm it searches the hard drive and corrects any registry problems, removes invalid shortcuts, frees up disk space and optimizes hard disk performance. As you can see from the following image of the start page although my PC is fully optimized I have one problem that threatens my overall computer health. Clicking on the link tells me that I haven’t checked the hard drive for errors over the last three months and that I should check it for errors using Tuneup Disk Doctor which it’s now doing as I write this post.
I admit it, I’ve been slack because although it does a rudimentary cleanup of the system during it’s weekly checkup I do need to manually optimize it occasionally just so as to make sure it doesn’t delete files that I still need.
What I like most about it is it’s ease of use as everything works at a click of the mouse and whenever it comes across a problem it tells me clearly what it is and gives me a selection of solutions that will resolve the problem that is easy to follow. Just as an example, as part of the optimization process it presented me with a list of programs that were rarely used and upon my order removed them from the computer. A whole lot easier than going through the ‘Add Remove Programs’ Windows option.
So, just to summarize here are some of the tasks that TuneUp Utilities will do for you.
- Secure data protection
- Reliable data recovery
- Dependable registry cleaning
- User friendly controls
- Simple and thorough 1-click maintenance
- Individual Windows styling
If your computer isn’t running at it’s optimum level perhaps it’s time you tackled the problem by utilizing TuneUp Utilities arsenal and what better way than by making use of their free trial offer.
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I’ve heard said that Google is now including the time it takes a page to load as part of it’s algorithm when calculating a site’s PR. Too bad I don’t give a crap about what PR Google gives me, but I am concerned about those who come to read my blogs. That being the case I am always wary of the amount of plugins I install so before adding any new ones I first have to decide which one get’s the boot.
I also make sure that any images I include in headers and stuff are always optimized to save on loading time. Several of the plugins I used are also meant to increase the speed of this blog. They include.
- Clean Up: As WordPress auto saves your posts these extra files increases the size of your MSQL database and this plugin removes those extra files.
- WP-Cache: I used to use Super Cache but it was acting up so I reverted to this plugin which works very well. Basically it caches your files thereby improving the loading time of those sites using it.
- WP Minify: “This plugin helps you easily integrate the Minify engine into your WordPress blog. Once enabled, this plugin will combine and compress JS and CSS files to improve page load time”
- WP Widget Cache: Used in conjunction with WP-Cache this plugin caches the output of your blog widgets and is supposed to reduce the SQL queries to the database thereby speeding up the site.
There are other things that can also speed up your blog and some of these were brought to my attention by Sheryl Loch of The Internet Marketers Guild, of which I am a member. Her post, Speeding Up Your Site With YSlow, introduced me to a very useful FireFox plugin, a plugin that show you your blog’s speed as well as giving hints as to how to improve it.
I urge you to read that post as Brad, her husband, has very kindly taken upon himself to try to improve this blog’s speed. You may want to follow that conversation as it may well help you to improve the speed of your blog.
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In my last post about whether or not you’re providing value to your readers I said that the term value would mean “different things for different people and there is no way you can please everybody so there is no use in trying.” I was thinking about that today and I came to the conclusion that particular statement just didn’t cut it, that perhaps it needed a post all of it’s own.
I know if I was to look at my own life I could safely say that I’m the type of guy that is always trying to please everyone around me. Business wise it makes sense as you want to make sure that your customers are always satisfied and personal wise it also makes perfect sense because you also want to make your loved ones are happy. But at what cost?
Let’s not kid ourselves, keeping others happy always comes at a cost and we’re the ones that are paying for it. The problem is that for some people they don’t know when to say no and they are so busy trying to keep others happy that it affects their own quality of life. This is not a good thing and learning to say no once in awhile won’t make you a bad person. Even when it comes to business there are times when the customer has to realize that you can’t just drop everything for something that can wait until tomorrow.
I used to have the tendency to let this infect my blogging life. I used to worry about every post. Was it up to scratch? Will people like it? Will someone leave a comment and if they do will I be able to respond in kind, and you know what, it didn’t make my posts any better, in fact it made them worse and it almost ended my blogging career.
That’s when I decided I wasn’t going to worry about trying to please everyone. I decided it was an impossible task and rather than let it ruin my blogging experience I decided to throw the idea of pleasing everyone out the cyber window. Almost immediately blogging became enjoyable again, I felt one with the blogging world and it showed it my posts. No longer strained and withdrawn they jumped to life and my witty lovable self started to shine through.
Truth be told no matter how much you worry about stuff it’s not going to change the state of the way things are. Just do your best enjoying the process and bask in the knowledge that you just can’t please everyone but at least those few you did please were nice enough to leave a comment. What’s that, they only wanted a link back to their site? Well tough titties, it’s still a damn comment.
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