Taking The Time To Increase Your Blog’s Speed

I spent most of yesterday working on the insides of this blog. You could almost call it spring cleaning, being spring and all. :lol_ee: The reason behind it all was that I wanted to speed this baby up a little as it was starting to drag its sorry little ass and we can’t have that now can we?

I’ve read around the traps that the loading speed of any given website is very important because search engines such as Google will penalize slow moving sites. Truth be told though there is something so much more important than the search engines and that’s your visitors. If your site takes too long to load you’re going to piss your visitors off and they’re going to leave without ever seeing what it is you have to offer. So anyway, here’s what I did to improve the loading speed of this blog.

Making Your Blog Load Faster

You really make this a regular part of your blog maintenance, because even though you’ve done it before chances are that over time you’ve gotten slack or added things to your blog that ultimately slowed it down. I reckon that making it part of your spring cleaning routine would be a great idea. The last time I did it was when I wrote about Speeding Up Your Blog To Keep Your Readers Happy sometimes last may. You may want to check that sucker out just to see what I did to make things go faster. That was then and this is now so here’s some of the stuff I did yesterday to improve my readers experience.

  • Remove Useless Scripts: These are scripts that are not really providing any real value. The first one to go was a poor performing Adsense ad. Then I removed several that resided in the footer and a few others like the Alexa icon.
  • Pruning Your Plugins: My plugin arsenal was starting to become a little unmanageable. Luckily the new CommentLuv Premium enabled to dump several plugins as Andy built them all into the plugin. The Top Commentators plugin also had to go as it was taking too long to access the information. All in all I tossed 10 plugins.
  • Optimizing Images: Having a lot of images on your blog is almost like trying to run with an open parachute attached to your back. Optimizing them reduces a lot of that load making things move a lot faster. I used a free site called Dynamic Drive to optimize my images. You can either upload the image from your computer or you can provide the url to the image. What I liked about their service is you can select from several optimized images so you can select the one you’re happiest with.
  • Hosting Your Own Image: By this I’m referring to any banners that you’re displaying on your blog. Most of the time those images are hosted somewhere else and if their server is being placed under a heavy load it will be taking a lot longer to access those images thereby slowing your load time.
  • Using The More Tag: I never used to use this tag but using one can improve your blog’s home page speed quite a bit as it only shows a truncated version of each post, and if that post has images and videos it can really improve your blog’s loading speed.
  • Pingdom Tools: Pingdom tools was great, partly because it tested the load time of my blog but mostly because it helped me to find out some of the things that was slowing it down.

That’s pretty well it and I’m hoping you guys can notice the difference. I know it’s working a hell of a lot faster on my end. Before I go I want to leave you with a funny video.

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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 72 Comments

    1. It’s right there when you’re writing the post Mitch. It sort of looks like a page that is split in the middle. You simply place the cursor where you want the post to split, usually before it gets interesting so they have to click on it, and then click the more tag icon. You can see it in action on my home page.

      1. Oh I see.. the “read more” button which cuts the posts and lets you display the content before the tag. I never thought using this feature will make your site load faster. Good stuff Sire, thanks!

        1. It works especially well if you keep images, videos and the like below the tag.

    1. Hey, that is pretty good. Thanks for the link.

  1. I try to keep my blogs pretty lean in terms of plug-ins and scripts, and I do use the MORE tag on all posts; this does speed the loading of the home page and allows visitors to skim through the posts efficiently if they’re looking for something specific or scanning to see what’s there. Hope your Spring Cleaning has gone well and you haven’t accidentally swept out anything valuable. :-0

    1. I think I did pretty well considering Allan. If I did accidentally wiped something out it wasn’t my fault it was a plugin I used to clean out what was supposed to be unused something or other. I doubt I will be using that plugin again. :glurps_tb:

  2. A fast loading blog is essential to keep your readers at your website. Also, it is great for search engines as SE’s love fast loading pages. Thank you for posting the points on optimizing your images as they can really, really bog down a website.

    1. It’s a bloggers job to entertain and inform John. :smoke_tb:

  3. G’day Peter! Well I don’t know if I have any scripts running on my blog at all. I doubt it because I don’t think I have any plugins and I don’t have any ads. :smile1_tb: However, when I get my WordPress blog I’m going to have commentluv premium but you seem to approve of that.

    I have a small post to offer you that might cheer you up. Very short and different to the last one in tone. I hope you like it! :smile1_tb:

    1. Just left a comment Roz so I could have a quick look at your blog, or at least I tried to but after several attempts it disappeared into the ether.

      Anyway, I could see at lead three things that could be using scripts but I wouldn’t worry about them because your blog loads very quickly.
      Sire recently posted…CommentLuv Premium Adding To Revenue StreamMy Profile

      1. Morning Sire, thank you for the comment and for checking out the speed of my blog – good to know it’s ok. :thumbup_tb:

  4. Sire,
    Very timely because I just noticed that my blog is very slow and don’t have an idea about what to do. Just printed out your first post an intend to see what I might use. Then on to this one. BTW I decided that I was wasting too much time trying to get a sales page on Thesis so I just bought Flexsqueeze. I hope linking through your site was the way to go because I wouldn’t have considered FS without your testimonies.

    1. Hey Ralph, I did get a sale today so I assume that was you. Thanks mate I appreciate it and I know you will love FlexSqueeze :thumbup_tb:

      You will find it extremely easy to create a sales page and if you do have any problems feel free to contact me.

      As to your blog, you must have fixed it already because I was just there and it loaded very quickly.

      1. I will certainly take you up on that offer if I get overwhelmed. Thanks. My blog may load fast for you but Alexa says that 88% of blogs are faster.

        1. Consider yourself lucky Ralph, Alexa says 100% of sites are faster than mine. :tongue_wink_ee:

  5. I need some major “speed” work done on my blogs, but just haven’t taken the time to do so recently. Especially SBD. What starts to get bogged down the most is the extra plugins, widgets and photos that I love to cram into blog posts. I love photos, but yes, they take longer to load. I also have quite a bit of posts loading on my home page – which can also be slow loading. All in teaser format though.

    I think what usually speeds things up most for me – is removing extra plugins. Over time you can have a whole ton installed that you forgot about!

    1. It’s amazing how plugins can sap your resources. They should always be the first port of call when trying to speed up your site. Optimising images like your header and those in your sidebars are also worth looking at.


  6. Twitter:
    It’s funny Sire, I got your email this morning (I’m subscribed) on my phone and thought, “I’ll have to wait until I get home to read it”. That’s because your site would never load on my phone before. Actually, I did get it to load once last week but when I submitted my comment using the phone it wouldn’t reload and the comment was lost. Now it’s loading just fine on my phone. I’m on my laptop right now but looking at your site on my phone. Nice job.

    1. Really, well that is good to know. Thanks for that bit of information.

  7. Also, for wordpress blogs there are a number of caching plugins and other optimizing tools to speed up one’s site. The other thing to look into is a content delivery service that caches your site and delivers it to your blog’s visitors more quickly.

    1. Yep, I think I may have mentioned that in the other post I referred to in this one. :wink_ee:

    1. That is so true Rakesh.


  8. Twitter:
    Hi Sire,

    Really cleaning plugins is a must not only to more speed, for less updates too :)
    Put the banners on your host is a good idea I do frequently.

    I’d add also run a database cleanup monthly with specific WP plugins.

    Try Cloudflare (free) you can speed up a lot and cover your blog from attacks also!

    Cheers,

    Gera
    Gera recently posted…CommentLuv Premium Plugin Review: 7 Reasons Why this Plugin RocksMy Profile

    1. Hey Gera. I did look into Cloudflare but I didn’t really appeal to me.

  9. I don’t know why everybody is obsessed with this site speed. I’m telling you, it’s not that important for SEO, no matter what others say. I tested this, and I checked the loading time for some top 10 sites and this had the slowest corelation with the rankings. Maybe for the user it is important, but for SEO i’d say it’s close to 0 :)
    Chris recently posted…Yacht charter CroatiaMy Profile

    1. No-one said anything about SEO. What they do say is Google doesn’t like slow sites so if your site is especially slow there is every chance that Google will penalise you.

  10. We can use Smushit Plugin if we are using wordpress for blogging and it reduces the image size so that the blog may perform faster.

    1. I actually do use Smushit and it is good but only works on images in a particular directory.

  11. The performance of a site is extremely important in my opinion. Thanks for a great post, some good tips there. I check the performance of my sites with: http://www.webpagetest.org/ The test can be performed from multiple locations and different browsers.

    1. I had a quick look at that site Andreas. Not too shabby at all. It will give my readers another option so thanks for that.

  12. For those who are using WP blog they can use w3 cache it has a minifying settings where in you can minify js and css scripts. Also I suggest compressing your images w/o sacrificing its appearance as well.

    1. I actually use Quick Cache. I did try w3 but I didn’t like it.

  13. Statistics shows that people usually don’t like to wait for a long time. So, if your blog doesn’t work fast you may begin to lose your users and therefore money. Obviously, it makese sense to read this blog post carefully and improve blog speed. Thanks a lot for raising this important topic!

    1. Sure can’t argue with statistics can we Terje :lol_ee:

  14. Hey Peter you are becomuing a real techie. LOL

    The load speed of WordPress websites was a real disappointment to me when I moved over from a static html site to WordPress – even now I’m still disappointed.

    Big problem is… page load time is now included in the Google algorithm!
    You can check it out on your Google Webmaster Tools.

    Thanks for the tips Peter.

    Every little helps.
    Keith Davis recently posted…All your life…My Profile

    1. Not a real techie Keith but I am learning a little bit along the way. :wink_ee:

  15. Good tips – apart from WP Super cache, I think WP minify is really good. Everyone should also make sure they’re host has gzip compression enabled

    1. A caching program is a must. I also use a widget caching program that works quite well. Must check that gzip angle.

      1. Widget catching program? Sounds different… must look that up

  16. Sire…Thanks for the great blog loading advice…I had heard that about plug-ins being able to slow your load time.
    Optimizing is something I need to pay better attention to…
    and…
    thanks for the laughter!
    I loved the video ;)
    Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy, I wasn’t planning on adding a video but couldn’t help myself when I came across that one. As for the plugins, they can place a strain on CPU as well slowing your blog down. This can be especially true of poorly designed ones or those who are not regularly updated. Always a good idea to keep an eye on them.

  17. I find the use of more tags very effective for blogs. Actually, aside from it can increase blog speed, also, it can organize the blog content to be more pleasing to every visitor.

    1. Also better for your bounce rate as offering the right teaser may increase the time they stay on your blog.

  18. Hi sire,

    Thanks for this blog loading advice, I need this tips so people can browse my site even if they got low connection. There are questions popping on my mind, do I need to sacrifice interface over speed? Shitty interface, faster loading is not really good.

    1. Then again a great interface with shitty load speed can be worse because people may not hang around if the page takes too long to load.

  19. I must admit I couldn’t understand everything that was flagged up when I looked at my site loading speed. But it seemed to involve images as much as anything. I reduced the size and got rid of some images I didn’t need but it was still slow-ish. Can I assume that my shared hosting is a slowing factor? If so, other than changing hosts, I assume there is little that I can do?

    1. Hosts can be a factor but I wouldn’t change hosts until I exhausted all other factors. Have you checked your plugins. You could deactivate all your plugins and then reactivate one at a time to see if one of them is the culprit.

    1. All I know Aditia is that they say Google will penalise slow loading sites. More importantly you should be considering your readers.

  20. I’ve just used a couple of addons that told me that my site doesn’t use about 23% of it’s files. Is it safe if i remove them?I wouldn’t want to ruin something, as it is already in the second page for the main keyword.

    1. I’d be very careful about removing any files. Personally I wouldn’t remove any unless I was absolutely sure they’re not needed anymore.

  21. I just compared the loading times on my blog both with the ad-ons enabled and disabled and the differences are too small

    1. Perhaps you don’t have that many or the ones you do use don’t place a drain on your blog.

  22. Sire,

    Thanks for the suggestions. I was recently given a speed-monitoring tool but found that it was far too complex for me: the program took stock of my site, than suggested ways to speed it up, but it all involved going into files and changing code, etc–none of which I feel comfortable doing at this point.
    What does removing useless script involve? My sites are quite simple, and all my images are hosted on my own account (I use Irfanview pare down images and save on space, too).
    According to the stats from the tool I used my speed is pretty decent, so I’m not sure if it’s something I really need to worry about or not–but I’ll definitely have a look at my plugins as well as the pingdom tool link you recommend.
    Thanks!

    1. Chris,

      I know exactly what you mean as I don’t know what to do with most of those suggestions either as I’m not that technically minded when it comes to the internal machinations of the blog.

      As to the useless scripts, they were codes that I had installed either as a widget or in the footer or header of the blog. An example of a script is the Google Adsense code.

      If your speed is pretty good I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

  23. Great info… I am thinking that I should prune some of my plugins out of the way too. Half of them are activated but aren’t even completely necessary. Might look into this commentluv premium plugin you mention as well. I have heard of commentluv but wasn’t aware they had another version.

    1. Good idea Dani.

  24. Hey Sire,

    I can also confirm that plugins can become a are a big time source for lag. I had a couple of blogs that I installed anything and everything that I thought was cool and it got to the point that my load times were so bad my pageviews and visitors decreased. Once I started removing them I noticed that traffic started to go up again.

    Good info on the more tag too. Not only does this help with load times but it’s better for SEO this way as you won’t have any duplicate content issues.

    Cheers,
    Sam
    Sam recently posted…Fastest Stretch Marks Removal RemediesMy Profile

    1. Thanks for dropping in Sam. I’m sure there are still people out there who do not realise how much too many plugins will slow their blog down. Hopefully this post will encourage them to tom through their plugins.

    1. No worries, glad to know the post was able to help others.

  25. The loading time is as important as the contents of the blog. A slow blog can easily be noticed and it’s annoying. Also you can’t keep your visitors waiting for you. By the way, that video is so funny! You just made my day Sire :)

    1. My pleasure Linda

  26. You know yourself if you go to a website and it takes a while to load, chances are you’ll go somewhere else (unless its a site you really want to get onto eg bank, etc).

    As mentioned, images are a big slowing down factor and in my opinion are number one when trying to optimise a site.

    Definately try to host the image yourself and if you have access to a program like photoshop, it reduces the file size for you.

    Excellent post!

    1. Glad you liked it Mike.

  27. The best way to increase and optimize your blog speed is to host your files using a CDN. This is one of the best way to optimize your blog and make it more faster.

    1. I’ve heard that before Mac. Reckon I may have to look at that at a later date.

  28. I use blogger for hosting my blogs. When I upload images it goes to Picasa free image hosting. Since both Blogger and Picasa is being maintained by google, hence it should not slowdown the loading of my blog pages. In alexa site info my blog is considered as very slow. I don’t know why it is so. I don’t use too many gadgets. Can anyone help me?

    1. It seems to load pretty fast for me Mani. I’m assuming that the same things that would slow a WordPress blog would also slow a blogger blog so perhaps try some of the stuff I talked about in the post.

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