There are a lot of factors why your blog might be loading slow. And there are also several reasons why you need to be concerned about the loading time of your blog. Personally, I avoid going to sites that take a lot of time to load. I am usually patient in other facets of my life, but not on surfing. I also have the attention span of a toddler, and I know a lot of internet users are like me.
Also, it must be noted that search engines may penalize the ranking of slow sites. So that’s another reason to take a look at your blog and see how fast (or slow) it loads. I use Pingdom to check how many seconds a visitor needs to wait before a blog fully loads. Not all internet speeds are equal (in my case, I only get 1 measly mbps from our ISP), so when optimizing your blog, you need to keep that in mind.
So. Now that you know if your site is ninja fast or traffic-on-EDSA slow, time for a blog inventory. here’s a checklist of things which might contribute to the loading time of your blog:
- Images in both the blog design and posts. Last year, I discussed about the basic differences in image file types and how it affects the loading time of a site. Basically, the more images you have in your page, the slower your blog will load. Also, a big background slows down your site considerably. Which is why I prefer tileable/seamless backgrounds as opposed to a large fixed background image when doing blog designs.
- Plug-ins. While it is true that there is a plugin for every need, it doesn’t mean that you have to use them all. Plugins (especially poorly coded and outdated ones) can be resource hogs. Remove unnecessary and inactive plugins, and be ruthless about the process. Leave only the bare essentials if you want a faster-loading site. Most importantly, don’t use a plugin when you can directly add the code to your theme easily.
- Web hosting. If you are on shared hosting (which I guess most blogs are, to save on cost), it will have an impact on your loading time. If you’ve been with your current host for a while, you should be able to determine whether they have reliable and strong servers, and if the service is worth forking your money over for. For most low-traffic blogs, shared hosting should be fine, but if you have a huge site, you should consider dedicated hosting.
- Number of front page posts. There is a reason why the default WordPress setting is only 10 posts per page (Blogger is only 7 posts per page). Obviously, more data means more loading time. If you can’t help but have a lot of posts on your front page, you can use excerpts. The default excerpt length for WordPress is 55 words only, so that should cut down your front page’s data size considerably.
There are a LOT of other factors which can affect the loading time of your blog, but the above are some of the most common culprits, the easiest to pinpoint and thus do something about. So tell me, how long does it take to load your blog?