Getting Rid Of The Dead Weight
Is your blog taking ages to load, is it weighed down by too many plugins and widgets? If it is then maybe its time you gave your website a spring clean and got rid of some of the dead weight.
Recently I had some feedback from a visitor to my blog, he commented how much he liked my site but that the load time was pretty slow. His observations were true, it had become similar to those old Facebook profiles that would take 5 minutes to load.
I wondered how many visitors I had lost because they were too impatient to wait. No one wants to sit watching a frozen screen
I know from my own experience that when I hit a site that takes forever to load I often get frustrated and leave.
This motivated me to take some drastic action…..
6 Tips To Speed Up Your Blog And Move You Into The Fast lane
After doing a bit of googling and experimentation this is what I managed to implement. Some of these steps might be beyond most peoples comfort zone. If you fall into this category then get an expert to help you. It’s definitely worth the effort and your visitors will thank you.
1 – Reduce the number of posts that are displayed
If you are using WordPress, go to the SETTINGS menu and select READING now adjust the number of blog posts to display per page. I reduced mine down from 10 to 3. Because many of my posts are quite long I could also adjust my settings so the blog only loads a summary of each post. I could also reduce the number of images that are include in each blog post.
2- Delete any widgets that you no longer use
I’m one of those people who likes to try everything once; the result of my curiosity is that after months of adding new buttons, plugins and widgets, I often forget to deactivate them and they start to accumulate. Go through all your widgets and delete all those experiments. Only keep things that have been proven to truly add value to your site
3 – Install a Caching Plugin
This neat little trick can really speed up the load time for your blogs pages
It works by caching Worpress pages and storing them in a static file for serving future requests directly from the file rather than loading and compiling the whole PHP code and the building the page from the database.
The one I chose was WP-Cache. you can down load it by clicking on the link
4 – Inspect your code with Yslow
Yslow is a firefox browser plugin that you can use to analyse where your blog is getting stuck
It works in conjunction with firebug which is a really powerful tool for inspecting the code on a website
It gives you a breakdown of ways to speed up your site and offers great tips and suggestions.
5 – Reduce Java Script
Too much java script on a page will really slow down your load time, it basically blocks the ability for parallel downloads and this is often where the main problem is located. Any non essential code can be placed in the footer of your blog this way the rest of your blog can load without getting stuck.
Yslow told me that 5 Java script applications were in operation when my pages were loading.
I deactivated 2 of the plugins that were responsible and then set to work hacking up a “View my profile” widget and was left with the bare bones html code that just displayed my links to my social media profiles and cut out all the extra weight
6 – Clean Up Your Theme
Check out http://yoast.com/speed-up-and-clean-up-your-wordpress/ he gives some great advice for those who want to get into more in depth details. This stuff is a bit more advanced and only for those who really know what they are doing. Remember, if you start hacking into your wordpress theme to take a backup before you start. That way if things go horribly wrong you can still put things back to how they were before. Another great resource that I found was on graphicrating.com it shows you how to speed up your wordpress blog
I was quite happy with the results of my tweaking, There is more I could do, but for now that seems to have solved the main issues and my blog has been given a new lease of life. Its still not super fast, but that’s mainly due to installing the Facebook Connect plugin, I am still experimenting with it to see if it is actually worth keeping.
I hope this has helped you in some way, I am always interested in learning from the experience of others. Do you have any tips for speeding up a blog, or know of any other good resources?
If you are reading this on Facebook you can visit my blog going to http://www.iandavidchapman.com
feel free to test out the Facebook Connect plugin and tell me what you think,