In the online world, time is of the essence.
The ability to deliver content to your audience in the fastest time possible is crucial in turning them from doubters into believers of your blog.
Obviously, you don’t want to be that blog that takes forever to load your content. If you want your blog to success, then you want to increase your blog’s loading speed. By engaging your visitors and keeping them from leaving your blog, you can convert more people to your CTA.
Before are ways that you can speed up your blog and hike up its performance.
Buy better hosting
If your blog is a house, then your hosting is its foundation. A flimsy foundation will cause your house to collapse or break down, no matter how sturdy and well-built it is.
The same can be said about your blog. If you purchased a mediocre web hosting, then expect substandard security and speed for your blog. If you’re serious about succeeding with your blog, then you need to invest on a better web host. Aside from the added security that a premium web hosting provider offers, it makes your blog load faster due to better resources and technology.
Customarily, bloggers purchase the most affordable web host to accommodate their blog. They can upgrade their web host if the blog drives traffic that causes it to slow down. If it reaches this point or if your current hosting provider isn’t cutting it, then it’s best that you migrate to a managed WordPress hosting so you can enjoy the best speed, security, and support.
This type of hosting can be expensive, but if you truly want to succeed with your blog, you have to put money out. For more information, refer to some of the best managed WordPress hosting providers in this WPKube post.
If your blog relies on images to communicate your message, then you better compress your files so you can efficiently deliver them to your audience. Normally, it is best practice to keep each image lower than 100 kb to optimize your blog’s loading speed truly. Larger images like infographics will be exceptions to this rule. Other than that, this should apply to every image that you upload and feature on your blog.
Before uploading your images, you can use a tool like Compress JPEG, which allows you upload a maximum of 20 images to compress. The files, after compression, will have a lower file size while still retaining its quality.
The problem with using a tool like this, however, is that you are bound to download all the images from your blog, compress them using this tool, and upload them back up again so you can fully optimize your blog. The process could take hours, if not days, to complete.
Therefore, if you are a WordPress user, it would be better to use the WP Smush plugin that allows you to automatically compress not only all your images in your blog’s database but also the ones you will upload soon. By taking your image compression to autopilot, you don’t have to worry about compressing your images before uploading them. As a result, you can speed up your loading time by decreasing the file sizes of your images.
Lazy load your media
Lazy loading refers to the process where elements (images, videos, comments, etc.) that haven’t appeared on screen yet won’t load yet. Only when the visitors’ browsers scroll down that part of the page will the elements load.
By using a lazy loading tool, you can make the above the fold section of your page load much faster. The browser will only recognize the elements that appear on the page and will load those first, thus providing your audience with a more seamless experience browsing your blog pages.
For WordPress users, below are plugins that you need to consider using to leverage the power of lazy loading for a faster blog:
- BJ Lazy Load– If you are a photography or design bloggers, then images play a crucial role in your blog’s content. The plugin enables you to keep loading speed fast enough so visitors can browse through your galleries and portfolio without much hassle.
- Lazy Load for Videos– Embedded videos requires lots of HTTP requests, which explains the slow loading time of your page. By using this plugin, you can stagger the loading time for each video only as they appear in the browser.
- Disqus Conditional Load– While having lots of comments is a sign of high engagement with your audience, it also leads to a slower blog. If you want to show your comments only if your visitors wants to, this tool enables you to create a button that triggers the loading of the comments once clicked.
Use caching tool
If you truly want to keep your visitors engaged with your blog, then you should reward them by making your blog load faster every time they visit it.
This is essentially what a caching plugin does – it creates a static version of your blog that quickly loads on browsers. The tool draws data from cookies and cached files from visitors’ browsers to generate the blog at maximum speed. This way, the browser does not have to communicate with your web host all the time to load your blog on their end.
There are lots of available caching tools and plugins that you can use on WordPress. However, if you want to know which among the ones available is the best for you, I suggest you read this post at Design Bombs to get a closer look at each plugin so you can decide for yourself which among them you should use.
If you have an image that visitors like, they might copy its source link and use it on their blog. Since they did not download a copy of the picture and uploaded it on their blog, they are mostly using your web host’s bandwidth to load the file from their end.
This process known as hotlinking can contribute to the slow loading speed of your blog, especially if the blogger hotlinking to your content is generating hundreds and thousands of visitors every day.
To eliminate this problem, you can follow the steps on how to stop people from hotlinking to your content in this Hongkiat post.
How about you – any tips and advice on how to speed up your WordPress blog’s loading time so bloggers can increase their traffic without compromising on site speed? Share your thoughts by commenting below!