"I want to get paid for videos I upload to YouTube. I think this means I need a YouTube partner account, but I don't understand how I can become a YouTube partner."

YouTube outlines some minimum requirements for becoming a YouTube partner, which I'll paraphrase here:

You need to create original videos of less than 10 minutes in length. You need to either own these videos or have express permission to use the videos and monetize all audio and video content included in those videos. You also need to update your video channel regularly, with videos that get viewed thousands of times each. I'll break down what this means in a bit more detail.

"How can I use Amazon CloudFront as WordPress CDN? I want to speed up WordPress page load speed."

There are a couple of ways you can approach setting up WordPress to use Amazon CloudFront as a CDN for WordPress, depending on how you want to approach it. The W3 Total Cache plugin will work for configuring WordPress to automatically put any files from your WordPress them and uploads directory on CloudFront. You can also manually upload files to CloudFront and link to them in your CSS and blog posts. Both options offer some advantages and disadvantages.

If you create your own WordPress theme or modify an existing theme dramatically, you may find yourself in a situation where your WordPress blog doesn't look good in IE. If you have a blog dedicated to Mac users, maybe you don't care, but those pesky IE users are hard to ignore for most of us. The solution is you need to create some custom styles and put them in a conditional IE stylesheet for WordPress. This really isn't different than creating an alternate IE stylesheet for any other type of web platform, but there are some minor things to look out for on implementation.

I'm a big proponent of using data URLs in place of standard http links to images in your stylesheet. Website load time is faster when you have one file delivering all the design elements of a page instead of the 20-30 elements common to many HTML layouts. The one potential downside to this approach is IE compatibility. Native IE7 (not the IE7 compatibility mode in IE8) and IE6 do not support data URLs. JakeLudington.com gets very few visitors with IE6 or IE7, so I didn't implement backward compatibility on my own site, but if you get a significant percentage of visitors (10%+) using an older browser, you will want to implement an alternative IE stylesheet. I have heard from some people who are opting to just leave the images for everyone and not use data URLs, but I think this approach is a slight to every with a modern browser because they shouldn't get a slower experience just because the minority of web visitors are living in the past.

I got a question from a reader asking if "compressing images would reduce website loading time the way compressing text like CSS does". The important thing to keep in mind here is that most common Web image formats, like PNG, JPEG, and GIF are compressed image formats. Adding Gzip compression won't make them smaller. That doesn't mean you can squeeze a few more kilobytes out of your overall page weight by reducing image sizes further.

You can load images from Amazon S3 faster by making a very simple configuration change. By default, Amazon S3 acts as a file server, just like serving files from your normal Web server. S3 has the benefit of taking some of those additional HTTP requests from your Web server, which may cause a slight speed increase, but just using S3 to serve images isn't where the real benefit comes into play. If you are currently using an S3 bucket to serve the images, you're only part of the way to fast loading images.

If you have speed optimized images, removed unused styles from CSS files, and cleaned up your HTML code, often speeding up JavaScript load time is one of the few remaining pieces of the Website optimization process. There are typically two types of JavaScript I run into on pages. JavaScript hosted as part of the website and JavaScript hosted by a third party. Getting a third party to optimize their JavaScript almost never gets results in my experience. I'll talk about some things to try in that regard, but primarily I'll focus on four ways to speed up JavaScript load time of locally hosted JavaScript files.

Website load time is a key factor in user satisfaction. If you speed up website load time, you get the added benefit of reducing shopping cart abandonment, increasing the amount of time people spend on your website, improving ad click-thru rates, as well as improved SEO with fast page loads. If you run an AdWords campaign directing traffic to your site, fast page load speed translates to a higher quality score in ranking for keywords in the bidding pool. The following tips will help you speed up website load time no matter which factors you're aiming for.

One of the biggest improvements you can make to speed up your blog page load time is to offload images to a CDN or content delivery network. CDN services have traditionally been something only the biggest sites can afford, but recently a number of offerings have appeared that make it feasible for serious bloggers to dramatically increase page load speed. While I haven't created an exhaustive list here, MaxCDN, Rackspace CloudFiles, and Amazon CloudFront are the most accessible of the CDN services currently available.

"I recently started a new publishing website and I want to get listed on Google so that people can find it. When I try to figure out how to do this, I find sites that want to charge me money. How can I get my website on Google for free without having to pay someone?"

Letting Google know your site exists doesn't cost anything, although there may be reasons you want to hire someone to help you improve your ranking through search engine optimization, particularly if you are publishing on a competitive topic. There are a number of things you can do to help Google find your site and get it listed in the Google search index.