How To Speed Up Your Blog So You Stop Annoying Your Visitors

by Mavis Nong on February 25, 2011

How To Speed Up Your Blog So You Stop Annoying Your VisitorsHave you read my recent popular post on poor practices that may be annoying your visitors?

If not, here it is for a quick reference: Are You Still Annoying Your Blog Visitors?

The first problem that I mentioned there was “Making Your Visitors Wait”, due to your blog taking forever to load.

You definitely don’t want people to go make a cup of coffee whilst waiting for your blog to load – very few people are patient these days.

And I promised to share some tips with you to fix this common problem…

So, why is your blog’s loading speed critical?

It’s because if your blog takes a long time to load, most of your visitors will leave without reading your content and never come back.

That’s one big, fat way to skyrocket your bounce rate! How To Speed Up Your Blog So You Stop Annoying Your Visitors

Also, did you know that Google takes the site’s loading speed into account in their search rankings?

They are all about making their searchers happy, so you definitely need speed up your blog to get in their good books How To Speed Up Your Blog So You Stop Annoying Your Visitors

First off, you need to analyse your site speed and performance to see where you stand. There are several tools that you can use:

1. Pingdom

It’s very easy to use, you don’t need to download it. Just enter your blog URL to run the test. It will give you results on your entire blog’s performance so you can attend to things that slow your blog down.

How To Speed Up Your Blog So You Stop Annoying Your Visitors

2. WhichLoadsFaster

This is another great tool that you can use without downloading it. What’s even more cool is that you can compare your blog to another blog – popular or in your niche.

How To Speed Up Your Blog So You Stop Annoying Your Visitors

If you would rather install tools on your computer to run site speed tests, you can use anyone of these:

1. Firefox

If you’re still not using Firefox, then you’re missing out. You will need to install FireBug: an add-on that will help you to analyse your blog’s performance.

YSlow is also a Firefox add-on integrated with the Firebug web development tool. It suggests ways to improve web pages’ performance based on a set of rules for high performance web pages.

2. Google Page Speed

You will need Firefox to download this as well. It will also help you  to evaluate the performance of your blog in order to make improvements.

3. Google Speed Tracer

You can install this Google Chrome extension to help you identify and fix the performance in your web applications.

Now, that you know how your blog performs, it’s time to take action to make the necessary improvements.

I heard that the maximum response time before your visitors lose interest while waiting for a blog to load is around 10-12 seconds. I think you need to aim for much lower than that.

A while back, my blog loading time was between 8 and 11 seconds – not too bad but I needed to improve it. So, here’s what I did to achieve around 3.4 seconds:

1. Speed Up Your Blog: Ongoing Maintenance

My blog had some HTML code errors and technical issues which I had no idea how to fix them. I outsourced this to keep my blog clean and in good performance.

It’s important to check out any code errors your blog might have as they will definitely contribute to the overall performance of your blog and your SEO efforts may be diluted as well.

This site will also show you the exact HTML code errors on your blog ==> Markup Validation Service. Be sure to keep your blog clean at all times.

2. Speed Up Your Blog: Use Good Hosting Provider

Hosting does play a role in the overall performance of your site. I have been using Godaddy for a while, however I started picking up problems here and there.

I got very concerned when I started getting a couple of server errors a day. And I also observed that most bloggers were using and recommending HostGastor.

So, I decided to switch to HostGator and I’m very happy now – a wise move indeed. You need to use a reliable hosting provider for your blog and avoid free ones.

3. Speed Up Your Blog: Plugin Clean-Up

I went through all the plugins that I had installed. And to my surprise, there were plugins that I didn’t use at all, some of them I didn’t even know their function – yes that bad!

So, I got rid of the ones that I didn’t need for my blog. I replaced one or two with coding – please don’t ask me questions as I outsourced this.

I also had a number of inactive plugins – eating up space! Why was I holding on to them? So I deleted them too!

Furthermore, I had multiple plugins doing one and the same thing. For example, OnlyWire, SexyBookmarks and TweetMeme. So I replaced them with my favourite Smart Sharing plugin. I use OnlyWire on my computer.

As I’m now using the fantastic GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin, I ditched Akismet and never looked back!

Now, I have a clean and tidy plugin directory How To Speed Up Your Blog So You Stop Annoying Your Visitors

4. Speed Up Your Blog: Reduce Widgets

I did away with widgets such as Wibiya bar, Twitter box. The thing with these widgets is that when their sites are down, they will affect your blog’s loading time. So, you definitely don’t need too many widgets on your blog.

The other thing that was loading with my home page and causing speed problems, was my signature image link (mylivesignature.com). So, I simply downloaded my signature image on my computer and then uploaded it to my blog.

5. Speed Up Your Blog: Get Extra Help

Plugins, plugins, plugins! We just can’t do without them, can we? After deleting a lot of unutilised plugins, I had room to add one more to help me speed up my blog.

W3 Total Cache Plugin

This plugin improves the user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

It also generates HTML files and can really help your site if it’s struggling to cope with the daily traffic.

“What’s CDN?” I can hear you asking quietly there…

It’s a system of highly-optimised servers all around the world working together to distribute your content  through hundreds of servers instead of a single host.

When you use CDN, you’re making your site available from different servers across the globe, closest to your visitors’ connection points and accelerating content delivery with faster loading times.

A  Free CDN can get the job done easily as well.

6. Speed Up Your Blog: Run Updates

In my previous post, Is Your Blog Safe and Secure From Hackers?, I shared some measures that you need to put in place in order to protect your WordPress blog.

And one of them was running updates. This not only keeps your blog up-to-date but it improves your blog’s loading time as well.

  • Upgrade WordPress Version: Always updgrade to the latest versions as they come with some improvements and features for the users’ best experience.
  • Update Plugins: The other day I was watching a video tutorial and noticed that the blog owner had 15 pending updates. Huh? Plugins need to be updated as well, otherwise they can slow your blog down.
  • Optimise Database: Like the hard disks, the WordPress database also gets fragmented. So optimising the database manually or using Optimize DB can speed up your blog.
  • Be sure to back up your blog before you take these actions.

So, these are the actions that I have taken to speed up my blog. Some of them are ongoing. I’m confident that if you do the same, you will definitely increase your blog speed.

But wait, there’s more! See, I have created a checklist to help you to speed up your blog. It’s absolutely FREE and there is no opt-in required ==> Blog Speed Checklist.

Key Takeaway

You need to start taking action to implement these steps. Some of them are technical, you can easily outsource or check out the tutorials if you’re up to doing everything yourself.

Remember to back up your blog before you do anything.

I have shared what I have learned about speeding up a blog… It’s your turn now – if you have more tips on how to speed up a blog, please share in the comments section below.

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How To Speed Up Your Blog So You Stop Annoying Your Visitors



This Post Brought To You By Mavis Nong

Mavis Nong is the creator and author of Attraction Marketing Online. She is on a mission to help you to add the key ingredients for success in your business with her "Online Marketing Success Formula" report. Get it NOW!

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{ 134 comments… read them below or add one }

Kent Houston December 2, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Great article, Mavis. Blog loading speed is something many overlook in their optimization. Many of us have upgraded internet service which many of our reader do not have. This can hide the fact your blog is loading slow. This makes the tools you mentioned even more important.
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Mavis Nong December 3, 2011 at 1:53 AM

Agreed.

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Kevin Hughes December 3, 2011 at 8:47 PM

I checked out pingdom for page download speed and it was an eye opener. I have a little work to do. As always you provided some good resources here. Thx!

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Mavis Nong December 5, 2011 at 9:54 AM

My pleasure. All the best!

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Larry Lourcey December 4, 2011 at 5:11 AM

Dang- I assumed mine was fine, but only got a 68%. Looks like I need to start examining things. Thanks for the heads-up!
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Mavis Nong December 5, 2011 at 9:53 AM

You’re welcome, Larry :)

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Jamella Biegel December 4, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Hello Mavis,

I found your blog on a list given out by Adrienne Smith. I must say your blog is quite impressive! I am a new blogger. My blog is less than 2 months old. There is so much to learn about blogging. I appreciate the content that you have here and intend to read as much as I can.
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Mavis Nong December 5, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Welcome to my blog, Jamelia! Glad you found your way here :)

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. See you soon!

Mavis

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Scott Jones December 4, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Thanks for this amazing post. I have used ping before as I do realise that I have a serious loading problem. I didn’t know from where exactly I was getting this issue. Another way through which I try to keep my loading time to its max is by avoiding fancy heavy content, I avoid big images or videos because I realize that some of my readers come from countries where their internet connection is still very slow.

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Mavis Nong December 5, 2011 at 9:48 AM

You’re welcome.

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Katie Woodard December 5, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Wow, I’m so glad I found this article. I went on Pingdom and it said my site loads slower than 97% of websites. I need to fix that!
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Mavis Nong December 6, 2011 at 3:56 PM

My cheat sheet will help you to fix that, Katie ;)

Mavis

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Edison Victorino December 6, 2011 at 2:17 AM

Love the “WhichLoadsFaster” because I can now compare the speed of my website with other blogs! Thanks for the information
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Mavis Nong December 6, 2011 at 3:54 PM

My pleasure, Edison. Great to see you here :)

Best,
Mavis

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Etieno Etuk December 8, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Awesome post, Mavis. I checked out the Pingdom website. It really opened my eyes to a lot of stuff. I like your suggestion of deleting plugins that are not active to free up some space. Just by doing that, my blog’s loading time has improved.

Thanks for sharing!
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Mavis Nong December 8, 2011 at 1:26 PM

My pleasure, Etieno. Great to hear that :)

Best,
Mavis

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Hezi December 15, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Great Mavis !
I was just thinking in find a way to make my blog faster !!
Tks
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Mavis Nong December 15, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Aren’t you glad you found this post, Hezi? :)

Heads up: Looking at your Com Luv link, I just noticed that Feedburner may be stealing your links :( … See how to fix that here: http://www.attractionmarketingonline.com/feedburner-stealing-commentluv-backlinks/.

All the best,
Mavis

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Hezi December 15, 2011 at 11:35 PM

Do you have a good post about comentlyv >> Just see that a lot of people are using it ….Why ???
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Mavis Nong December 15, 2011 at 11:42 PM
Arnab December 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Mavis, this is an amazing post! I had never thought about this part in the 3 months of my blog’s life.I went to pingdom and got a 89% perf rating, not sure if this okay or I need to improve somewhere.
Thank you so much for this post!
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Mavis Nong December 17, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Thanks, Arnab. I suggest you grab my cheat sheet to see where you still need to improve ;)

Best,
Mavis

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Boutros AbiChedid December 16, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Hi,
First time visitor to your blog. Very nice article, and you hit it on the mark. I wrote several tutorials about improving Website speed for users and developers alike (I can’t list them all here). Also I wrote an article about the best free WordPress and Website speed tools.

Thanks.
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Mavis Nong December 17, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Thanks very much for your kind words, Boutros. Welcome to my blog! :)

Hope to see more of you here.

Best,
Mavis

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Tushar December 25, 2011 at 11:19 AM

I used Google speed it showing the excellent score for my website 92/100. But when i analyze same through Pingdom it showing that my site has critical load time.

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Mavis Nong December 27, 2011 at 6:06 PM

There you have it, Tushar.

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Jeff Faldalen from Attraction Marketing Specialist December 25, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Hi Mavis,
Thank you so much for sending me this post. WOW!!! what a lot
of great content.
I was thinking I needed to change hosting providers. I wish I would
have done that before, it took over a week to get it all straightened
out, but its up again. Now I can move forward.
I still am in the honeymoon phase with comment luv premium. My spam
as basically gone away and I look forward to installing the one you replaced
Akismet with.

thank you for all you do

Wishing you a Merry Christmas,
Jeff Faldalen
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Mavis Nong December 27, 2011 at 6:05 PM

You’re most welcome, Jeff. Glad to hear that you found this helpful :)

I remember when I had issues with my previous hosting provider – so glad I changed!

Thanks very much for the best wishes and unending support.

All the best to you and yours,
Mavis

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Katie Woodard December 30, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Pingdom and YSlow and Page Speed and MarkUp show a million problems with my site but I have no idea how to fix them. Who did you outsource to to fix problems with your site?

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Mavis Nong January 3, 2012 at 12:21 PM

You can use elance.com or odesk.com, Katie.

Best,
Mavis

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Sagar January 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Page Speed is really very important these days. I’ve worked a lot on my blog’s performance and worked out every suggestion by YSlow and Google Page Speed, these tools are very helpful in finding the areas of optimization also combining images to sprites can help a lot in reducing HTTP requests and thus reducing load time.
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Mavis Nong January 30, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Agreed, Sagar.

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Duffie June 6, 2012 at 4:13 AM

Some great information here, Mavis, thank you. The Blog Speed checklist is a gem for people like me – a relative novice. I must say the way you write is very comprehendable too, lots of sense in a nutshell. You’re well worth following!!
Thanks again.

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Mavis Nong June 10, 2012 at 9:19 PM

You’re welcome, Duffie.

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