Boosting your blog’s speed helps retain readers and increases traffic. In this Information Age, very few people have patience to wait for your blog to load. It’s far easier to choose the next link in their Google search to find the information they need. So, in order to retain your readership and increase your traffic, there are a few things you can do.
1. Remove unnecessary plugins.
If you use WordPress, you probably have plugins running. Sometimes, when creating your blog, you can get carried away with all the neat plugins, but they can really slow down your site. Review your needs and delete plugins as necessary.
2. Reduce redirects.
Periodically check linking in your posts. Links leading to error pages, old links, or other websites can also slow down your load time. You can use broken link checking tools to help get the job done.
3. Pay attention to image size.
If you don’t resize your photos when posting them to your blog, you will optimize the speed. When uploading, select “actual size” to keep your speed up. Also consider using a service like WPSmushit (they have a plugin) will help to reduce the size of your image files without any significant loss of quality – and it is free.
4. Delete unnecessary code.
If you are using a template that was made by someone else, be sure to look at the code. There could be dozens of lines of HTML or other script that isn’t being used. There may also be duplicates of tools you use. Remember if using WordPress that pasting straight from a word processor such as Microsoft Word can leave the html code in a bit of a mess – although the latest versions of WordPress have addressed this issue.
5. Only use necessary add-ons.
Third party add-ons can really slow things down. All the widgets and embeds don’t always mesh with your template. Try to limit the ones you use, and find out if there are add-ons that are native to your blogging platform that may work more effectively.
6. Use a fast server.
If you can’t seem to find the reason your blog is slow, consider contacting your host site. Blogger and WordPress have customer support to help you. At that point, you can ask them probing questions about speed and the servers they use. They may even be able to help you detect some underlying problems.
7. Get a caching plugin.
If you use WordPress, you can download a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache. These plugins shorten the time it takes to load your page caching some of the elements in your page so that it does not have to retrieve it from the server every time. These tools are small fixes that can really make a difference.
Blog speed has been reported as a ranking factor in the major search engines, so you can’t afford to ignore speed issues – your traffic may depend on it. A few simple steps and you will be ahead of most blogs out there – so what are you waiting for!