Skip to content

12 Factors Impacting Your Website Load Speed

12 Factors Impacting Your Website Load Speed

Website Load Speed

Website Load Speed

“Let’s walk through how pages load and where the roadblocks might be.

  1. Domain Resolution – When a page is requested, the domain is resolved through a name server. That request is almost instantaneous, but you can always shave a little off the request time by utilizing a managed DNS service.
  2. Load Balancing – Technology exists to deploy multiple servers to share the load of visitors across them rather than just putting the load all on one server. This technology offers the opportunity to continue to add more servers to your pool as demand continues to grow… sometimes in real-time.
  3. Page Requests – The path after the domain queries your content management system or commerce system to get the content. Your database indexing and hardware can impact the speed at which the content is retrieved.
  4. Page Caching – Most high-performant web servers offer the ability to bypass the request to the database and serve content from a cache.
  5. Header Requests – Within the content of a page, there are typically resources like scripts and style sheets that are requested before the page is loaded in the browser. Too many resources can drive up your page load times.
  6. Page Elements – Browsers typically make requests back to the same server one at a time. If there are multiple domains or subdomains, elements can be requested simultaneously. Some companies deploy multiple subdomains for scripts, style sheets, and media to leverage the way browsers make those requests. If you’re loading multiple scripts or stylesheets, combining them into the fewest number of files will improve performance as well.
  7. Content Delivery Network – Believe it or not, geography plays a role in the time it takes to load your site. If you’re close to your server, it’s quick. If you’re across a continent, it’s slower. A CDN can download your images regionally and serve them faster to your audience.
  8. Compression – Web servers that incorporate gzip compression of web resources, images that arecompressed, scripts and CSS that are minified to remove extraneous space can all have a dramatic improvement in website load speed.
  9. Lazy Loading – Why load images if the element isn’t actually visible on a page? If you notice on our site, as you scroll down the page the images are loaded once they need to become visible rather than all at once. Lazy loading can speed up your website load speed significantly.
  10. Hosted Libraries – Sites like Google are now hosting shared libraries for common JavaScript libraries and fonts. Because browsers cache these resources, even if the visitor is arriving at your site for the first time – they may already have a hosted library cached locally.
  11. Asynchronous Loading – Not everything has to be loaded immediately on a page. Elements like social sharing buttons, for example, can be incredibly slow and taxing on a browser. Tag Management Services can assist you in loading resources after the page is complete rather than slowing it down.
  12. Mobile Optimization – Responsive design is, rightly, all the rage right now to provide consistent user experiences regardless of your device’s viewport. But it also may be slowing down your mobile viewing – where a growing percentage of visitors are arriving.”



Posted on: September 5, 2015, 6:43 am Category: Uncategorized

Pew: Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015

Pew Research Center recently posted their newest report on social media – Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015. Like most Pew reports, it’s focused on American adults, aged 18 and older.

“In today’s world, people — particularly young people — are continually finding and adapting new ways of communicating electronically to fit their needs. Case in point: 2015 marks the first time Pew Research Center has asked specifically about mobile messaging apps as a separate kind of mobile activity apart from cell phone texting. And already, according to a new survey, 36% of smartphone owners report using messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Kik or iMessage, and 17% use apps that automatically delete sent messages such as Snapchat or Wickr.

Both of these kinds of apps are particularly popular among young adults. Half (49%) of smartphone owners ages 18 to 29 use messaging apps, while 41% use apps that automatically delete sent messages. These apps are free, and when connected to Wi-Fi, they do not use up SMS (Short Messaging Service) or other data. Furthermore, they offer a more private kind of social interaction than traditional social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.

The results in this report reflect the noteworthy and rapid emergence of different kinds of communications tools serving different social needs. These new tools add to an already complex and varied terrain of online and mobile interaction.

Overall, this survey found that 85% of adults are internet users and 67% are smartphone users. Throughout this report, analysis is largely based on these groups.

Along with asking about usage of mobile messaging apps, the survey also tracked usage of a variety of social media platforms and online forums. Among the key findings:

Pinterest and Instagram Usage Doubles Since 2012, Growth on Other Platforms is Slower

The analysis…”





Posted on: September 5, 2015, 6:38 am Category: Uncategorized

Technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed, says 140 years of data

Technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed, says 140 years of data

Study of census results in England and Wales since 1871 finds rise of machines has been a job creator rather than making working humans obsolete

“Here are the study’s main findings:

Hard, dangerous and dull jobs have declined

Agriculture jobs

Launderers decline

‘Caring’ jobs have risen

Technology has boosted jobs in knowledge-intensive sectors

Sharp rise in accountants

Technology has shifted consumption to more luxuries

Bar staff rise

… and left more money for grooming”



Posted on: September 5, 2015, 6:02 am Category: Uncategorized

Students’ Use of the College Library’s Electronic Resources

Students’ Use of the College Library’s Electronic Resources

“Electronic resources form an important part of a college library’s collections and services. Without those resources, it would be difficult for students to access the wealth of information available to researchers around the world.

But how (and how often) do college students engage with these resources?

In our previous post, “Top Four Reasons Students Use Their College Library,” we noted that more than half (51%) of the students who responded to our Spring 2015 Student Engagement Insights survey said that they’re at the library to use the online databases; also, 19% of the students said that they use the library to look up job and career information. This indicates that a good number of students do know about, and make use of, the library’s electronic resources.

However, we also wanted to better understand their use of resources (such as electronic databases and e-books) away from the library itself. Read below, and see if this information surprises you!

Do students use their college library’s electronic resources outside of the library?

How often do college students use their library's electronic resources from home? Cengage Learning

As we review these results, we see that a majority of students (54%) access their library’s electronic resources on an as-needed basis. This is understandable; some students don’t have as many research papers to write, and, consequently, need to use the databases less frequently. Others may simply prefer using the databases while they’re at the library, rather than from their homes (or elsewhere). Any way you look at it, these students appreciate the convenience of online access, but haven’t integrated use at home into a part of their study routines.

However, other students state that they’re more regular in their use. Eight percent use the library’s online resources from home once a month, and 12% use them weekly.

Meanwhile, some students make use of these resources quite frequently. Ten percent said that they’re using those resources at home a few times a week, whereas a small (but not unimportant) number, 3%, use them every day. We were curious about the factors that might encourage this rate of usage, so we reviewed our data to learn more. Of the students who access the library’s resources from home with this degree of frequency, we noticed that more than 60% take at least some of their classes online, which may indicate that they’re used to working on coursework from home, on their own computers. Likewise, more than half are “non-traditional” students over the age of 25; these students likely have many responsibilities and demands on their time, and would appreciate the ability to use those resources at their own convenience.

On the other hand, 12% of the responding students never access their library’s resources from home. Some may not have their own computer at home, which is a challenge in itself. However, other students may simply not know how to access them from home… or know that they can do so.

More than likely, you have a few of these students in your courses. If you’d like to promote the value of using these resources from home, talk about such benefits as:

  • The convenience of accessing the library’s resources from your own computer (especially appealing for those who keep busy schedules with work and family responsibilities on top of their school responsibilities)
  • The accuracy and authority of the information in the library’s databases (compared to what they’ll find if they rely exclusively on open-web resources)
  • The availability of online help available from the library, such as virtual reference services (such as live chats with librarians), research guides that will direct them to the databases and resources most appropriate to their projects, and information-literacy tutorials that will help them become better researchers.

eBooks at the College Library:  Do students check them out?

Of course, online databases aren’t the only electronic resources available from the library. E-books are also a popular way of accessing reading material. So, in our survey, we also asked students: “Do you check out e-books from your library?”

Of the respondents, 26% said yes and 74% said no, indicating that nearly three-quarters of college students may be missing out on a potential source of reading material for both academic and personal purposes.

What are some benefits of e-Books from the library? Here are some compelling reasons why students might want to consider checking them out:

  • Increased options. Some books are only available in e-book format. These may be “born-digital” books with no print counterpart; or, they may be books long out of print. By including e-books in their search results, students have more access to more information.
  • Ease of searching (and finding) information inside the book. Did you forget where you found that important quote? Search for the key words, and it will show up within seconds.
  • Less likelihood of losing the book. If students check out an e-book—which they might want to read around campus… or in their hometown—they can spare themselves the agony of losing that book and having to pay for its replacement. (Of course, they may still lose their electronic reader… which is another matter entirely.)
  • The weight! How many of us have walked from the library back to our dorms or apartments, laden down with the dozen or so books we need for a research project? If students check out available e-books, they’ll spare themselves possible physical pain. (This may seem like a small matter in the grand scheme of things, but it can be a consideration if you’re already recovering from shoulder or back injuries.)

Whether students are using the library’s resources for learning or leisure, they’ll surely appreciate the convenience of accessing them from their own computers or electronic readers. If your students aren’t yet taking advantage of this convenient service, talk to them about the benefits as you discuss your next research assignment.”


Posted on: September 4, 2015, 6:37 am Category: Uncategorized

Internet of Things: Opportunities and Challenges

Internet of Things: Opportunities and Challenges

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is emerging as the third wave in the development of the Internet. The 1990s’ Internet wave connected 1 billion users while the 2000s’ mobile wave connected another 2 billion. The IoT has the potential to connect 10X as many (28 billion)“things” to the Internet by 2020, ranging from bracelets to cars. Breakthroughs in the cost of sensors, processing power and bandwidth to connect devices are enabling ubiquitous connections right now. Smart products like smart watches and thermostats (Nest) are already gaining traction as stated in Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research’s report.


A number of significant technology changes have come together to enable the rise of the IoT. These include the following.

  • Cheap sensors – Sensor prices have dropped to an average 60 cents from $1.30 in the past 10 years.
  • Cheap bandwidth – The cost of bandwidth has also declined precipitously, by a factor of nearly 40X over the past 10 years.
  • Cheap processing – Similarly, processing costs have declined by nearly 60X over the past 10 years, enabling more devices to be not just connected, but smart enough to know what to do with all the new data they are generating or receiving.
  • Smartphones – Smartphones are now becoming the personal gateway to the IoT, serving as a remote control or hub for the connected home, connected car, or the health and fitness devices consumers are increasingly starting to wear.
  • Ubiquitous wireless coverage – With Wi-Fi coverage now ubiquitous, wireless connectivity is available for free or at a very low cost, given Wi-Fi utilizes unlicensed spectrum and thus does not require monthly access fees to a carrier.
  • Big data – As the IoT will by definition generate voluminous amounts of unstructured data, the availability of big data analytics is a key enabler.
  • IPv6 – Most networking equipment now supports IPv6, the newest version of the Internet Protocol (IP) standard that is intended to replace IPv4. IPv4 supports 32-bit addresses, which translates to about 4.3 billion addresses – a number that has become largely exhausted by all the connected devices globally. In contrast, IPv6 can support 128-bit addresses, translating to approximately 3.4 x 1038 addresses – an almost limitless number that can amply handle all conceivable IoT devices.

Industrial Internet

“The Internet of Things will give IT managers a lot to think about,” said Vernon Turner, Senior Vice President of Research at IDC. “Enterprises will have to address every IT discipline to effectively balance the deluge of data from devices that are connected to the corporate network. In addition, IoT will drive tough organizational structure changes in companies to allow innovation to be transparent to everyone, while creating new competitive business models and products.”

IoT is shaping modern business- manufacturing to marketing. A lot has been already changed since the inception of the Internet and many more will get changed with the greater Internet connectivity and reach. The global network connecting people, data and machines are transforming the modern business is also called Industrial Internet. The so called Industrial Internet had potential of $10 to $15 trillion to global GDP in next two decades.


Internet of Things Predictions

According to IDC , IoT will go through a hug growth in the coming years in many directions:

  1. IoT and the Cloud. Within the next five years, more than 90% of all IoT data will be hosted on service provider platforms as cloud computing reduces the complexity of supporting IoT “Data Blending”.
  2. IoT and security. Within two years, 90% of all IT networks will have an IoT-based security breach, although many will be considered “inconveniences.” Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) will be forced to adopt new IoT policies.
  3. IoT at the edge. By 2018, 40% of IoT-created data will be stored, processed, analyzed, and acted upon close to, or at the edge, of the network.
  4. IoT and network capacity. Within three years, 50% of IT networks will transition from having excess capacity to handle the additional IoT devices to being network constrained with nearly 10% of sites being overwhelmed.
  5. IoT and non-traditional infrastructure. By 2017, 90% of datacenter and enterprise systems management will rapidly adopt new business models to manage non-traditional infrastructure and BYOD device categories.
  6. IoT and vertical diversification. Today, over 50% of IoT activity is centered in manufacturing, transportation, smart city, and consumer applications, but within five years all industries will have rolled out IoT initiatives.
  7. IoT and the Smart City. Competing to build innovative and sustainable smart cities, local government will represent more than 25% of all government external spending to deploy, manage, and realize the business value of the IoT by 2018.
  8. IoT and embedded systems. By 2018, 60% of IT solutions originally developed as proprietary, closed-industry solutions will become open-sourced allowing a rush of vertical-driven IoT markets to form.
  9. IoT and wearables. Within five years, 40% of wearables will have evolved into a viable consumer mass market alternative to smartphones.
  10. IoT and millennials. By 2018, 16% of the population will be Millennials and will be accelerating IoT adoption due to their reality of living in a connected world.

Challenges facing IoT

IoT is shaping human life with greater connectivity and ultimate functionality through ubiquitous networking to the Internet. It will be more personal and predictive and merge the physical world and the virtual world to create a highly personalized and often predictive connected experience. With all the promises and potential, IoT still has to resolve three major issues, unified standards for devices, privacy and security. Without the consideration of strong security at all joints of the IoT and protection of data, the progress of IoT will be hindered by litigations and social resistance. The expansion of IoT be slow without common standards for the connected devices or sensers .”


Posted on: September 4, 2015, 6:22 am Category: Uncategorized



From the amazing Ned Potter.  Now I’m inspired to create a set for FOPL in Ontario.

“I’m always struck by just how many people use libraries in the UK. It’s a mind-bogglingly huge amount.

When we hear about the figures they’re always couched in terms of reductions – CIPFA tells us about the continuing decline, noting that UK visits to public libraries in 2013-14 fell to 282 million, from 288 million the previous year. I’m not surprised it fell – we lost 49 branches and 1,000 full-time-equivalent staff in the same period.

But why do we never take the figures in isolation? 282 million visits! That’s MASSIVE. And then I started wondering how that compared with other things we visit in the UK. I came up with a list of as many as I could think of, and guess what? We visit libraries more than we visit ANYTHING else. In fact, we visit libraries twice as often as we visit football matches, theatres, A&E and the Church combined.

I mean come on!

So inspired by some utter drivel from the Telegraph about a new Government initiative about libraries (more on which another time), I’ve come up with some different ways of expressing the comparisons between how often we visit libraries versus other things we visit.

Everything below has no licence attached to it so please use it however you wish – tweet it, blog it, embed it, remix it, change it, and no need to attribute anything (except the original data sources). I just want this message to go as far and wide as possible. I’ve added various buttons to tweet the individual elements, or you can tweet a link to the entire post:

Library usage stats broken down into smaller timeframes

I’d be really keen for people to make their own versions of these – I’m sure we can do better than what I’ve come up with below. This is the perfect size to tweet as it won’t need expanding to be viewed on Twitter.

Here are all the subdivisions if anyone’s feeling creative with comparisons:

  • 282 million library visits per year
  • 23.5 million library visits each month
  • 5.423 million library visits per week
  • 772,602 library visits per day
  • 32,191 library visits per hour
  • 536 library visits per minute
  • 8.9 library visits per second. For every second! Of the entire year! I mean seriously, how the hell can people claim we don’t need libraries any more?

Library usage stats on Sway

Here’s the first version of the stats. It’s done using Sway, a new tool from Microsoft. Direct link to the presentation here.

Clicking the button above will allow you to tweet a link to that Sway presentation. I also did avertical scrolling Sway in a slightly different style – take your pick! Both Sways allow duplication, so if you want to take them as a starting point to make your own version, feel free – improve and enhance it.

Library usage stats on Slideshare

A slightly different approach for this one – a teaser format where the most popular activity isn’t revealed until the very end. Here’s a link direct to the slides.

The button above will tweet a link to the Slideshare presentation.

The slides were Featured on Slideshare’s homepage and also tweeted by the CEO of the Arts Council, so hopefully we’re getting beyond the echo-chamber!

Library usage stats on video

Here’s a YouTube video – the same statistics as in the slides, but this time made in PowToon.

The button above will tweet a link to the YouTube video.

Library usage stats as an infographic

This is on the way! I’m working with someone who is much better at this sort of thing than me – but in the meantime the more the merrier, so if you can express the figures in a compelling way then get infographicing…

Library usage stats as a graph

Thanks to @AVwoman for this! What she calls the “My God, Aren’t Libraries Stupidly Popular!” graph…

Library usage stats: the raw figures

Here are all the raw figures I collected – if you take these and do something interesting with them, let me know in a comment and I’ll add whatever it is to this list!

230 million library visits in England (282 million in UK):

Cinemas: 165.5 million admissions:

Church of England: 52 million visits:

The UK itself: 32.8 million visits from overseas in 2013:–2013.html

Theatre: 22 million attendees in 2013:

Hospital A&E Departments: 18.5 million visits

Premier League Football: 13.9 million total attendance

There used to be Museums and Galleries figures here, but they turned out to be just for DCMS owned insitutions so I’ve removed them – thanks to Ian Clark for the heads-up.

Library usage stats: as a Google doc

And finally, if you want to do stuff with the data it may be useful to have it in a spreadsheet: here’s a Google doc. It’s set to ‘anyone can view’ – if you want to edit or add to the data etc just make your own copy.

What other people are doing with the stats

The first remix has arrived! Really pleased that Adlib has redone the graphic at the top of this page but for Canadian libraries.

I hope others will be encouraged to take this basic idea and run with it – either by finding new ways to express the information, or finding new information, or redoing some of these resources for different parts of the world…

Spread these messages however you want, as far as you can. And keep the statistics to hand – every time someone says ‘we don’t need libraries in the digital age’ we can respond ‘actually 772,000 people in the UK will need them today alone!’ and all the rest of it.

Let’s do this!”


Posted on: September 3, 2015, 6:38 am Category: Uncategorized

A Quick Reference Guide for Social Video (Infographic)

A Quick Reference Guide for Social Video (Infographic)



Posted on: September 3, 2015, 6:35 am Category: Uncategorized