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Speeding Up Your Blog To Keep Your Readers Happy

I’ve heard said that Google is now including the time it takes a page to load as part of  it’s algorithm when calculating a site’s PR. Too bad I don’t give a crap about what PR Google gives me, but I am concerned about those who come to read my blogs. That being the case I am always wary of the amount of plugins I install so before adding any new ones I first have to decide which one get’s the boot.

I also make sure that any images I include in headers and stuff are always optimized to save on loading time. Several of the plugins I used are also meant to increase the speed of this blog. They include.

  • Clean Up: As WordPress auto saves your posts these extra files increases the size of your MSQL database and this plugin removes those extra files.
  • WP-Cache: I used to use Super Cache but it was acting up so I reverted to this plugin which works very well. Basically it caches your files thereby improving the loading time of those sites using it.
  • WP Minify: “This plugin helps you easily integrate the Minify engine into your WordPress blog. Once enabled, this plugin will combine and compress JS and CSS files to improve page load time”
  • WP Widget Cache: Used in conjunction with  WP-Cache this plugin caches the output of your blog widgets and is supposed to reduce the SQL queries to the database thereby speeding up the  site.

There are other things that can also speed up your blog and some of these were brought to my attention by Sheryl Loch of The Internet Marketers Guild, of which I am a member.  Her post, Speeding Up Your Site With YSlow, introduced me to a very useful FireFox plugin, a plugin that show you your blog’s speed as well as giving hints as to how to improve it.

I urge you to read that post as Brad, her husband, has very kindly taken upon himself to try to improve this blog’s speed. You may want to follow that conversation as it may well help you to improve the speed of your blog.

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 66 Comments

  1. I like your Clean-up point. It didn’t occur to me the auto saves might slow things down.

    For us, because we blog about local topics, the Google maps, and image slideshows, are slowing things down. I use to have more blog posts on my home page, but when the blog loads and there are several Google maps, image slideshows, etc., these things were making thing load real slow.

    On an unrelated note Sire, a blog entry from you about the Digiprove you are using might be a good topic. Until now, I’ve never seen it nor heard of it. Just a thought, as I haven’t seen anything written on it, or other ways to protect against content theft. Might be a good topic.
    .-= Colleen@Kennewick Real Estate´s last blog ..Tri Cities Washington Cold Winter Nights Makes For Abundant Springtime Babies =-.

    1. I reckon people allow for videos and such because they know it takes time for them to load so I don’t think that’s too much of a problem.

      I’ve been thinking it was about time to do a post on Digiprove, I reckon it will be soon Colleen.

  2. Javascripts can slow down page loading and should be removed if your pages are found to be loading too slow.
    There are many free “website speed test tools” on the internet which you can use to track your page speed.

    1. Thanks Andreas, I think that was mentioned in one of the previous comments, and yes you are right, any unnecessary java scripts should be removed.

  3. Why is page speed going to be a factor if Google is developing the fastest internet in the worrrrrlllllld? If it’s 100x faster than the fastest out there right now then page speed isn’t going to be a problem.
    .-= Anthony @ Innovatively Simple´s last blog ..Discipline Your Mind for Your Heart =-.

    1. Because Google is what it is and Google does what it wants. :tongue_wink_ee:

  4. I think speeding up is important especially if you are doing it for your readers, they really do matter. And for Google too, site speed makes them happy.

    1. Readers I care about, Google not so much. :smoke_tb:

      1. Very true.Readers always first,then google.
        .-= Lakhyajyoti´s last blog ..How To Monetize Your Blog =-.

      2. I care about Readers.. but I also care about Google.. and when I can do something (such as speed up pages) that makes Google happy and has no negative impact on readers… I’m on it like peanut butter on jelly!
        .-= Kimberly Castleberry@wordpress & faceook´s last blog ..Facebook Fan Pages vs Facebook Groups =-.

        1. That must be an American thing because I just can’t see how the two go together. When you guys refer to jelly you really mean jam right?

  5. I’ve used WP-Minify one before and it messed up my blog – so had to removed it.

    Thanks for the clean-up one – will try that.

    I also use wp-smushit to automatically reduce the size of images.

    Andrew
    .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Premium WordPress Themes For Free… =-.

    1. Actually Anthony it stuffed me up as well when I was using another theme but seems to work well on this one.


  6. Twitter:
    One thing I know that can slow up one’s blog is having too many javascript plugins. Remember when I was having all that trouble with my blog a long while ago? Once I switched to fewer javascript things, my speed drastically improved.
    .-= Mitch´s last blog ..The Business Of Blogging =-.

    1. Same thing happen to me also.Now my blog become become faster.BWN nice post.
      .-= Lakhyajyoti´s last blog ..How To Monetize Your Blog =-.

    2. Yeah, I try to keep scripts to a minimum but some, like Google Analytic, are somewhat necessary.

    3. All of this stuff.. from sql queries to javascript all snowball in a way that can go from a nice smooth load to a ungodly slow one before we realize what happened. The temptation to load more and more “stuff” is sneaky!
      .-= Kimberly Castleberry@wordpress & faceook´s last blog ..Social Media Metrics, Measuring Your Impact for Maximum ROI =-.

      1. Sure is, I discovered that with some of my other blogs. My problem is that I love my plugins.

  7. Seriously this is kinda freaky I was just looking for a way to improve my blog speed since Google Webmaster Tools told that my site was slower than 91% of all other sites.

    I will try all those plugins and report back since I have no idea to do it otherwise. I wasn’t gifted with any coding skills at all.

    This is what I call right on time!
    .-= Alex@Zahnbleaching´s last blog ..Braun Oral-B Sonic Complete DLX – Testbericht =-.

    1. Hey Alex, that’s interesting, which link did you use to get that report from Google?

      Good luck on speeding up your site.

      1. You go into your Webmaster account. Left side you will find Google Labs and then there is something called website performance (I guess thats what it is called in english see mine is german). There you will find the fun stats.

        Just the use of the minify plugin reduced my page speed significantly as far as the Google stats tell the truth.

        Was kinda worried about the Cache plugin since I saw there were lots of troubles with it like your blog disappearing after installing it xD So I didn’t use it.

        Page speed seems fine now.
        .-= Alex@Zahnbleaching´s last blog ..blend-a-med Whitestrips 56 Streifen im Test =-.

        1. Nope, can’t find it. I went to my Google account and it’s not there. I also went to Google Webmaster Tools and it’s not there either?

          Never mind, I found it, I had to go to the account of the actual blog. Guess what? Mine is slower than 100% of other sites as it load in an average of 20 seconds. Thing is that’s the time it takes the whole page to load and people can read a post without waiting for everything to load so I’m not sure if it’s a true reading.

            1. Sorry, I did manage to find it. Thanks for your help Alex.


          1. Twitter:
            I could only figure out how to view the main site, as I have many of my other sites grouped under the main one. It said my site, which is my business site, loads faster than 92% of all the other sites out there. I’ll take that for now. :clap_tb:
            .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Zone Alarm Issues You Should Know About =-.

  8. I just started learning analytics and a little blogging and now I need to work on page loading speed? What’s going to happen to all the sites that use flash? I really like how flash sites look, but it seems like basic is still the way to go.

    1. Flash sites will always appeal to those people that like bells and whistles, unfortunately for them Google is not on of them.

      Personally I reckon if you’re happy with the time it takes for your site to load most of your visitors will be as well.

  9. I am surprised nobody has mentioned one of the best ways to speed up any blog or website….upgrading your web hosting account. When choosing hosting too many people focus mostly on price. Unfortunately that is often sacrificing speed and reliability. Always make sure your hosting account can properly handle the website traffic you build up.

    Theme design plays a big role too. A poorly designed theme can have bloated coding and large unoptimized graphics.

    1. That’s true Jeremy, the problem is you can only go on by what other people say as to the speed of the host. Unfortunately when sharing a host you are at the mercy of others sharing the same host.

      Dedicated hosting is probably the best way to go but is way too expensive for most users. Business sites should consider it though.

  10. Excellent plugin tips, much appreciated. There’s another supposedly awesome caching plugin, I’ll return with the name when I bfind it.
    .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Aweber Affiliate Link Contest! – This Is It!! =-.

    1. Thanks Dennis I aim to please.

      BTW, I tried to reply to one of your comments on your site but the thread seems to have disappeared.

      1. Huh? Which?
        .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..UPDATED: Aweber Affiliate Link Contest! – This Is It!! =-.

        1. It was the one to do with social networking. I just had another look and it’s working now. Don’t ask me why. Anyway I left the comment as close as I could remember it lol

  11. On one of my blogs I am having big problem with download speed, I am going to check out these tools hopefully I can get it load faster. I do have a lot of plugins installed.
    .-= Danny @ Fl Vacation Rentals´s last blog ..Tavernier Florida Keys 107 =-.

    1. I hope it works out for you Danny, I know some of them helped with this blogs speed.

  12. I saw some blogger used to show their blog performance on several blog listing site. My advice is use those images as below as possible in your page.

    I personally use Hyper cache to cache my blog. Clean Up is something new to me, thanks for sharing.
    .-= Arafat Hossain Piyada´s last blog ..BingoBlack – 3 column professional WordPress theme =-.

    1. Yeah I don’t see the point of displaying those sort of stats. People can see for themselves how well a site loads.

  13. Cool post actually just wanted to stop by and visit and say HI :) I really like the exchange you have with people it shows you do care about bloggers :)
    Hope all is well.
    I think many people may not realize their blog is slow and I think it’s great to have a BUD that tips you off to stuff like that on the DL :)
    But your site is loading quick my way :)
    Happy weekend people

    1. Yep, it’s all about helping others when you can, and I know I’m not the only one that does that John. You seem to be pretty good at that as well. :thumbup_tb:

  14. What the. I always thought the autosaves delete automatically after a post is published. Welp, time to clean up I guess…lol
    .-= Ben@Blue Laptops´s last blog ..Dell Inspiron 1440 Blue Laptop =-.

    1. Nope, you would think so wouldn’t you? :furious_tb: :wink_ee:

  15. I am using WP super cache plug in for speed up my blog. So all the above plug is required to use together for speed up our blog?
    .-= chandan@work at home blog´s last blog ..Basic blogging tips for new blogger =-.


  16. Twitter:
    Hi Sire,

    Another good, timely subject .. with the expected good discussion in the comments section.

    Here’s my contribution …

    I use a couple of plugins, that do basically the same things as the ones you highlighted, (but a little more too).

    Wp-Optimize has a function for removing post revisions, similar to the Clean Up plugin. Plus you can optimize your database tables, and send spam/unapproved comments to the trash at the same time.

    W3 Total Cache is another popular plugin that allows you to do things like minify scripts, and cache pages. Like you, with Super Cache, I had problems with this plugin previously, but I think the latest version seems to be doing what it’s supposed to … especially since I’m using it with extreme caution. :-)
    .-= Todd Morris´s last blog ..Facebook Privacy Silliness =-.

    1. Thanks for adding to the discussing Todd. I reckon while I’ll stick with WP-Cache for the time being, I will check out those other plugins.

  17. Thanks for the Link Luv!

    See that is why I have Brad around. I can find info but, have no idea how to make anything in some of the code work. Brad on the other hand can.

    Since the sites use a mini (more) type post on the front page…the video’s I do have do not seem to slow it down. They seem to only load when the actual article is pulled up. I don’t use many video’s on any of my sites, I place those on the Buzz account that corresponds with the site.

    The “scrunched” images also help a lot. Remember that your theme also has images that can be scrunched.

    We are now also running off a CDN that may have helped but, I don’t know the numbers on that.

    Before you ask, NO! I will not send Brad over to Australia. LOL!
    .-= Sheryl@TIMG´s last blog ..Trying to Figure Out Google Buzz =-.

    1. Yep, I optimize all my images except for the ones in the post. Even though my total load time is a little slow the article itself loads fairly quick and that’s the main focus of the blog anyway.

      I got to look into this CDN a little more so I can understand how it all works.

  18. Hi Sire
    The only thing that has disappointed me about WordPress is…. page load speed.
    Google Webmaster tools now give you a nice graph showing page load times and whilst my html sites are super quick, my WordPress blog is very slow.

    As you point out, Google are mentioning page load speed more and more so this post is just what I needed.
    I had started to look at WP Super-Cache but it appears rather complicated to configure.
    Might try WP-Cache and WP Widget-cache.
    Are they easy to configure?
    .-= Keith Davis@public speaking´s last blog ..Laugh and the world… =-.

    1. Sure are Keith and they seem to work pretty well too. Like I said though, my main focus is the readers and not Google, and when they test page speed it times it from start to finish and while some scripts and stuff could slow the whole thing down people can still get to the content while the page is still loading.

  19. I think W3 Total cache is the best plugin to increase your blog speed!! :)

    Anyways, Thanks for sharing this great plugins. !
    .-= Dev @ Technshare´s last blog ..Weekly Roundup #5: Link Love to Blogging Friends =-.

    1. Thats definitely the one I’ve moved to now, but it doesnt include some of the tools found in the other plugins (except minify) so there is always room for improvement. Definitely like Total Cache though!
      .-= Kimberly Castleberry@wordpress & faceook´s last blog ..Wordpress Plugin Review: Old Post Promoter =-.

  20. I recently uninstalled wp supercache (what a bit of a nightmare) and installed w3 total cache. I’m liking it. It includes a lot of the minify settings and a bunch of other stuff as well. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/w3-total-cache/ Definitely more happy with it than wp supercache.

    CleanUp & Widget Cache were on my list of to-add’s and I’m glad to see your having success with them!
    .-= Kimberly Castleberry@wordpress & faceook´s last blog ..Wordpress Plugin Review: Old Post Promoter =-.

    1. Hey Kimberley, I just gave W3 Total Cache a quick try. Man there are a whole lot of settings. I tried the basic but YSlow showed the same results as my previous plugin and it also made one of my widgets disappear so I reverted to the old plugin.

      Still I reckon that others may love that link and so I will thank you on their behalf.

      1. Mind sharing which widget had a hiccup? That’s important info!
        .-= Kimberly Castleberry@wordpress & faceook´s last blog ..2 Free Tools To Rank & Grade Your Blog or Website =-.

        1. Actually I discovered later it wasn’t a Widget at all, it just interfered with the google adsense code rendering the one in my sidebar inactive. Perhaps it took out one too many characters when minifying something.

  21. Well Sire :) , I am using W3 Total cache and WP Cleanfix which is enough to clear and keep my blog clean and fast loading :D . You can also check your loading speed at http://pingdom.com , it displays each and every files of your blog their size and their loading speed. :)

    I hope you will try this, and mainly the loading speed of your blog is decreased by this toolbar which you have installed on your blog.
    .-= Sunil Jain@Technically Youth´s last blog ..Do you know Googles A to Z =-.

    1. Hi Sunil Jain, I’ve actually tried pingdom.com and you’re right it is a pretty good site giving lots of useful information. According to their reading my blog is twice as fast as what Google suggested and so I’ll take their reading as being the correct one. :tongue_rolleye_ee:

    1. WebsiteOptimization’s results are a lot more accurate than most sites. Their service is cool ;-)

    2. Just had a look at that site Sara and I was impressed so thanks for the link as I reckon others may find it useful as well.

  22. When it comes to speeding up wordpress blogs, I’ve tested quite an array of plug-ins and none surpasses W3 Total Cache for which I’ve written quite a detailed and illustrated installation guide. Less I forget WP Widget Cache also contributes it’s quota as weel ;-). I just couldn’t get WP-Minify to work on my blog but W3 Total Cache has that function so I’m good ;-)

    1. I did try W3 but it played havoc with my adsense and didn’t improve the speed at all so I’m sticking with the one I have. I suppose that’s one of the good things of having so many plugins available, it’s able to cater for a bigger range of people.

  23. W3 Total Cache is another plugin I use to get BLAZING FAST speeds on my website. It may take a while to load the first page but after that it’s all good!

  24. I have found that CSS can severly slow down your site, but also with all the handy tools avail especially on wordpress I find that I want them all. i ran some 100 plugins on my site. I’m sure you can imagine how slow it became. So always remember simple is better.

    1. Glad I could help out Olawale

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