Your blog’s loading speed affects more than just user experience but is now a factor used by google to determine an overall ranking for your site. The reasoning is clear according to google and other search engines’ goals, which is to provide the most relevant search results from sites that offer the best user experience. Site speed is definitely something we cannot not ignore and should take advantage of every opportunity to improve.
Here are 9 effective techniques and tips that can be easily implemented to make your blog lightning fast.
1. Disable Unused Plugins
This is one of the easiest things we can do to reduce load times. I know many of us get carried away trying out the thousands of cool plugins available but we need to bear in mind the fact that they use system resources. Assess whether you need the plugins that you have installed and determine if they necessarily serve a useful purpose. Also, deactivated plugins that are not deleted can possibly create loopholes and back doors that hackers can exploit so delete them and maintain security for your blog.
2. Install A Caching Plugin
I recommend using the caching plugin W3 Total Cache which can greatly reduce the load time for your blog’s pages and ease the work on your hosting server. W3 Total Cache has the highest level of compatibility I’ve seen so far, especially with Content Delivery Networks.
3. Choose The Right Web Host
Personally, I’ve had my share of headaches when it comes to bad web hosts. There are tons of web hosting companies out there claiming to be the best but don’t seem to make the cut. Regardless of how optimized and efficient your blog may be, hosting your site on slow servers can drastically reduce your blog’s speed and up-time.
4. Use Less External Scripts
A tracking system such as Google Analytics is extremely useful for tracking a blog’s traffic and visitor demographics. However, having too many scripts installed from different providers can significantly increase and stall the loading of your blog because they are being called from an external source. If the server where the script is being called from is slow or down, this will affect your site’s performance. Other examples of external scripts include, code from video hosting sites, tracking badges and advertisements from external ad networks.
5. Check For Hacks & Other Exploits
Malicious code can seriously cripple your site’s performance and if you suddenly see an increase in your site’s loading times, its worth it to check for possible malicious injections. Plugins such as WP Anti Virus can scan your files for existing exploits. Read WordPress Security – A Comprehensive Guide to significantly improve your blog’s security.
6. Optimize Your MySQL Database
Optimizing your blog’s MySQL database can greatly reduce the load on your hosting server and improve load times, especially if you have a huge long-standing blog. The WP DB Manager plugin can easily optimize your database in a single click and even allows you to schedule optimization tasks.
7. Reduce The Number Of Images
8. Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN is a network of expertly optimized servers around the world containing copies of your site’s data placed at various locations in the network to maximize bandwidth thus reducing your site’s load time. This works really well if you have visitors from all across the world as the servers closest to them will be used to deliver content quickly. A CDN provider such as MaxCDN can provide great performance without putting a strain on your pocket.
9. Avoid Flash Content
Flash takes a lot of time to load and can significantly increase load times. Flash should not make up the main design elements of your site.
There’s nothing better than a blog with great content and zero load times. Use the simple techniques above to improve the experience for your blog’s visitors while achieving maximum authority in google.
Do you know of any unique tips and tricks for increasing speed that are not mentioned here? Please share them with us in the comments, we would love to hear from you.