5 Tips to Make Your Blog Load Faster

9 months ago

5 Tips to Make Your Blog Load Faster

by Heidi . February 7, 2014

We discussed bounce rate in a recent article, and one way to improve it and keep the new-comers browsing and engaging with your blog content, is to make your pages load faster. Google also loves pages that load in no time, and not only on desktop, but on mobile too. They even provide developers guidelines to help optimize the performance of your blog.

What else makes speed important?

Does it happen to you to click a link and then have to sit and wait there forever for the site to load? What’s your first impulse? Do you actually sit and wait or leave in the first few seconds? The statistics say you will leave.

The slower the page, the greater the abandonment. Image credit: blog.kissmetrics.com

The slower the page, the greater the abandonment.
Image credit: blog.kissmetrics.com

Online Graduate Programs’ amazing infographic “Instant America” explains this better with numbers:

  • 1 in 4 people abandon a web page that takes more than 4 seconds to load,
  • 50% of mobile users abandon a page if it doesn’t load in 10 seconds, and 3 out of 5 won’t return to that site.

Knowing that one fourth of U.S. mobile web users browse only on their phones, never using a laptop, tablet or desktop computer to access the Internet, the numbers above must be carefully considered. If your blog receives attention from mobile searchers read this post on responsive blog design. For more data on loading time, patience of web and mobile users, and the effects on online shopping behavior, here’s one more infographic, from KISSmetrics.

Is your blog too slow?

To find out, run a site speed test using Pingdom tools, which will also give you information on the pages that slow down your blog so you can make the necessary optimization like reducing the file size of large images. Or even better, go to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and type in your URL to get their suggestions on how to speed up your site.

If you don’t like the results you see, these tips can make your blog load faster:

Optimize your images before uploading

If the images on your blog are too large it will take to long for pages to load. This is probably one of the biggest reasons behind slow websites. Read Google’s guide on the best image format for each file type, and use tools like Picasa or Pixlr editor to resize your images to the corresponding size in which they will be displaying on your blog. You can also use the Online Image Optimizer to easily optimize your gifs, animated gifs, jpgs, and pngs, and convert one image type to another for free.

Check the results for your blog images...

Check the results for your blog images…

Do this with all your blog images before uploading, because this way you save lots of work and time of your readers’ browsers that they need to do before they display your blog page. Less work means faster loading for your site.

Store your data locally or set up a CDN

Make sure all your images are saved on your servers. If you started your blog on Blogger for example, and then moved to WordPress, ask your designer to also get all images from there, so when someone views a page on your blog the images will upload from your servers and this way speed up the loading time.

If you have visitors from many countries worldwide, set up your blog on a content delivery network (CDN) that way caching your images, CSS and javascript closer to your users to enable faster page loads. This means you keep your blog content in sync automatically in various locations, so when visitors come to your site the latest copy of the page is loaded from the location closest to them. For steps on how to set up and integrate a CDN check this video.

Choose your hosting provider wisely

Before you sign up an agreement with a company that will be hosting your site (storing your data and making it available to online users), be sure to consider what they are offering. Ideally you would want your own dedicated server, but until then check the available bandwidth of your hosting service – you will need lots of it and not shared with others, as it will decrease your blog speed. Also select a reliable provider that guarantees the servers will be up and running.

Use caching plugins

Caching can significantly improve your blog’s performance. If ten people visit your homepage, ten requests are made to the database to retrieve this page; if the same request is made for a thousand people, you can imagine that will really slow things down. When using caching plugins, like W3 Total Cache or Advanced lazy load, a copy of the page is generated and uploaded instead of sending requests to the servers, unless changes were made to the page in recent time.

Do a regular cleanup!

So let’s say this blog post inspires you to optimize and speed up your blog. (Yeey! :)) In a couple of months you’ll need to do this again, and again… Remove stored revisions of old posts, plugins you don’t use anymore and update the rest. Regular cleanup is more than necessary if you want your blog to be fast enough to keep readers happy.

So how do you speed up your blog? Do you have some tips to share?


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Heidi

About Heidi

Heidi is the President The Blogger Babes.She is a writer, entrepreneur and of course, a 24/7 blogger. She started TheBloggerBabes as a space to share information on how to blog better. She lives by the beach in sunny Santa Monica and sometimes spies on her neighbor's cats. You can read her personal posts on style and career tips on TheSuccessfulStyle.com

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11 Responses to 5 Tips to Make Your Blog Load Faster

  1. arianne February 7, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    Thanks for telling us about this pingdom tool. I just tried testing my blogsite an here’s the result:
    “Your website is faster than 55% of all tested websites”
    hmm. i think it’s not bad at all. At least it loads faster compared to mostly half tested online. Thanks for this again!

  2. kiana February 7, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    my blog is definitely slow. it is full of pictures and links as such. I think I have to trim down my images, remove those unwanted ones and do a cleanup. your suggestions are much appreciated, Heidi.

  3. Meredith February 7, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    Thinking of doing some cleanup on my blog. Now I know why my cousin told me it takes him ages to see the pictures to load on my page. It isn’t really a good thing :(

  4. Aaliyah Jane February 8, 2014 at 2:10 am #

    First time I heard about caching. I think my blog needs plugins to better improve the loading process. I tried the pingdom site too, the result doesn’t quite bid well to me.

  5. steffanie February 8, 2014 at 2:46 am #

    i’m trying out those speed test sites you mentioned. I’m hoping my site would pass the test and load faster than the others.

  6. jennifer February 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    So far, I’ve been using blogger and this platform is responsive with regard to speed and page loading. I guess I just have to make sure that the pictures I post don’t hold much memory so that the images will load quicker.

  7. Andrea G. February 9, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    I usually do cleanup on my blog to make sure it loads faster. Although my blog is relatively new, I still want to make sure that it is loaded with info and not consist of nonsense posts. That’s how I cleanup.

  8. aaliyah Jane February 11, 2014 at 12:01 am #

    I tested my page using Pagespeed insights.. so far so good!

  9. C. Leigh February 11, 2014 at 12:06 am #

    thanks for sharing this tips, as well as the tools to check website speed. Mine’s okay, it says I passed most rules for speed loading. Great!

  10. michelle February 12, 2014 at 3:43 am #

    Yep, I’ve experienced clicking on a link before and then I found myself having to sit and wait forever for the page to load. It was never a good experience, trust me. What I usually do afterwards is go to another site which loads faster instead.

  11. LeAnne Crawford February 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing these info. I never thought that pages that are loading slowly would break a blog. I didn’t think readers would mind if the pictures are not appearing at once. Now I know I need to improve my page so that my readers won’t close their window at once when my blog isn’t loading faster.

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