Hey wake up! It’s the new interweb. If you really really want to stand out then you have to be quick. Trust me, people don’t want to be waited. They have hundreds of other websites they can switch to, so why they want to stick to your blog?
Speed matters! Over the years internet speed has been increased but sad enough the attention span of an average user has been decreased. So how will you make sure you will capture that first time visitor? You have to optimize your website so that it will load faster.
Now why do I need to speed up my blog?
#1 Not all of your blog visitors have a fast internet connection. Some people are even using a shared wifi connection.
#2 People are using the net on a cell phone or a tablet and they don’t have much time or data to use. Some people are even browsing from a small laptop that just doesn’t take the load.
#3 People just don’t want to wait when it comes to a new website or blog. They have tens of other options available on the internet at any given moment.
So let’s see how you can speed up your blog/website the right way,
Cut Down Images from Your Blog
Images take up 75-95% of the disk space in your blog. A wise way to reduce it is to cut down any images from your blog that you don’t need. But make sure you are not making your blog boring with no pictures at all.
Reduce Image Size With JPEG Compression
Whenever you upload an image, you should reduce its size. One fine way to do this is to save the file in a JPEG file format. There is a free software called PhotoScape –I highly recommend you use it. Using this tool you can save the image in .jpg format and you can adjust the slider to reduce the file size. 95% quality works well and it still keeps the quality of that image.
Resize the Images for Using on Your Blog
You can just download the pictures from your digital camera and upload on your blog. But you should resize it first. You see digital cameras of now days shoot pictures in high definition. As a result the file size gets bigger (2-4 MBs) and it will take forever to load for the end user. So you should first know your size and then convert it. You can easily resize the image from photoscape.
I suggest you keep the width of your picture at most to 500-600 pixels. Here’s how to resize your images in photoscape. You can also resize images in bulk.
When you resize images, the file size gets as low as just 50-100 KB, compared to 2-4 MBs, which is a fraction of a size. And it helps the blog to load swiftly.
Remove Extra Widgets, Flash and Ad Codes
You should not clutter your blog with various ad codes, banners, flash and java widgets. The issue is these widgets send a request to a third party server. So when people land on your blog they start to load these pesky widgets. As a result you lose your credibility and make your site slow. So remove any ad codes that are not necessary and remove flash.
Add “Read More” on Your Blog Articles
You can make your blog home page very long and heavy to load if you don’t use the more tag. Just see how long my blog articles are. If I were to put these longer versions in my home page, then my blog would take forever to load. So use the more tag and cut down space and content from your blog home. Here’s is how to use the more tag in wordpress, (a similar function is available in blogger)
Use a Premium Web Hosting Company
Paid web hosting services offer faster data transfers and bandwidth. So if you are blogging on a self hosted platform, you should consider a better web hosting platform. I suggest you use hostgator for this. Read my Hostgator Review (the web hosting service that I am using)
Use a Cache Plugin
A cache plugin in wordpress helps your blog to be more static and reduce the page load time. I use WC Total Cache for wordpress. Download it here
Clean Up Your Code
You need to be an expert in HTML/CSS to apply this point. If you are using a custom theme, then make sure your CSS code is well organized and short. When using a custom template, make sure it is light and simple.
Test Your Website from Another Computer
Always load up your blog from other computers to see how it performs. You will see a much clearer overview of your blog’s load time. As a matter of fact most people are going to load up your blog for the first time, so you can see how exactly your blog is doing.
Take an Online Speed Test
I recommend you use this tool to check your blog speed and it will give you additional suggestions to improve it. Not to mention, some of the data of these tools are something you cannot change so don’t stress yourself.
What is the ideal load time for a blog?
There is no specific answer to this question, but remember the faster it loads is better for your blog visitors.
So have your say, what are you doing to speed up your blog? Are you fully optimizing your blog? Leave your comments and let’s have a discussion.