Story Time - Interactive 108

Story Time – The Interactive #108

It’s important to realize where you’ve come from, what you’ve been through, and how you got to where you’re at, so that you can appreciate the journey isn’t just a slog, but a full on epic adventure.

In this week’s Interactive, I look back on how “this” (our Pegasaas Accelerator automated WordPress performance optimization plugin) all started, and a sneak peek into what is happening now and why it’s a whole bunch of awesome.

The Transcript

[00:00:18] Good afternoon. Happy Friday to you. Any day above ground is a good day, they say… This has been a fantastic week an excellent week and hey welcome! Thank you. My name is Brandon Devnich. I’m from i3dTHEMES and with this little video that we do weekly called The Interactive where we share what we’re passionate about and what we’ve been working on in the i3dTHEMES and design and code labs.

[00:00:46] So hey. Thank you so much for joining me. It’s Friday and I’m happy to report my buddy Colin is back.

[00:00:56] So if you’ve never joined me before never watched any of these videos before, I’m gonna give you a sort of like a little story time history lesson.

[00:01:05] So my name is Brandon. I have been here at i3dTHEMES for 17 years. 17 1/2 years. I didn’t have this gray hair when I started. In fact I think I had more hair up here when I started. I don’t know about these lines and these bags. But 17 years ago it’s amazing how time flies. 17… 16 and I’ve lost track. It’s a long time ago. 2001 – 2002. In that area.

[00:01:34] So we’ve seen a lot of changes over the years with web development. We’ve seen everything from FrontPage, FrontPage themes — back in the day — and on into Flash development and Dreamweaver and we’ve seen the death of Adobe/Macromedia Flash and then the rise of javascript libraries and animation through that sort of aspect and HTML 5.

[00:01:59] And so we’ve seen a lot of stuff happen over the years.

[00:02:05] My business partner Colin Fraser, thank you again, thank you all for come back from vacation. Last week was a little rough! You know I’m not the guy that normally answers the phones. That’s Colin. Colin is the guy that answers the phones. He does all the template development and the theme development and custom projects and services and he does. Basically he’s the face and the voice of i3dTHEMES when you come for any products or services.

[00:02:35] And thank goodness it’s him because I’m just the troll that they keep in the back.

[00:02:41] I say that just does the coding sort of thing. But yeah. So in what I handle at i3dTHEMES is the Web hosting, development of PHP software and modules. Do I do anything else?

[00:02:57] Oh yes. I also develop this product, this plugin called Pegasaas. Pegasaas Accelerator.

[00:03:04] It’s an automated WordPress performance optimization plugin for short. Basically just speeds up your website.

[00:03:09] But I want to sort of back it up and explain where it’s come from because it’s easy to forget when you’re in the moment where everything has started from. So I would say August of 2016, just over two years ago we were getting a lot of requests to optimize web pages for something called Google PageSpeed.

[00:03:40] Really like oh my goodness. Some new standard where we got to make sure things conform in a certain way.

[00:03:49] And Colin was, when he develops the website templates, he’s like one of there’s ways that we can sort of build in some of this stuff into the temples. But in reality, “I mean to to satisfy some of the stuff that they’re asking for — deferring like Javascript and CSS in the way and how the page loads that’s not going to work for us. We can’t do that in a template and we can’t build critical CSS… Like how are we going to figure out this critical CSS for stuff that might be put into the page afterwards. That’s really I don’t get it. We can’t mystify CSS and stuff like that or the HTML in the template because people don’t need to edit it.”.

[00:04:22] I said “You know give me a couple weeks, maybe I can figure out something that we can do and make a plug-in something you can add onto a website that sort of works behind the scenes and just does it automatically.”.

[00:04:40] Because we had a plug=in suite that we had developed ten years previously called Numo which basically takes web pages and does stuff dynamically to them. So two weeks later I had sort of a working prototype of something called Numo Accelerator. It would automatically detect the Critical CSS for the page, automatically defer CSS and JavaScript, which were the really hard part of the PageSpeed requirements at the time, which was page speed version 4, sorry, version 3.

[00:05:21] Finish out the rest the features of what PageSpeed was asking. Optimization of images, leverage browser caching, minification of JavaScript and CSS and HTML. And then we would have this plugin that would automatically take regular vanilla web pages and optimize them for PageSpeed.

[00:05:42] We thought “this is fantastic”. We need to take these features and make a difference in the Internet.

[00:05:51] We should put this as a plug in out for WordPress. So, if you use WordPress, you probably know I’m talking about, it can be a slow platform because there’s a lot going on. Over 500,000 lines of code, there abouts.Plus plug-ins plus all the database connections that can take a few seconds for the page load and if you’re on a really slow web host, it can take forever to load a web page especially if you’re in the admin area.

[00:06:25] There are things you can do like throw a caching plugin on that can sort of speed up the initial web page load time, but I will say that goodness gracious there’s so much that can be done to a web page.

[00:06:36] So we had developed this code that we could then go and put into this plugin for WordPress. So that was I want to say April of last year. So started work in April last year. April 1st — it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. We Thought it would take us five months and then I would say it was actually a year ago this week that we launched Pegasaas.

[00:07:00] In that time Google updated their scoring system to version 4 and we made some more adjustments and we released this product for, essentially it’s a plug in as a service, for WordPress. You get this plugin and you sign up for a service. Pay us a small monthly fee and it makes your web site faster just by turning on.

[00:07:24] And that was our idea, it was that we didn’t want it to be complicated. We just wanted to upload a plugin work into WordPress and it made your web site fast without having to know all the techno babble gook gobbledygook stuff.

[00:07:40] So we did that.

[00:07:43] And that was a year ago. Over the course of the last year we’ve added more features we’ve added more reporting stuff.

[00:07:50] It’s something that we are very proud of here.

[00:07:56] And then, something happened three weeks ago.

[00:08:00] So this is this is where this story gets kind of interesting. So we have a roadmap. OK so we know where we are going with our software.

[00:08:11] We have great plans for it. We have plans to dominate the Internet. OK? What if every web site that runs WordPress could have our plugin installed.

[00:08:24] Well, that would be financially all right. Okay, I’d be okay with that.

[00:08:27] But that’s that’s not really the end goal.

[00:08:29] What it could do is it could it could speed up so many… it could save human lives. Basically.

[00:08:38] We calculated this Pegasus already everyday saves six hours of human life in just shaving a little bit of load time off of different pages. You do that a little bit, many many different times and suddenly you’re saving… it’s a huge productivity tool! And it isn’t installed on that many web sites yet. What if we could hit the mainstream? We could be saving the human race so much time.

[00:09:07] How cool is that? Right?

[00:09:10] And as a web site operator you could be saving your visitors so much time. And having what past website and people are happy because they don’t have to wait around for your web site to take forever to load. Yeah!

[00:09:20] So something happened three weeks ago. November 11th, our own Web site We optimize the living daylights out of this thing because we want to put our best foot forward. Right? That’s what you want to do!

[00:09:35] You want, when people go and say oh they’re selling this thing let’s run the test against their Web site. Oh they got a ninety nine out of 100. Wow. They’re definitely in a plus student. Ninety nine out of 100 for a what’s called the desktop score and 99 out of 100 for the mobile score.

[00:09:51] Excellent!

[00:09:53] November 12th Google updated their PageSpeed testing tool to version 5.

[00:10:01] Now I should backtrack just a little bit here is that last February they had mentioned that they are going to be rolling out this brand new mobile -first search index which basically says “we’re going be looking at the content of your web pages as a mobile device first and foremost”. So if it’s not looking good on a mobile device it’s not gonna be positioned very well in the search engines. Also “by the way in July after we’ve rolled out the mobile first index, how fast your web site loads is going to be pulled into this”.

[00:10:38] So we were like “All right okay we’ve got this guys, we got it. You know we can get like super high PageSpeed scores. We’re we’re using their testing algorithm. Ninety nine out of a hundred were great.”.

[00:10:51] Yeah, November 11th. Nine hundred four desktop 99 of one hundred for mobile.

[00:10:57] Monday morning, November 12th. “Oh look at that now.” 99/100 for desktop, 39/100 for mobile. What changed? Well their testing algorithm changed and what they said is “how we are judging you actually is not how we’ve been telling you we’re judging you it’s now based upon how fast — not what you do to the page, which is how we were telling you that we’re doing it before — but now really how fast your web page loads. ”

[00:11:27] “We don’t really care about desktop because you know desktops are fast but we want you to be fast on for mobile device.”

[00:11:33] Because over 60 percent of search going through Google is done on a mobile device. Through 2020 still 75 percent of the Internet is still gonna be on 3G data connection. Maybe not where you live. Maybe not for your business.

[00:11:50] Google doesn’t care about you though. They want to satisfy the world.

[00:11:57] The Internet as a whole.

[00:12:01] So I don’t care whether or not you’re your visitors or predominate desktop. That’s great. They know he you your visitors know how to find you on a desktop. That’s great. Loads fast but if you can’t be found in search because Google ascertained that your website is too low too slow on a mobile device, ahhh! That’s bad!

[00:12:19] Well so Monday morning November 12th did one of these. [gripping chest]

[00:12:26] Oh hold on now. What’s going on?

[00:12:31] My website hasn’t crashed. I haven’t had a heart attack. Really what’s going on?

[00:12:34] And then we realized that they’ve changed how they are judging a website based upon how fast it loads, actually loads now, because before the web site got a 99/100 but it was taking 15 seconds to load.

[00:12:53] I was like that but they’re still giving us a good score so that must be all they need.

[00:12:57] No.

[00:12:59] Now they want your web pages to load, become in what’s called Interactive — funny enough that’s the name of this video that I’ve been doing forever called “The Interactive”… Coincidence? I don’t think so.

[00:13:15] The “Time to Interactive”, it’s called, is the time it takes for the patient come loaded enough so that the CPU to stop running in the mobile device to become interactive, be able to scroll and click on things.

[00:13:29] This is the most important factor. If it’s been more than six point five seconds it’s considered slow if it’s faster than two point eight seconds…? I’ve got to start somewhere… Between 2.5 and 2.7 seconds is considered fast and if you can be fast you can kick the stinking daylights out of your competition.

[00:13:53] So we spent the last three weeks working like dogs pulling what little hair I have left out here figuring out ways to make mobile web pages load even faster.

[00:14:04] Now they are loading faster because of our plug-in. Well we took the home page from a 39/100, which was a little embarrassing, face palm moment, to 92-93/100 depending upon of conditions. And we can get it up to as high a95 or 96 if we take out like our analytic tracking.

[00:14:30] So we are going to be launching next week a version 2.0.

[00:14:36] This is the this is a big release. We were actually holding off probably for a couple more months because we didn’t know how to get this data that… This is the other thing… Is that with this new testing tool from Google, they’re actually giving us this data that I was racking my brain over trying to figure out how to dig up. They’re now giving it to me! I say it’s like an early Christmas present to me. Thank you! Whoever at Google decided to include that data.

[00:15:07] So that’s now part of the interface for our plugin. It’s gonna be released next week. We’re just tweaking a few final things adding some more features. Happy to say that all these features are going to make those that are using our tool have even faster web sites which is really what everybody wants.

[00:15:27] And then coming in probably two, three weeks from now we’re gonna be including the ability for you to opt in to track how much time your web site is actually saving your visitors so you will know. “Oh my goodness. My web site saved my visitors 10 minutes of time today from what it would be like if it wasn’t installed!”. Like slow. Or if you ever really busy web site two hours and then it will also tell us how much time you’re saving and then we can report to the world. “Yay. Pegasaas has saved the world how many lifetimes of time in the last 24 hours.”.

[00:16:08] So that’s what’s been keeping me busy this week is getting 2.0 already sort and short of a short history of where we’ve been the last little bit.

[00:16:15] And as I said it’s almost been twelve months this week that we launch version 1.0 Now we’re doing version 2.0. I’m actually feel pretty good about it.

[00:16:25] I hope you’ve had an excellent week. As we move into December here I know I’ve been a great week here because Colin, my business partner, is now back from vacation which means that I get to work on the stuff that I love to work on and we’re moving ahead.

[00:16:40] Hope you have a great weekend. Thanks so much for watching. We’ll talk again next week. Alright bye.