Tech Tools for Community Publishers

Breakout session: Round 1

Tech Tools for Community Publishers– Moderated by Kenny Katzgrau and John Crepezzi,  owners of Broadstreet Ads, an interactive ad platform. Both are coders and developers. John was formerly lead engineer for Patch. Kenny was formerly with Yahoo Ad Exchange.

These tech tips will improve the performance of your site.

Site load speed is important. You can speed up your site by being aware of what kinds of things slow your site down and how to avoid them.

1. Use an ad server. Don’t serve ads from your CMS.  Good free adservers are  OpenX and Doubleclick for Publishers. Every time your server has to serve up images (such as banner ads) it increases stress on your server, slows your site down.

2. Page caching & minifying. Think about the stuff that’s behind the page. Every plugin you install involves javascript or CSS running behind the page. Every javascript tag requires your server to go to another server to download the javascript.

Page caching saves (caches) your site for a period of time so that your entire site doesn’t have to be pulled up each and every time.

Also you don’t need to load all your CSS and JS files separately. This throws a lot of overhead your server doesn’t need. You can minify your site — combine and load JS and CSS files all at once.

3. Turn off everything you’re not using. Don’t leave plugins and modules you’re not using “turned on” or enabled.

4. Use other platforms to serve things up on your site: YouTube or Vimeo for videos, Disqus or Facebook comments.

5. Don’t have user signups unless absolutely necessary. It makes it hard to migrate to another CMS.

6. Have a development site on your local machine — a clone of your live site — so you can test everything before putting it on your live site — avoid screwing your site up – or worse, breaking it.

7. Subscribe to Pingdom, a free site monitoring service that notifies you if your site is down. You can get notifications by email or SMS message..

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