Recently I came across Google’s PageSpeed checker extension for Chrome’s developer tools.  Page speed in general has always been a common sense thing for me. I think that is one skill that developers who grew up in the dial-up era vs the broadband era understand a little better than most. With that said I’ve apparently gotten very lazy! Nearly all my website properties were testing awfully low and slow.

The increase of widely available high-speed internet is breeding a NEW type of user. This new generation of user is far less patient. Your websites MUST be quick and fast or they move on. Google recognizes this. While there is some debate about your page speed affecting your SERP (Serach Engine Results Page) rank it just makes efficient sense to do everything you can for your clients and yourself when it comes to speed.  Why would Google make all of these speed tools and give you graphs about speed inside their Webmaster Tools if it wasn’t a factor?

To make your sites faster you simply have to make them smaller! This is what gzip does for you.

This video from Google explains gzip in some simple terms.

I tried to find any reason to NOT use gzip in this day and age.

There is NONE!

How to implement gzip in a few seconds

Apache Users

Apache users can simply put these lines in an .htaccess file at the root of there website directory. This covers most of your bases.

PHP Users

PHP has a nice gzip object that will detect the browsers available compression type and serve up the page accordingly. I just add this line to the top of any PHP files in my web projects.

Optionally you should be able to add: AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-php text/html to the .htaccess code above but I have not tested it.

Windows IIS Users

I’m not one but it looks pretty straight forward. Maybe this Stackoverflow thread will help you.

Google PageSpeed Checker Quirks with CSS and JS files.

During my testing a spent a great deal of time wondering WHY the PageSpeed tool was constantly telling me my JS and CSS weren’t being compressed. Nearly every other gzip testing utility was telling me they were. In the end I couldn’t figure it out and eventually they went away.  If you are worried just try another tool like http://gzipwtf.com/

Are there other ways to make my site smaller?

  • Compress/Minimize your Javascript.
  • Minimize your CSS files.
  • Only serve up what you are going to have the USER be using!
  • Scale your images.

I obviously violate a few of these rules but that doesn’t mean you have to!

Resources

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Cool little tool for people who work late at night and have brain trouble.

Just wanted to help out anyone else who is using WooCommerce with an old not supported template. The instructions from The Woo folks blinded me to a painfully obvious solution to my problem.

I followed the instructions by duplicating page.php to woocommerce.php and replacing “the loop” with:

But I was still not having my “Individual Product” pages being processed though the WooCommerce loop at all. They were being treated like regular posts.

The light bulb FINALLY went off that my old template had a “single.php” file and that WooCommerce products were a custom post type of “product.”

So I duplicated my single.php to single-product.php (for the custom post type)and replace “the loop” with:

PRESTO! My individual products were now working!

So in the end if you have an old template you might need to make TWO files and not just the one:

page.php -> woocommerce.php
single.php -> single-product.php

If anything I hope this gets into the ether. I google’d forever and couldn’t find squat about my problem. WooCommerce is pretty awesome though once you get the hang of it.

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In our house we have an iPad 3 and the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity. I also have an 8 year old little girl that is constantly wanting to play games with me (both a blessing and a curse I assure you). She is still a kid and I don’t really need her to be submerged in the world of PC gaming so that leaves us with the tablets/phones. These are the games I’ve found that we can play together.

minecraft

Minecraft

Minecraft is our number 1 pick usually. She can run around and play pretend things while I work on the fortress and slay zombies.

tosstheball

Toss The Ball

A nice throw back to Skee Ball. She might not ever experience a good game of Skee Ball and the “Boss-Walk” through the arcade with a fist full of tickets. This is as close as we get for now.

minimotor

Mini-motor

It reminds me of Micro Machines. I’m not sure they even make them anymore but it was as close to a real life SIMs as you could get when I was a kid. It is a fun top down racer. It took her a little while to master the controls and now she beats me all the time.

muffinknight

Muffin Knight

We just got this one. You bounce around as two little guys on the screen and collect muffins to upgrade yourself to the different classes.

Resources

http://android.appstorm.net/roundups/games-roundups/the-best-android-ios-cross-platform-multiplayer-games/

http://mashable.com/2011/11/25/iphone-android-multiplayer-games/

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The Authorize.net May 2013 Developer Newsletter had some pretty cool “refresher” videos about using Authorize.net from the developer standpoint. Seasoned developers and new developers can always benefit from being reminded about the basics.

New Developer Video Training

We’ve created a series of training videos to help you ramp up and refresh your knowledge about payments as you build your Authorize.Net integrations. The new training videos include:

Payment Fundamentals for Developers (6 minutes)
Fraud and Verified Merchant Seal (7 minutes)
Standards, Compliance and Security (9 minutes)
Visit the new training page in the developer center to check out the new videos today.

Learning the fundamentals of how the payment process works will better prepare you to engage with your clients.

Learn about protecting your merchants from fraudulent transactions and implementing the Verified Merchant Seal.

Learn about important payment industry security standards for accepting secure payments.

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