Do we seem faster to you?

If you’ve been hanging around The Solid Signal Blog during the last month, you might have noticed something. There’s a little more spring in the old girl’s step, isn’t there? Everything seems to pop up at you just a little faster. You might have thought you were imagining it. But, you’re not.

Solid Signal Blogs version 1 – 3

When this blog launched in 2007, it used the tools there were at the time. The results were … ok, but it wasn’t really super thrilling.

In 2012, we moved to Blog 2.0, based off the vBulletin CMS platform. At one point, we were the largest blog in the world using that platform.

You might remember that our current blog design, which I’ll call Blog 3.0, took shape in 2018. Externally, it hasn’t changed a lot. There have been a lot of little changes, but it’s still based on a tried-and-true platform and bulletproof hosting.

Call it… Blog 3.5?

For the last few months, we have been working overtime to get everything ready for Google’s next breakthrough. They call it Core Web Vitals, and in addition to putting a priority on what your web site says, it also puts a priority on how fast it loads. It seems people are about 10 times more likely to just say “forget about it” if a site takes longer than 5 seconds to load. I have to say based on my personal experience, I agree.

So we went to work. Using pro-quality analysis tools, we looked at everywhere that we could save a fraction of a second and still give you a good experience. It turns out there were a lot of them. I wouldn’t say this blog was terribly bad to begin with… but it now loads about 40% faster on most pages. That’s a combination of a lot of factors, from how its database runs to how the images are stored. It took a lot of work, and between you and me, I don’t expect Google to be sending me a thank you note. But it was still the right thing to do, and I’m glad our team did it.

When will we see Blog 4.0?

That’s a great question. A lot of blogs have moved to a much “sexier” look in past years, but with this new Core Web Vitals philosophy, I expect a lot of that extra sizzle to get cut back. After all, what use is a good looking site if Google won’t send people there?

It’s really got me thinking about the future of this blog, and what to do next. I’d like to think about some sort of major refresh sometime before 2023, but unlike most folks I don’t just do stuff to make it look pretty. If I can find a way to deliver a compelling and exciting experience for you, my Solid Signal Blog faithful, I’ll do it. Otherwise I’ll focus on delivering great content, rather than just a pretty face. Deal?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.