Stripping WordPress for Speed

Just as a test case I have decided to strip my WordPress site of all features that might slow down its loading time using the Microsoft Azure Shared Tier. I wanted to see how much of an improvement I can achieve if I only use text and the default theme Twenty Fifteen. I was able to to get an 8x reduction in loading times from my custom WordPress theme which had a Revolutions Slider and all the expectations of a modern website. The load time 2.62 seconds is very good if you are an impatient web surfer. I would like to keep my load times under 5 seconds.

Even thought internet but it still is 2.62 seconds. Sub-second loading would be ideal as in real life we expect things to load instantly.

 

Microsoft Azure and WordPress on a shoestring budget

I have been playing with Microsoft Azure and WordPress for a year and a bit, trying to make it work. I’m no pro developer just an enthusiast developing websites. At the beginning I though it’s a great service allowing you to create a personal blog in seconds and for no upfront costs. This is however where the fun ends. The problem lies in the service tiers. The shared tier is $12 AUD a month allowing for customized domains while the basic tier is $73 AUD a month. This is a huge jump, a 7 fold increase in price. You get stuck between a rock and a hard place. The basic tier is too expensive and the shared tier is really slow. This in effect creates no incentives for small WordPress blogs and low traffic business websites to migrate to Azure.

The speed at which a customized wordpress site can load on a Shared tier really needs to be looked at by Microsoft. It could be a tier that Microsoft can really make their money on. Migrating low traffic websites on to their service from hosts like GoDaddy and other host service providers.

Belmore Falls

There was a 4 day long weekend last week and I could not decide what to essentially do. Me and my girlfriend eventually settled on going down to our hometown of Wollongong and possibly exploring things further south. Basically fluking it. I had grandiose of plans of going to Queenstown, New Zealand and seeing Milford Sound but that kinda fell apart. Have to really plan that one. My back up plan was travelling down to Eden on the far South Coast. A great little town that I have been previously been to when on a geology field trip.

Friday we basically chilled in our Sydney apartment until about midday when we decided to head south. We arrived in Wollongong and I had a good catch up my family and the next day was our planned adventure to Eden. However my lack of planning made me think about this adventure more carefully. First of all it was nearly 500km away, that’s a 6 hour drive with no stops. My car needs a service badly and i did not want it to breakdown. However I must admit my Peugeot 307 has not let me down even when it had a broken gearbox. It would have gotten me home I know that. The biggest deal breaker was that I had not booked accommodation. Eventually I decided to go up to Robinson in the Southern Highlands and see the three waterfalls in that area.

Belgrade

Outspoken, adventurous, proud and audacious: Belgrade is by no means a ‘pretty’ capital, but its gritty exuberance makes it one of the most happening cities in Europe. While it hurtles towards a brighter future, its chaotic past unfolds before your eyes: socialist blocks are squeezed between art nouveau masterpieces, and remnants of the Habsburg legacy contrast with Ottoman relics.

It is here where the Sava River meets the Danube (Dunav), contemplative parkland nudges hectic urban sprawl, and old-world culture gives way to new-world nightlife.

Grandiose coffee houses, quirky sidewalk ice-creameries and smoky dens all find rightful place along Knez Mihailova, a lively pedestrian boulevard flanked by historical buildings all the way to the ancient Kalemegdan Citadel, crown of the city. The old riverside Savamala quarter has gone from ruin to resurrection, and is the city’s creative headquarters. Deeper in Belgrade’s bowels are museums guarding the cultural, religious and military heritage of the country. Josip Broz Tito and other ghosts of the past have been laid to rest here.

‘Belgrade’ literally translates as ‘White City’, but Serbia’s colourful capital is red hot.

Royal National Park

The Royal National Park is the closest National park to Sydney and which I with my beautiful girlfriend go to frequently. Originally created as a playground and escape from “bad air” by 19th century Sydneysiders it is now a cherished untouched natural jewel in the financial capital of the Asia-Pacific region. It has been able to withstand the urban sprawl that occurred in Sydney after the Babyboomers arrived and it is truly something to see even if you don’t live in Sydney.

Being a geologist

In all honesty, I never knew I would have Bachelor Degree in Science majoring in Geology. Its one of those things that happened without being forced, like when a wave crashes on the shore. Maybe a bad analogy but close enough. The thing is I loved the study of Earth, it intrigued me how the mountains formed, how the rivers ran and how it all (everything) came to be from the beginning. If you seek those answers you will find answers in Geology. It is an over encompassing subject that cover all areas of science. Most professional geologist are more or less polymaths crossing a number of strands of science to get to the answers they seek.

This is really what got me into Geology, the huge breath of knowledge that one understand to be good at it.

To be geologist to practice it day in day out take a special person though. First that person has to incredibly smart, second the preson has to love the outdoors, the person has to be slightly weird, not like crazy weird but like this person doesn’t act like other 99% percent.