A Twisted Take on Bunnies and Reptiles

Last Update: July 09, 2015

As a Webmaster (yes, that's YOU!), you have a lot of responsibility.

There are so many things to keep track of to maintain a good quality website that at times the task can become rather daunting. Just take a breath, you're trying to do the work that many companies spend millions on every year, utilizing huge teams of designers, writers, SEO black hats and seasoned marketers.

You're doing a fine job!

Today, however, I want to add another dish to your plate! You're probably saying, "Good grief!" I know, is not like you don't have enough to do already! Just relax, this time I'll show you a little trick that can help you get your site up to speeds like the "big boys" and some of the work is neatly handled for you. This is for the somewhat technically inclined, and not something the new kid on the block should be worried about right now. For now, let's touch upon one of Aesop's fables for a moment...

The Tortoise and the Hare

We all know this childhood story, right? The one about the somewhat cocky rabbit that was always showing off his talents and speed in front of the lowly, slowly little turtle? Well, the moral that's seems to be gained most from the story is one that resembles the following statement:

"Slow and Steady Wins the Race."

Now I don't know about your take on this, but is "slow and steady" really what we're looking for on the users experience (UX) end of our website? Um, I don't think so!

What we should first understand is the REAL MORAL to the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. It wasn't about speed at all, it was about arrogance. It was more about the rabbit being a complete "tool" and blowing it by falling asleep at the wheel, which allowed the slow-moving tortoise to take the lead. In real life, the tortoise had about as much of a chance to beat the hare as a snowman has to survive in an Arizona Walmart parking lot!

Maybe Two Morals are Better Than One

So as webmasters, what is the take away here? From the way I'm looking at it, it seems there are two key components to the story that should be gathered. One is obvious, the other may not be so much for some...
  1. We all know that a rabbit will always beat a turtle in a straight-on foot race.
  2. It's not good to get too comfortable in your confidence, or someone's bound to take the lead from you.

How does this apply to us?

Speed for one. The user on the other end of your website wants it fast and he/she wants it now. Fail to deliver on that factor alone and your audience is clicking away to find another webmaster who'll give them what they want.

Don't get too comfortable. Sure you have 50 pages of content floating out there in cyberspace. What happens when you competition creates his 51st blog post and starts to steal some of your traffic? Ouch... It's a whole lot easier to maintain your traffic flow through consistent behavior than it is to try and chase it down and get it back from someone who's driving away with it in their back pocket.

So stay consistent. Optimize often. And never, ever stop running (your website).

Had that silly bunny just followed through with what he said he was going to do, he would have left that turtle in the dust...

P.S. Silly me, I almost forgot! If you want to see how your site is performing from the other side of the web, take a look at these couple of tools every webmaster should utilize at some point or another. Bare in mind that all of the tweaks recommended are not things your average Joe can do, or should even worry about. But for those webmasters that really want to get their hands dirty under the hood. Check 'm out...

Google PageSpeed Insights: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insi...

GetMetrix (uses Google PS and YSlow): https://gtmetrix.com/

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JewelCarol Premium
I always says Slow and steady wins the race, lol. ;))
whitsunday Premium
Thank you for this great info.
boucherda Premium
Let's hear it for the Tortoise!!
SarahAnt Premium
I like the tools but now I need to know how to fix the issues (mainly image optimisation!) - any ideas?!?
LelandBest Premium
Google PageSpeed Insights actually makes the effort to help you out...along with clickable links to the FAQ at each rule that tell you how to optimize the various aspects of your pages, they provide a downloadable .zip file containing what it suggests as "minified" .html and .css files along with copies of your images that are already compressed for your use!

Simply download the .zip file and upload the files via FTP to your site and replace your existing files! (I recommend you backup your original files before doing this)

This isn't something for the FTP challenged, but it's not that difficult.

Hope that helps!
SarahAnt Premium
Great reply. Thanks for that Leland! Sarah
LelandBest Premium
You're very welcome. Don't expect to get the numbers to 100%, it's really not possible unless you have an IT team tweaking every aspect of your caching, images and .js scripts. It's a lot to stay on top of.

Focus more on your page loading speeds. When I was notified by another that my page was testing at 20 sec. I knew I had to optimize.

It took me a full day to get results from the 60-70 percentile to this...