The maximum response time before users lose interest while waiting for a blog to load is around 10-12 seconds. Its time to put on your thinking cap. Below I mentioned some tricks and tips for improving your blog’s loading speed. Follow them if you want to retain your readers and drive traffic to your blog. Moreover even now Google Search Rankings Considers Site Speed.
Note : Some of the below mentioned tips may not be applicable to Blogger blogs.
1. Upgrade The Version: To make use of all the tips and tricks it is better to upgrade to the latest WordPress release. Latest versions have many improvements and features when compared to previous versions. Also upgrade your plugins to stay up-to-date.
2. Become a plugin minimalist: You can easily replace most of the plugins with direct codes. Most of the blogs use plugins for creating archives like mine. It can be easily done with little codings. It is enough these MUST HAVE WordPress plugins, you can make others optional.
4. Clean And Better Coding: Keep the codes clean and tidy. Remove unwanted codes like comments, new spaces and so on. Also remove unnecessary PHP tags. Check the list of 13 of the most common unwanted tags to remove. Also validate your HTML and CSS and correct the errors if you have any.
6. Optimize Images: Don’t overload your blog with images, unless you run a photo blog. It is ideal to keep 1-3 relevant images per article. Try to crop or resize the images. Let it be for your thumbnail or article images. Avoid animated GIF images, if you want to use it means, pick a small image. You can check these tools to optimize images for your blog.
7. Avoid Flash Content: Unless you are running a huge and popular site, it is better to avoid flash content and any other plugins related to flash. They take more time to load and irritates readers/visitors.
8. Advertisements: Kills better than others. Don’t overload your blog with ads; let it be image ads or text ads. Don’t use too much of In-Text ads. Many PPC and CPM ads are full of HTML errors and they kill the blog’s loading speed mercilessly.
9. Themes and templates: Choose a simple and good theme for better loading. It is recommended to choose a theme with right sidebar, it helps to load the content first. You can try Swift Theme, which is a super-fast loading WordPress theme and the best thing about this theme is the delayed loading of Gravatar. It helps to improve loading speed.
10. Hosting Images: It is better to upload images in your own server other than third-party sites. Local files almost always load faster than external files. Always host images locally. It saves lot of time. You can also host the images in a subdomain. If you can afford, you can try hosting your images in CDN. Learn how you can Supercharge WordPress Blog With Cloudflare, MaxCDN and W3 Total Cache.
11. Use Excerpts: Using excerpts reduces immense amount of time. Limit the number of posts to be displayed on homepage. Let it be for magazine style themes or normal themes.
12. Avoid Gadgets and Widgets: To be candid, they don’t add much value to your blog. So it is better to avoid gadgets like shout box, polls, and so on. Also if that gadget’s site is down, then it could keep your site from loading properly as well.
13. Add Slash: If you include a slash (/) at the end of the link, the server will conclude that it is a directory page, thus reduces the loading time of the site. Eg : “hellboundbloggers.com/contact/” is better than “hellboundbloggers.com/contact”.
14. Optimise Your Database: You can increase your load time easily by optimising your database. There are two ways to do it, you can do it manually or you can use a plugin.
15. Reduce the HTTP Requests: Combine all the external files or scripts in a single location. Get rid of unnecessary images and headers. This helps to reduce the delay from HTTP requests.
16. Disable Hotlinking: Hotlinking refers to direct linking to a website’s files from someone else’s website. Victims of hotlinking are running out of traffic quota. Optimize your images and save the bandwidth. You can easily disable hotlinking via .htaccess file.
17. Turn Off Post Revisions: Post Revision is useless for single-author blogs. Whenever a post is edited, a new row will be created in wp_posts table and if you edit your posts or pages 10 times, then you will have 10 new rows in wp_posts table. Check this tutorial to turn off Post Revision.
18. WP Super Cache Plugin: It caches your blog for fast and quick loading. This plugin generates static html files. If your site is struggling to cope with the daily no. of visitors, or if your blog is viral on Facebook, Twitter or any other popular site then this plugin is for you. Just download and activate the plugin.
19. Use image heights and widths: Adding height and width tags to images helps a lot to improve the loading speed. If the browser knows the width and height size of the image, then it can let it load in the background. If those tags are not used, the browser has to wait until the image loads.
<img src="http://hellboundbloggers.com/demopic.png" alt="Demo Pic" height="300" width="200" />
20. Analyse The Speed: You can analyze your blog’s loading speed and see what is making is slow. There are many tools to give you excellent report over your blog’s loading speed. You can check these 7 Free Best Tools To Check Website Loading Speed. You can also use Google Analytics to check site speed.
21. Use PHP Flush: PHP function flush() allows you to send your partially ready HTML response to the browser so that it will start to fetch the components while your backend is still busy with the rest of the HTML page. You can experience this effect when you have busy backends or light frontends. [Learn More]
22. Leverage Browser Caching: The phrase “Leverage Browser Caching” actually means that different items on your site should have different expire times set. This is recommended by Google, and it will improve your overall Google Page Speed Score. [Learn More]
23. Choose Better Host : Last but not least, nothing can substitute a better host. Find a secure and reliable host for your blog. I advice you to avoid Free Servers. You can try HostGator for your WordPress blog and if you start to get huge traffic, try KnownHost VPS.
I hope these tips will help your blogs to improve loading speed. Do you have any other tip? Kindly share them in the comments below.