Loading Times on Your Blogs and Websites

The page speed of your niche blog or website is a vital asset to not only your search engine rankings, but page loading speed also impacts your bounce rate, and how effective your site is. Case and point, if you are running a site or blog that takes 10-20 seconds to load, chances are you are losing all kinds of traffic. The main reason is because people are impatient and when your site or blog takes “forever” to load they go elsewhere.

If your site is heavily affiliate driven or relies on Google Adsense chances are you are suffering from slow page loading issues.Loading Times on Your Blog

Lets face it, a site that isn’t getting traffic due to slow page loading time and bounce rates, is going to be a complete waste of time. However, there are couple things you can do to make sure your page speed online is much faster.

Improve page loading time

1. Reduce WordPress plugins – Believe it or not, too much of a good thing is not good for your sites loading time. I know I have talked with Ileane about this and they are cool, but too much of a good thing isn’t good for your blog or sites health. I know it can be tempting to have a lot of plugins on your WordPress blog (seeing how there are million out there), but try to use 10 or less plugins if you can.

2. Images – Use Adobe Photoshop to optimize your graphics. You can reduce the loading time considerably by optimizing your graphics. Quicker loading times make Google happy :) Google actually factors your page loading time into their algorithm.

3. Avoid Pulling Graphics - What do I mean or have I lost my mind? Basically I mean don’t have your graphics for a million different affiliate sites that pull from a different server. Instead save all the graphics and put them in the same location on your website (most importantly in the same directory). The more pulling from other sources will cause extra delays on your website.

4. Remove Pop-ups - I personally hate pop ups with a passion and I know there have to be others out there that agree with me. More often than not there are people that are like me and bounce when you have popups. These popups will increase your bounce rates big time. I know it is a good or let’s say a decent strategy for building a list or an opt-in but if you care about your loading time I would avoid them.

How to test your page loading time

So what can be done to insure that you have the best loading time to making the big G happy? Go to http://tools.pingdom.com/ and put in your site’s url. You will see a box that shows your loading time in seconds. Shoot for .0000001 seconds, but realistically under 3-4 seconds would be considered a good page loading time.

Page loading time results from PingdomWow see mine on my hosting review site. I am a 4.9 seconds.

I am bad don’t be like me! But anyways the cool thing is that Pingdom shows you all your images, scripts, etc. and how many kilobytes it is using. I got a ton of images (which I should tweak just a little to get loading time around 3 seconds) and various scripts so hence the long loading time, but try not to be like me and get that number down.

Last but not least, go with a hosting provider that is known for speedy page loading time. See my InMotion review for that because it lets you pick where you want your server to be located at for max speed. Really it works. Didn’t really realize this until I switched from GoDaddy to InMotion. I think I let the world know this is my “Why I won’t use GoDaddy again blog post :).

Note from Ileane: Google introduced a tool for testing Page Speed Online that will take it a step further and provide recommendations for what your site needs to improve page loading time http://pagespeed.googlelabs.com/

Share your thoughts on page loading time

Over to you, what other tips do you guys/girls have on getting a faster loading time? I would love to learn more and see what others are doing to increase their page loading times.

About 

Garen Arnold, is a graphic designer out of Kansas City, Missouri. Garen provides people with The Best Web Hosting Service by using his expertise to help people choose the best web hosting service for their business.

65 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Loading time is an important factor in developing our blogs now. I am also trying my best to optimize the loading speed of my blog. One interesting point is that after I moved to Genesis framework, my site’s loading time has dropped by over 1s. Maybe that’s because this is a clean and lightweight framework and it even helped me remove about 5 important plugins.
    Btw, as many people can’t get the expensive Adobe Photoshop, do you have another alternative to optimize graphics?

    • Yes clean code can help shave off a couple of seconds on your blog. The lighter the framework, and css the better the speed. Also, try GIMP I believe it is free and think you can optimize graphics. If all else fails you could contact someone on fiverr.com or just send me an email and I can optimize your graphics for you.

      • Thanks mate,
        I will give GIMP a try as I heard that it is also the best open source software for image editing. I hope it can optimize graphics as well as Photoshop.

  2. Garen,
    Great read. I do SEO for a living and know how crucial load time for a site is. I came via Ileane’s post at Blog Interact. With the increased user ship and video / photo content as well, we made the switch to a dedicated server and a nice CDN (Content Delivery Network for those unfamiliar with the term). The site is now blazing fast. Slow load time turns away the two most important (and only) things that matter – Google and People!
    Thanks fro sharing, Bryan

    • That’s great I do a ton of seo myself :). Dedicated or even VPS hosting is great for CDN and can really make a big difference in your loading time.

  3. Hi Garen. not much thoughts to share here as you have nailed this to the wall. Page load time is extremely important and you are, slow websites loose “almost” everything. This includes your potential and regular visitors, and along the way revenue potential. The problem is that like most likely the “bigger chunk” of the blogosphere, most rely of shared hosting as it is still one of the best choices, and more specifically because it is cheap. WordPress is good but without those precious plugins or awesome themes, it will probably even look worst than the ones offered by free platforms.

    Anyway, like you said, a good hosting and constant tweaking can make a difference. I found a good solution for my problem and using CloudFlare.

    • True shared hosting is good for starters and you can get away with it until you start getting a 1,000 unique hits a day (depending on your hosting service). I read your post on CloudFlare, that looks great! Glad you found a suitable solution for your needs :)

      I will have to stop by your blog sometime and leave some good comments :)

      • For now CF seems to be delivering well. We’ll see how it goes, and please do visit sometimes, I’ll really appreciate your views on some of the things I talk about :)

  4. It was an alarm bell on my ear to read Godaddy as I recently purchased a domain name through there. Thanks God, it was for hosting but I host on HostGator. HG is great man!

    I agree – too many plugins slows down your blog and I begin with 5 plugins. But after a couple of days it reaches to peak again. It would be nice to hard code the plugins but everything is lost when upgrading theme. Prob Prob!!

  5. GoDaddy domains aren’t bad. I buy GoDaddy domains however I will not host with them. Just make sure you renew them on time because GoDaddy will not bend the rules for 1 day if you miss to renew your site. I have heard tons of horror stories on expired domains.

  6. Nice tips, Garen. I have been a web developer sometimes so I think I could share some experience. The first tip is you can always search for WordPress snippets for tasks like Related Post and Popular post. That’s what I often do. Then, you can install several all in one plug-ins. Plug-ins that handle many tasks at once. Always use a CDN to load images so traffic will not burn your bandwidth. Hope that helps :)

    • Good tip, I have been using woothemes.com recently. They are pretty good and have some plugins already installed which are great.

  7. For sometime back i have write a post about website page speed and that it would become a factor in how google rank website. Now this been the case those points you have mentioned is really important and more so we need to choose a good webhosting company Thanks for the valuable tips.

  8. I have a ton of photos on my website to illustrate my gardening text. Is there a way to optimize them without having to download them, use photoshop, then upload them again? Anything that will work on them in the media library? Thanks.

    • That’s cool I was really thinking about doing a gardening site, as well. I will have to look into it and see if I can find a plugin or something that you can do it on site. However, you could pay someone on Odesk to go to your images folder and optimize all your graphics and send them to you again. I would just do a full backup before hiring anyone to do it for you.

    • Hi Stephanie!

      I’ve read that Smush.it plug-in can reduce images behind the scenes – hope that helps.

      Cheers,

      Gera

  9. Great advice of optimizing your site for speed, Garen.

    The only suggestion I would make to make everyone’s lives easier is to use WP Smush.It plugin that automatically optimizes your images as soon as you upload them to your dashboard.

    Ana

  10. I’m using a cache plugin on my bloggy, that is helping speed up the blog a bit, I also remove plugins that are inactive or I have added, but may not have used, every little helps at the end of the day to speed things up ;)

  11. ..Put less Picture or your Precious award on the both sidebar as well as the upper and lower blog.. Placing a lot of picture or award make your blog look suck and scary..Choosing a right Templates. Some of your template might have slow time loading because of too many darn coding.

  12. Thanks for tips , I liked your style to tell which is you have mentioned from #1 to # 4 these are the great idea to reduce the time to upload the page loading.

  13. I try to keep my blog plugins to a low number, but it can be difficult at times. If I find a plugin that I can replace with some manual hard-coding in my template, then I do that instead, for example, an AdSense placing plugin. Since I created my theme for my blog, I don’t need to worry about making it work for another blog.

    I use the Pingdom tools on a regular basis for testing the speed of my site. I like the graphical view of the loading times for each item on my page. It really helps to see what takes the longest to slow, but it is important to run it several times to get a better overview of the load times.

    • Bare in mind you might want to clear your cookies as this might skew the loading time. Also, test from around the world by asking your buddies to do so :).

  14. Yeah I’m a wordpress plugin addict.
    None of my three sites are below 8secs. Even the one with very few plug-ins…Looking at pingdom I’d almost say it might be the servers at hostgator…huh. I’ll have to dig into this more.

  15. Page speed is very important, not only to keep the big G happy but for traffic to your site. I have used a great tool in Firefox called firebug that has a great page speed tester add on to grade your page. Thanks for sharing the tips!

  16. I’ve just recently tested one of my blogs with Pingdom and found out that my site loads for 5.5 seconds. That’s too slow isnt it? Guess I should take some time removing out all those unwanted scripts.

  17. I use Gzip and CSS Compression I change my theme often because I like experimenting with wordpress. I find though sometimes it is good slow down your blog loading a little as if it loads too fast people will bypass your advertising

  18. Hey Garen,

    Wouldn’t you know, I went to test that out just now and there’s something wrong with the program. It keeps saying it’s been interrupted. Go figure!

    I also hate those pop-ups. So they say they are great for getting opt-ins but I’ll pass.

    So do you have a certain number of plug-ins you recommend or we should just continue improving our site until the load time is better? Just kind of curious because let’s face it. Without some of these plug-ins our life would be hell.

    But at least now there is a site I can go to test my load time so thanks for that. Hopefully it will be up and running sometime soon.

    Enjoyed this post!!!

    Adrienne

    • Adrienne,

      Just checked and it isn’t working for me either right now. Must be a glitch. I put in my site and then Google.com just for laughs. I am sure it will be up in a bit.

      Yeah, I know a lot of affiliate marketers would like to jump me for saying pop-ups are dead, or email marketing if not used correctly. Bare in mind email marketing can be good, but not really for my niche…lol.

      I would try to keep the plugins under 10 if you can. I know what you need some are vital to our very existence.

  19. Hi Garen,

    Solid and good tips. So many plugins are a problem, not only in speed – I’ve one that changed everything because it doesn’t like other plug-in..
    Cache plugins can improve the loading.

    I’ve few inactive plug-ins that I activate when I need it, like to reduce the post revisions or to clean the database. I didn’t think that being inactive can affect the load – thanks for the info!

    BTW Hate also pop-ups – I ignore them completely… ;)

    Cheers,

    Gera

  20. Hi Garen,
    With the tool that you wrote about , I was able to make small changes to my site so as to enhance the loading time. I used yahoo smush it to reduce the logo image size and loading time decreased a notch.

    Thanks for the heads up .
    Ashvini

  21. What you can also do is to install the W3 Cache plugin… I also notice that the lazy load plugin works really great and helps to reduce loading time.

    Too much scripts can slow down a page as well.
    Using images that are hosted on another website.

  22. This was a problem for me as well with the majority of my content being image heavy. So using a CDN helped greatly in conjunction with the W3 Cache plugin. I still have a few bits to work out here and there, but my load time has improved tremendously. Also, like you stated above, I cut down on a lot of plugin’s.

  23. Delena Silverfox

    OMG! I hate pop-ups with the hot, burning passion of a thousand suns! For that matter, I can’t stand pop-unders even more. They’re invasive in sneaky ways, not just the overtly annoying interruptive ways.

    Yet some bloggers swear by pop-ups? You mean people actually not only don’t mind them, but agree to give information like email addresses to a blogger who has pop-ups on their site? What is their demographic, I wonder?

    Delena

  24. I love Google’s Firebug add-on!

    I guess it’s really important to have a fast site/blog for users, and now it looks like for search engines too.

    Good article, I think you mentioned all the tips I know ;-)
    Christopher – Technology Bloggers Admin Team

  25. Hi Garen,

    My blog was first both domain and hosting on godaddy but last december I changed hosting to hostgator due to many problems and bad customer service. I am glad I changed to hostgator.

    Too many plugins is not recommended but plugins make a task so easy that I end up every month trying at least two new plugins.

    I checked my blog on pingdom tools and came to know about a few new things. By the way I checked your site too and found the result for your nameservers as “nameserver answers recursive queries for 3rd parties”. I hope there is no harm to your site with this. I want to start a new site and was curious to know about this result too.

    Thanks for sharing useful information. It helped me learn some new things.

  26. hehe….Google GoDaddy review :). I am number one on their review! Drop by and leave me a review on them :)

    On the “namserver answers recursive queries for 3rd parties” what does that mean? I just changed my domain registrar? I will have to look into it.

    Garen

  27. ruth

    Page load reflects usability of your website. Your website should be user friendly, If you are having a hard time on controlling your page load you should consider the tool from Google Page Labs. The tool gives you powerful insights and recommend changes accurately.

    • This is a very good tool from Google. I use this one on making recommendations on my SEO audit, they give you answers on what exactly is wrong on your website and recommend changes through a priority – high, medium and low. I’m surprised that Google is committed on helping web masters thoroughly like this, page speed online from Google labs.

  28. Images and videos make the site very heavy and load time of the site is increased.For ranking first factor is relevancy and second factor is load time of the site.

  29. Pop-ups are the most irritating thing and annoys the reader. So, its always better to avoid them on your blogs

  30. Like Smith, I agree with the graphics… Moreover… too much pictures, videos and webdesign can be a disadvantage for the site. Just like what other people keep on saying, visitors think so fast that’s why you need to get their attention within couple of seconds.

  31. Loading time can have bad impact on readership as well as search engine rankings.It’s great to have found your post Garen. And, I didn’t know of the tool that can help check the loading time of website! That’s very useful!

  32. olivia

    The ways you use the site makes people interact and react with the blogs that have been posted and you can see clearly what is an effective way to submit threads and increase traffic

  33. Thanks for sharing this useful tool. I noticed that my blog hosted on a shared hosting is slower than the one on VPS hosting. Even concurrent user access impact page load times. The page load time improved for my blog after I installed WP-Cache plugin. There are many other cache plugins too.