YSlow – Test Your Site’s Performance

Test your site’s performance with YSlow browser extension for detailed performance analysis at the click of a button

YSlow website speed analyser

These days everyone seems to be talking about website performance, and speed in particular. As time goes on, the major search engines are giving more and more weight to speed in their ranking algorithms.

If you want to know how fast your site is, along with a detailed breakdown of the contributing factors, then there is a fantastic free tool you can use called YSlow. It’s available as an extension for all major browsers and is as simple to use as literally clicking a button.

Here is a screen shot of the kind of information it gives you:

YSlow - test your site's performance

This kind of detailed breakdown gives you actionable steps you can take to improve your site’s performance and thereby keep the search engines “happy.” This can be invaluable if you want to keep or gain the edge over other sites offering similar products and services. 

If you find that your site is performing at lower than a “B,” you will probably want to take steps to improve the situation. There are several things you can do ranging from the simple to the involved, and you may want to bring in outside help if this kind of thing either baffles or bores you!

Once you have checked out how your site performs with YSlow, you might find it interesting to try the tool on other sites to gain useful insights. I hope you enjoy using YSlow!

Alternatives, Possibilities and Choices

Alternatives, Possibilities and Choices

Today I want to talk about another excellent thinking tool from Edward de Bono which has many applications in web design and development.

It’s called Alternatives, Possibilities and Choices (APC for short).

The basic premise is that we are educated, and have possibly evolved, to make use of the first solution to a problem that presents itself to our minds. However, very often, this first solution is not the optimal one!

The topic ties in with a very interesting problem from decision theory and daily life: the secretary problem, which explores the fundamental human dilemma of the look/leap balance.

The basic message is:

The first solution you think of is probably not the best!

When it comes to considering solutions, you really should “overthink” – keep going with ideas for longer than you think you need to, and then decide on the best one. There are more precise and specific details for those interested, but even just as a basic “rule of thumb” this approach can transform your decision making process.

The power of de Bono’s thinking tools is often underestimated due to their simplicity. However they actually come from years of research and refinement and are used effectively in many top companies and in schools throughout the world. Some more info can be found here: Alternatives, Possibilities and Choices.

May you make good decisions from abundant options.

Online Maths Tuition

online maths tuition

On a related topic… I’ve now started giving online maths lessons via Skype.

My tuition website is at Devon Maths Tuition

Online lessons are an excellent way for students around the world to get close individual attention while they learn and prepare for Maths GCSE and other exams. I have a webcam pointing to a whiteboard where I can write and draw as I would in a classroom, and I can also share files easily and even do screen-sharing if we are working on digital material.

Whether you are local or halfway across the world (my latest student is from Holland), this can be a brilliant way to boost your child’s or you own confidence and ability with maths in a very focused way.

You can contact me by phone, email or using the contact form here.