For those unaware, I recently switched this blog from a self-hosted WordPress instance to Blogger.com. The reason: Blogger’s 100% uptime reputation and near instantaneous response. More on that in another post. That’s why I was also very excited when my friend Josh Fraser, founder of Eventvue, came to me with his next new project asking if I’d try it. It is called Torbit, and its purpose is to make your site faster.
Matt Cutts himself has said that site speed is a factor of site ranking. In addition, research by Akamai shows that 40% of users leave websites if they take more than 2 seconds to load. That can mean serious money and loss in sales if not taken under control.
There are many strategies for increasing site speed. On WordPress, there are many cache plugins that can be installed. You can make many configurations on the server to cache images, compress files, and speed up compile time on scripts. You can remove plugins from 3rd party sites that take too long to load. You can use smaller graphics, or just write faster, more optimized code.
All of these can significantly speed up a site, but they can also take significant time to worry about. Torbit takes care of the worry and makes caching of website content simple, saving you time and making you money.
With a simple configuration of your DNS, you point your site’s DNS servers to Torbit’s. Torbit then handles the requests, and breaks apart the slow components of your site, caching the more static elements and 3rd party calls, compressing the files that need to be compressed, and significantly speeding up your site with practically the click of a button. All that data is then sent back to the user in a cached, very fast, format.
Looking at the site speed on webpagetest.org, it takes 12.621 seconds to load this site’s home page and all of the graphics and files that load on it on first load before it gets cached by Torbit. Then, upon second load after it has received the cache from Torbit it takes 3.3 seconds to load. That’s 1/4 the time! That also makes this site now 50% faster than all sites on the web, according to SEOMoz.
Torbit has a limited Beta at the moment that you can sign up for by filling out the form on their site. I am told there is a charge for the service, but for a business trying to make money, especially which doesn’t have many resources to worry about the site optimization themselves, this should be well worth the cost. I’m very impressed with Torbit, and you can see by the sheer speed this site loads in your browser.