Make Your Blog Load Faster

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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About Barry Wheeler

Barry Wheeler is a blogger, novice SEO, geek and passionate Newfoundlander. Operating several successful websites and online communities, Barry has started exploring the social internet and its impact on all facets of society including personal life and business relationships. Find Barry on Twitter @barrywheeler and FaceBook or on his website Barry Wheeler - Blogging for Success.
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19 Responses to Make Your Blog Load Faster

  1. Sire says:

    I’ve found that something that makes a blog load a hell of a lot slower are those that have too much information/posts on the home page. I limit mine to 5 posts per page and apart from my photo blogs I try not to have too many images or videos displaying at the same time.

    • Sire,

      That’s a great suggestion. Many of the blogs leave this defaulte dto 10 posts.

      It’s these little things that will make the difference.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Barry

      • Hi Barry,

        Thanks a ton for this awesome tips, many people don’t know the importance of a fast loading websites to the one that takes loads of time in loading. I believe with this, many bloggers like me will be able to gather some ideas in making the best out of their website.
        Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  2. Kimi says:

    Hi Barry

    Regarding to the resize image size, there is a plugin, called wp-smush it plugin, which will reduce the image size automatically.

    Though I don’t use it, and I wanted to try it, but always forget lol, might be useful for others.

    So far, I resize it manually before I publish the post as you describe.

    Kimi.

    • Hi Kimi,

      Thanks for the recommendation on the plug-in. I wasn’t aware that this existed and spent time generally in PhotoShop compressing the images. This will save a bunch of time.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Barry

  3. I’m currently using Cloudflare and MaxCDN to run by blog to load faster, and actually it also depend on how fast your internet connection too.

  4. Eddie Gear says:

    Barry, give minify a try its a good app and will load your site faster.

  5. Hi Barry, I have a very basic plain-jane theme right now and very little graphics but, eventually, I’ll add more for a better look. Right now everything seems to be running pretty quick and I’m always mindful of adding to load times. There are several sites out there to test load speed.

    Another reason to keep page loads quick is Google takes load times into account when ‘grading’ our positions.

    When I go to a blog that’s taking forever to load and they have every possible widget, third party addons and silly badges I can’t help but feel I’m in amateur land. Like you, I move on as quick as I came, hopefully before their crazy site freezes up my browser.

    • Hi Brian,

      You are correct. Google does take load time into consideration as one of its ranking factors. It plays to “user experience” that they’ve been promoting for some time now.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for stopping by.

      Barry

  6. Well barry, also try cloudflare if you dont want to spend on VPS , cloud hosting…..cloudflare decreases the load on server…..And its free!

    • Sarv,

      I’ve heard of CloudFare but have never utilized it. I’m still a little old school when it comes to servers! 🙂

      I will definitely take a look!

      Thanks for sharing this.

      Barry

  7. Great tips Barry for making your blog go faster. I really dislike it when I go to a blog and it takes forever to load. And with wordpress you can have these plugin at your fingertips. They make it so easy to install them.

    Blessing to you,
    Debbie

    • Debbie

      Thanks for your kind words!

      Yes, you are so right! Many bloggers want to cram everything together and don’t think of their users. WordPress does make it so much easier and it is beside me why bloggers don’t utilize the tools at their fingertips.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Barry

  8. neo says:

    hello barry

    for my website I use puny png to compress image and use several plugin such as wp minify, wp total cache. the result is pretty good

    • Neo,

      Thanks for adding those plug-ins to the list!

      There’s so many ways to enhance performance and it’s the real bloggers that have experienced slow load times that always have the great ones!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Barry

  9. Pingback: A New Look For FreshBlogger | FreshBlogger

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