Every day hundreds of blogs go online. Some of them succeed to reach the top within a short time span and make their owners millionaires, while others get lost in the crowd. So, what makes or breaks a successful blog? The answer to this question consists of several factors. Some say it is only about the content of the blog, while other debate about the layout, SEO strategies, and its appearance. However, one thing that affects the performance of your blog is its loading speed.
Research shows that around 47 percent of web users want the webpage to load within 2 seconds! And if the page takes more than 3 seconds to open up, it loses about 40 percent of its users as they abandon the site. This shows that the key to a successful blog is its speed.
You may be wondering what you can work on with the content and the layout of the blog and what can be done to improve the speed of your blog. Put your worries to the side as we bring you some easy ways that will make your blog load much faster, and as a result, you will make your way up the Google ranking because the website loading speed is an important rating factor that can decide the traffic on your blog.
Research shows that blogs that use images get 94% more views than blogs that only use text. Although images can help you get more traffic, they can also cause you to lose traffic. Optimizing images is, therefore, an important step towards increasing your blog’s speed.
Start by decreasing the size of your images. If you use WordPress, then use the smush it plugin to reduce the size of your blog images and for png files try using TinyPNG. You can also use Lazy Load plugin in WordPress that will load the images one by one as the reader makes his way to the bottom of the page. This can save loading time by not loading all the pictures together. Always keep your image sizes to 800 by 600 pixels or smaller. Delete any unnecessary images on the blog and try to not use more than two to three pictures per post. This will make the blog attractive without affecting its loading speed.
Choose the Best Web Host
Choosing the right web host can determine a lot about your blog, especially its speed. So, before you sign up with a web host company make sure you know what they are exactly offering you. If your blog takes forever to load, this can be because of your shared hosting server. Shared hosting can reduce your blog’s speed dramatically especially when the shared server is high.
Shared hosting can have a huge impact on online traffic. Therefore it is better that you shift to a dedicated hosting instead. Dedicated hosting WPEngine is the most reliable option as the server works specifically for your blog only reducing the loading time of the blog. Dedicated hosting can be a bit expensive especially for new bloggers so they can also choose grid hosting, where the resources of your blog are spread across several servers, which helps the blog to load at a much faster rate.
Set Up a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
This may be a new term for all the beginners but setting up a CDN can change things immensely for your blog. A network of servers spread across various countries is known as a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This network makes data delivering quicker and more efficient. The public servers keep your blog content in sync from different locations. So every time a user visits your blog, it is loaded from the closest location of the user, which results in a much faster and quicker loading of the blog.
CDN is a must for your blogs especially, if you have visitors from various countries. There is a range of free CDN services available online. Some of the most trusted ones are Amazon CloudFront, MaxCDN, and CloudFlare.
Choosing the Right Theme for the Blog
A common mistake that bloggers make is that to save a few dollars, they risk their blog by picking up a free theme. These free themes can cause severe damage to your blog’s Google ranking because they are usually poorly coded and are loaded with malicious codes that not only slows down your blog but also increases its risk of getting hacked.
Always try to buy a theme that is simple yet presentable. Do not try to overdo things as that can affect the loading speed of the blog. If you are planning to add animations to your theme, then make sure they are worth it because animations and moving ads can increase a few seconds of loading time. Also, keep the widgets to a minimum on your blog as they access servers while loading causing the speed of the blog to decrease.
Remove All That Is Not Needed
Keeping things minimal is the key to making your blog load faster. You always want your blog to look the best, but this can cost you your blog’s loading speed. So, remove any extra posts that are displayed on your homepage. Try to keep only the ones that are very appealing and catchy; limit your homepage posts to 7-10 only.
Remove unwanted plugins from your blog to increase the loading speed as too many plugins can use a lot of your server’s resources. Disable all unwanted plugins or use a plugin that can carry out the tasks of several other plugins. Remove unneeded stored data or revisions of old posts to avoid any disturbance to the speed of the blog.
Once you have increased the speed of your blog, do not stop there. A regular cleanup is a must for a quick-loading blog. Try to update your blog every two-three months by removing unnecessary images, widgets, plugins, etc. keeping your blog updated can improve your blog’s speed immensely.