The most important thing to remember with any type of blog or website is that you only have two to three seconds to grab your visitors’ attention. Attention spans are extremely short when it comes to the Internet. Yours isn’t the only site out there. If it doesn’t immediately say something to the visitor, if it doesn’t immediately grab their attention, they’re just going to click away and go somewhere more engaging.
The biggest turn-off is a slow load time. You’ve probably visited a blog or two that took forever to appear on your monitor. In reality, it was probably only 5 or 6 seconds, it only seemed like an eternity. And you’ve also probably clicked away from a good number of these blogs before they ever finish loading. That’s exactly what your own visitors are doing if your site loads too slow. So it’s important that you regularly check the load time of your site.
It’s not enough to simply visit your own blog and see how fast it loads. Each computer is different and your computer may be accessing cached pages which will load faster anyway.
Instead, use WebPageTest.org, a free online tool which allows you to simply plug in your URL and you’ll get an instant response that tells you how fast your website or blog is loading.
Keep in mind, you only have two to three seconds to grab your visitor’s attention. If it’s taking two seconds for your site to load then that doesn’t leave much time for the visitor to browse your content and see if there’s something there that grabs their attention. So the faster your site loads the better.
What can you do to improve load times?
The biggest time suck, as far as the load time is concerned, are your images. When you upload large images then your blog’s internal programming is responsible for resizing those images to make them small enough to appear in your posts. And that resizing has to be done, behind the scenes, with every image on your site, every time someone accesses your site. As you can see, if you have a blog that heavy on images, that’s quite a bit of strain. After a while, as you add more and more images, your load time starts to suffer.
Instead, resize your images to a smaller size before you upload them to your site. The maximum size for better load times is approximately 600 pixels square but the closer you get to the actual image size you’re displaying on your blog, the less work your programming has to do behind the scenes.
Videos and audio files also suck up the load time if you have them set to automatically start as soon as the visitor arrives. You’re actually defeating your purpose here. You’re setting your videos to automatically start when the visitor arrives, but it slows down the load time. The visitor gets tired of waiting and leaves before your videos even load. Set videos to the off position and let your visitors turn them on when they’re ready.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!