10 Ways to Speed Up Your Blog

Aug 18, 2010   //   by James Adams   //   blogging, SEO Blog  //  9 Comments

How much time do you expect it to take for a blog to load? Many users start to get impatient after waiting for five seconds. Others are more generous, allowing for ten seconds to reach that great content. There are many factors which affect loading time like pictures, your hosting services and your database. Here are ten ways which will help you optimize wordpress speed.

  1. Deactivate Post Revisions – If your blog has a single author, do you need to have your post revisions activated? Every time that you create or update a blog post, more lines are added to the wp_posts table. This is something which can be turned off in your wp-config.php file.
  2. Remove Unnecessary PHP tags – There are probably PHP tags which can be removed from your style sheets. Is there any site information which is static and can be ‘hardwired’ directly into your blog? Here is a great primer for taking out those tags.
  3. Get Quality Hosting – Free hosting services are not paying attention to the bandwidth that you are receiving. Servers will regularly fail and load times may suffer as a result. Fortunately, web hosting is not terribly expensive. At Hostgator, you can pay less than $10 per month for quality web hosting.
  4. Turn On Caching – Your site will take longer to load with each PHP script that is running on your site. Static HTML files take less time to load. See how much time that you can eliminate from your load time by using caching. Use the WP Super Cache plugin if you are a WordPress user.
  5. Optimize Your Database – Like defragging your hard drive, it is necessary to optimize your database. Occasionally, small fragments of posts and plugins are left behind and need to be removed. For those who have WordPress blogs, WP Database Optimizer is a great place to start.
  6. Crunch Images – Look at the images that are on your site. Is the coding doing all of the work to resize your pictures? Can the screen resolution be reduced? Take a moment to use an image editor to reduce the size of your pictures. There are free web services like Crunch 4 Free which will reduce the size of your images without reducing their readability.
  7. Store Images Elsewhere in the Cloud – You might want to store your pictures elsewhere to avoid the issues of hotlinking. Use somebody else’s bandwidth to serve optimized images to your site. You can choose from popular sites like Flickr or Photobucket to store your shots.
  8. Compress Your CSS and Javascript – Chances are, there are ways that you can compress and streamline your style sheets and coding. The faster that the server can see your instructions, the faster that it can follow them. For WordPress bloggers, take a look at CSS Shorthand to see where reductions can be made.
  9. Drop Unwanted Plugins – Take a look at the plugins that you are using for your blog. Are there any redundancies? Are there any which are obsolete? If you cannot find a good reason for the plugin or the plugin has served its purpose, eliminate it.
  10. Disable Hotlinking – Hotlinking is the process of allowing other users to put your images on their site. They are accessing your pictures directly instead of downloading them and hosting them directly on their own site. You can remove hotlinking by altering the code in your .htaccess file.

With each second of loading time, you are trying your blog reader’s patience. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to speed up the loading time of your site. Each little nudge of speed helps you to have happy visitors.

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James Adams

James Adams works for an online ink supplies store based in England where he writes reviews of hardware such as the HP 364XL and posts on their blog.

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  • Good list – thanks for sharing, James.

    I've recently moved from wp-super-cache to w3-total-cache and I gained a 25% improvement in loading time.

    Plus there is a plugin called wp-smush-it that automatically reduces your images when you upload them to your blog.

    Andrew

  • Alysson says:

    These are all great tips, but they’d be more useful to novice users if there was more detailed information – like specifics on how to follow the suggestions given in tip 1 and tip 10. While both are good tips, such general information doesn’t give a novice much actionable information.

    Another tip would be to minify the CSS and Javascript. For those running WordPress I would suggest checking out the WP Minify plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-minify/).

    Like Andrew, I suggest checking out W3 Total Cache ((http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/w3-total-cache/) for a more complete caching plugin solution than WP Super Cache. Not only does it cache and compress as WP Super Cache does, it also provides built in minify functionality, as well as the ability to leverage browser caching and the use of ETags.

  • CJ Spurr says:

    Great post. Some suggestions I haven't heard about. I think I'll check out the W3 total cache that Alysson and Andrew both mention. I don't have a lot going on on my blog at the moment, but I'm all for being ahead of the curve if possible as my blog grows.

    I've bookmarked this list so that I can use it as a checklist to remind me to check out these items on my blogs. I also agree with Alysson some more details to this list would be extremely helpful for a new blogger or theme designer.

  • David Leonhardt
    Twitter:
    says:

    I never knew you could disable hotlinking. What's the code?

  • Barmolino says:

    Probably but they a too many different ways to Speed Your blog give to people more examples not only 10 things about How to speed your blog like this train ;)
    Good attempt for article ;)

  • Anonymous says:

    James you are very true, but there is one thing you are missing is that daily content changes and updating with new post that will surly give benefit to you for getting crawling fast.

    I am suggesting you to http://www.hexainfosoft.in because I study this topic with remarkable point.

  • Mitja says:

    Great list on how to speed up things on the blog. THANK GOD for the plugins that made it possible to optimize it easier.

  • Mark says:

    Great post gonna use some of these tips on my weblog! I was already using the plugin “Optimize Your Database ” and is one of the greatest plugins.

  • Hi James, thanks for sharing for these were great list, i follow and apply that tips in order to get a hinger rank in SEO, and i must agree with Alysson that it is more helpful if there has a specific step how to follow.