How To Make Your Blog 4x Faster


441037582 cfdf182b70 z 300x200 How To Make Your Blog 4x FasterI want to share some tips and tools for speeding up your blog, all of which are proven and used by some of the fastest and most scalable blogs and sites on the web. These tips and tools do not represent all the resources out there, but they are some of the most important tips and tools that I would suggest to an individual or company seeking to optimize their load times.

Check Your Page Load Time

Use tools like Pingdom, Google PageSpeed Insights or Webpagetest to find out how fast your site currently loads and what needs improvement.

Optimize Images

One of the biggest mistakes I see on blogs and websites alike is that often times web designers are not making a good effort to optimize logos and images used not only in a theme or layout but also in the blog posts themselves. On WordPress, there is a nice plugin called WP Smush.it which will optimize JPEG’s, PNG’s and GIF’s. Drupal has a module called Imagecache Smush.it which does the same.

If you’re using a platform other than WordPress or Drupal, then consider using Yahoo’s Smush.it website to optimize your images manually before uploading them.

Another thing to consider in image optimization is to try to use progressive JPEG’s over the standard baseline we have used for years now. Additionally, you might consider using some Lazy Loading magic to load images as the user scrolls but this will also increase your rendering by adding more JavaScript. Finally, you could also consider embedding images using Image Sprites and don’t forget to always specify height and width of images when possible.

Content Delivery Network

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How a CDN (Content Delivery Network) works

If you’re hosting your photos directly on your shared hosting, VPS or dedicated server you are doing it wrong and visitors to your site likely hate you for it. One of the most important factors in making your site faster is getting content to the end-user as quickly as possible and one way to do this is by utilizing a CDN or Content Delivery Network to serve images, html, javascript and other static content to end users from a server closest to them versus the server your site is hosted on which saves time. I suggest MaxCDN (a sponsor of this blog) because of their low-cost and reputation and you can also setup CloudFlare which has Free and Enterprise plans.

Ditch Shared Hosting

Despite what shared hosting companies want you to believe, shared hosting is really about overselling and maximizing profit which in turn means a higher potential for downtime and resource starved servers that perform poorly which in turn affects your page load times. There are so many hosting providers out there that provide amazing VPS, Dedicated, Cloud and Managed services and regardless of who you pick. If you are serious about performance and speed, then you need to ditch shared hosting today. Some of my favorite Cloud/Managed providers are WPEngine, AISO.net and DreamHost

Do Cache and Minify

Caching your static content and minifying JavaScript and CSS is one thing that will surely reduce your page load times and at a significant level. There are a variety of plugins that can Cache or Minify for you depending on what platform you use. You can also minify your JavaScript libraries by hand and your CSS if you’re familiar with how to do such.

Optimize Your Database

If you use WordPress or Drupal, there are plugins you can use to optimize your database which will help you easily remove post revisions, spam comments and other data that is unneeded but sitting in your database and making queries a little longer.

 

Conclusion

There really is so many things you can do to improve your blogs performance and I hope that some of the tips and resources I have shared will be used by you to make your site faster. A fast loading site is not just for convenience but also plays a role in how search engines rank your site, and in the case of eCommerce, studies show that every 4 seconds of wait in a total transaction that 30% to 40% of consumers bail out and do not make a purchase.