People think that Google is some mysterious organisation with a mythical algorithm that searches the web and gives you the answers you need. The reality is Google’s algorithm isn’t that difficult to decode. At least the intentions of it aren’t. I will be going into detail in a future post how Google ranks websites, for now I am going to focus on one aspect, page speed.
Google’s sole objective is to find the website that best answers your query. Google tracks which results you click on, how long you spent on the site and whether you find the site so interesting that you stick around. The results are the output of Google’s product and therefore bad results make Google look bad.
So if your site takes a long time to load, visitors will get bored of waiting and try another link. As a result your website moves down the rankings as Google doesn’t want to show slow pages to it’s users.
You could write the best content in the world but if your page takes 10 seconds to load, no one is going to read it.
I remember when I created my first website back in 2001. A very simple site with a few flash games and links to useful pages. Getting a website up and running then was a lot harder than it is today. I wish I had a guide like this to show me how to start a blog.
There were few resources for how to actually do it, WordPress was still a couple of years away from being developed and everything had to be set up manually. I actually bought a book, a physical book, as the Kindle hadn’t been invented yet. This took me through the steps on registering a domain and uploading my files via FTP to a webserver.
Things are a lot simpler these days with 1-Click installs, a wide variety of content systems to choose from and cheap web hosting. However, even though things are easier people still put off creating their own blog. I get asked all the time by people and fellow software developers how to start a blog. Many saying “I really should get round to doing that” but never do. A blog can be a great way to get exposure as a software developer, give back to the community and even make money.
So on that note, stop what you are doing and bookmark this page now. If you have half an hour spare, stay here and we will go through the steps now and you will have a website setup by the time you finish this post.
I am big fan of Vagrant. I first discovered Vagrant when I was looking for ways of creating a development environment that I could transfer between various computers (I had a desktop and laptop I regularly worked on). I even toyed with the idea of installing a Linux distro on a fast USB 3 stick to carry round. It was then, while in my search for the perfect development environment that I discovered Vagrant. However I haven’t got Vagrant on Windows 10 working until now.
Vagrant was working fine the last time I used it, mainly for WordPress theme development. I haven’t touched it for about 6 months now but after typing vagrant up and waiting I was soon greeted with this: