Dukeo » Blogging » Page Speed: Four Simple Steps For Big Gains

Page Speed: Four Simple Steps For Big Gains

Steven 9 responses Blogging

How often do you get tired of waiting for a page to load so you just click away and go somewhere else? Once a week? Twice? Every single day? The people who visit your blog feel the same way – if it’s going to take forever to load they’re not going to wait around. Follow these four simple steps and you’ll see big gains in your page speed.

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Reduce Image Sizes: If you’re using WordPress, and most bloggers are, then your theme automatically takes care of resizing images so they appear well in your blog posts. But you’re still uploading a huge image file and every time your page loads the theme has to go through and re-size every single image on your blog. As you can probably imagine, if you have at least one image in every post this can be quite a drain. Resize your images with your favorite image editor before you upload them to your blog.

You might not realize it but your theme itself causes a huge drain because of all the images involved. Every single image on your blog has a URL and each time your blog loads it access every single URL. Now, take a look at the image files for your theme. You’ll see a header image – maybe even several headers if you’re using one of those themes with changeable headers. Delete the headers you’re not using. Next, look at the background images and delete the ones you’re not using. If your theme is image heavy you might consider using CSSSprites.com to convert all of those images into only one or two and you’ll help increase your page speed.

Uninstall And Delete Plug Ins You’re Not Using: Every time your page loads you blog runs through every line of code in its database. If you have plug ins installed that you’re not using their code is still in your database. Your blog has to sift through all those pages of code and decide what to use and what to ignore. If you’re not using a plug in, uninstall it first and then delete it from your blog.

Use A Quality Theme: Looks can be deceiving when you’re choosing a theme for your blog. While there are some high-quality free WordPress themes out there most are created to look nice so you’ll be tempted to use them. Inside you’ll find hidden links the designer included, along with a bunch of poor coding. Test your blog’s load time at Pingdom.com. If it’s running too slow it may be that free theme you’re using. Maybe it’s time to upgrade to a Premium WordPress theme.

Take A Look At Your Hosting Plan: It might just be that your blog is getting too much traffic. (Wouldn’t THAT be horrible?!) Or it could be that someone else on your shared hosting plan is sucking up some of your bandwidth. Or maybe you’re just using a low quality host. In any case, take a look at your hosting plan and consider moving up to VPS to increase your page speed.

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9 Comments

  1. Great ideas. I also ran my plugins through P3, plugin performance profiler that showed me which were a drain on my load times. I was really surprised at the results. A QR code generator widget was really slowing up my site. While it was cool, that was an easy plugin to delete from my site.

    1. Hey Carolyn, I’d love if technical choices were all as easy as the one with your QR code generator :) Unfortunately, sometimes you want to have some neat functionality on your blog but it comes with a great cost in resources.. Then it’s all about finding the right balance.

  2. Michael Shearer

    The other tip I’d add is compressing any files that can be (e.g. css, javascript) and linking them with a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

    1. I agree with you Michael. I see a lot of people struggling to make their blog faster… I’ll post a long guide about this in the near future :) Thanks for your comment!

  3. Jsncruz

    I even went the route of totally removing images – save for a single one usually for the meta description. I find my blog is MUCH faster and I’ve gained a lot more readers because of it.

    1. I’m not sure that totally removing images is such a bold move. You are closing the door to all the Google Images searchers…

    2. Jsncruz

      Hi Steven, thanks for the reply. Not really; I leave one, maybe two, images tagged appropriately :) Do drop by my site when you can! :)

    3. No problem, I’ll stop by!

  4. Great advice Steven. I’d like to get your input on a couple sites I developed. I would love to hear your professional opinion to see if there’s anything you would do different.

    rockthebells.net and richardtakemura.com

    Thank you posting important information. I really appreciate it.