Watch Out For Website Obesity

Internet being so popular, its hard to find a person who does not use it. All sorts of blogs and sites are launched daily and no wonder everyone wants to be a part of it. And why not? After all so many sites offer free blogging tools, with a methodical approach thrown in, it has become so very easy.

I entered this bandwagon roughly four months back. I wanted to create a site, put my designer skills on display, and longed for recognition. I also had a reason, a much compelling one. I wanted to contribute something to humanity, to promote well being and safe life. I named it accidentinsuranceforfree dot com, and outlined my concept.

Initially it was a nightmare, because writing the text was easy and done in a couple of days time. But choosing a domain, host, blogging platform, theme were itself a difficult climb. Later converting to website, identifying & digesting typographical limitations made life a bit tough. Further, whatever reactions I got made me spin and drop with disbelief. The new words discomforting me were: Search Engine Optimization techniques. The nightmare did not end there instead it had some more words for me: title tags, Tags, Meta characters, keywords etc. Still more as I learnt the hard way, I had to limit some descriptions either to 60 or 140 characters. Phew! It was a precis of a precis.

Well I managed to cross even that bridge using some plugins. The platform I chose of WordPress facilitated me to use various plugins to chart an easy path. The plethora of plugins for varied necessities confused me a lot. I tried a lot of them and settled for around 15-18 plugins and waited with baited breath for them to work as promised by their publishers.

A few days passed but to my chagrin the page ranks did not improve. To troubleshoot I visited various sites only to find my site was reported as “bloated” and on the brink of being banned (or punished). The reason forwarded was it took more than 9 seconds to load. (I didn’t know what type of connection Google had, my PC gathered within 6 seconds). Now I had to find what made my site obese? And my findings were not less amusing.

My host’s infrastructure was well developed and raised no objections on the theme. Otherwise, even the publisher admitted it was a complicated one. But it took a lot of my time deciding on the theme, I could not find any “lighter” replacement. The task of removing plugins was even more difficult as I had given in due to various requirements: google analytics & crawlers, xml sitemap, SEO pack, exclude pages from navigation, a backup & importer, and some others. I tried using speed enhancing plugins but could not decrease the loading time.

Since putting my site live, around two months had passed. So I decided to give Google a miss and uninstalled all related plugins and … Lo and behold! My site timings improved drastically. So what to gather? Either the plugins were bad or the SEO fad made them bloated with unnecessary features, what else?

The search engines are doing their job, unbiased. They neither recommend any plugin or utility which we put to get their nods, but just wait to penalize any site not adhering to their standards. They behave as if they are the lords of Interent and as “Lords” have no rules to follow. If we have to live in this sea (Internet) we have to put up and bow before them, what else?

So what does my experience tell me? Bother about search engine rankings if you totally depend on advertisements or on enforced traffic needs. Else, if you have good content, pay two hoots to these lords, do whatever you feel good, traffic will find your site, come what may!