What CloudFlare and MaxCDN did for my page load times

A while ago I decided to test some services that could speed up my site worldwide. I took some steps that decreased my page load time immediately:

  • Installed the W3 Total Cache plugin (I'm a WordPress user) to set cache headers, minify CSS and JS, etc.
  • Installed the Smush.it plugin to optimize my images without lossing quality (lossless)
  • Transferred my site to a new hosting provider/solution

This first move was already a good one, page load times decreased and my site felt fast. But, as I could see in Google Analytics the page load times outside the Netherlands (where my hosting provider hosts) weren't as good as I hoped. So I took the next step by adding a CDN to my site. This was the situation before any optimization:

situation1

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Google Analytics introduces a Change History log

Great news, my buddy Tim Bakker told me Google introduced a new Change History feature. And when you login to your analytics account you will see this message:

changehistory

With this new feature you will be able to see which account changed what to your account. This includes:

  • Accounts: created, deleted
  • Users: added, deleted, changed
  • Goals: created, deleted, changed
  • Filters: created, deleted, changed

In one word: awesome. From now on you can see if the requested goal changes are processed by your Web Analytics consultant. Or who applied a filter that blocked all data from a specific profile.

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Google Analytics Retargeting for AdWords and AdBlock software

Just a quick post about the retargeting (remarketing) option in Google Analytics. July '12 Google launched a new feature in Google Analytics that made it possible to retarget a specific group of visitors. You only need to change this line in the Google Analytics Tracking Script from:

ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';

To:

ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + 'stats.g.doubleclick.net/dc.js';

The script will be loaded from the doubleclick domain and a third party cookie is set. That cookie can be used to target visitors on other sites that have been on your site.

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