Do you want to improve things for your users when then visit your blog? It’s not that difficult to do.
All you have to do is make your blog load faster.
Over the last several months I’ve been redesigning my entire blog network, focusing on user experience and appearance. Part of this has been looking for ways to improve the performance of each blog, including load times.
Do you like to wait? I know I don’t.
When I find a site is loading slow, I simply move to the next site or Google for something new. The faster your blog loads, the more happy your readers will be and it is one of the metrics used by the search engines to gauge user experience.
What can you do to make your blog load faster?
There are some simple techniques and plug-ins that can be used to make your WordPress blog run much faster.
- Install W3 Total Cache (Plug-in)
This plug-in caches your blog and reduces the load time of your posts. In some of my own tests, I’ve seen my blogs load about 8 times faster. Think of how just this one item alone has the potential to impact visitors coming to your site.
- Compress Images Used in Posts
Many bloggers use stock photography and upload images at their full resolution. This is great if you want to print a full colour magazine, but often these images are then resized to fit your blog post. Resize your images before uploading them as part of your blog post, this will reduce their size and save your readers time having to download these large image files. The best image formats is .GIF or .PNG files. If you need full color images, use .JPG but save them for use on the web, not for print.
- Examine Theme Performance
There are many themes available for your blog but some perform better than others. Select a CSS based theme from a framework such as Thesis or Genesis. These load much quicker than many of the free themes available. If you are serious about blogging, investing in a premium theme with proven performance is recommended!
- Limit the number of Plug-ins Used
There are thousands of plug-ins available for WordPress. Some of these cause your blog to slow down and will greatly impact the time it takes your blog to load. The more plug-ins you use, the slower things get. Use only those plug-ins necessary to get the job done. If you’ve selected a theme based on a framework, many plug-in features are included as part of the theme which will greatly improve performance.
- Switch to a Faster Web Host
The busiest blog I run was receiving between 4-5 million page views each month. It had outgrown my current web host and I made the decision to move it to a VPS. Shortly after moving the blog to its new home I noticed revenues gradually climbing each day. Just 2 months after moving the blog the site was getting between 10-20 million page views each month. Now I wonder how much revenue I left on the table for the 12 months leading up to switching web hosts.
The larger your blog becomes, the more attention you will have to pay to making it load faster. Concentrate on doing the little things first to make your blog load faster. Continue to improve user experience and you will have a very successful blogging career.
You can check out my other blogging tips and don’t forget, drop a comment in the box below.