I always shake my head when a blog takes 3 or more seconds to load. Bloggers spend so much time creating great content that they neglect the delivery of that same content.
If your website takes more than a few seconds to load, you are costing yourself visitors, pageviews, subscribers and lots of income.
It’s obvious most bloggers are clueless when it comes to speeding up WordPress and making your blog FAST.
Why is Page Speed Important?
Page speed is a critical factor in SEO these days because attention spans are shorter than ever.
According to Kissmetrics, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in two seconds or less, and they tend to abandon sites that don’t load within three seconds. A total of 79 per cent of online shoppers who have trouble with site performance won’t return to the site to buy again and about 44 per cent of them would tell a friends if they had a poor experience shopping online.
Speed Up Your Blog to Attract More Attention
I started blogging in 2006, I knew most of the bloggers in the financial niche by first name. It was a tight community.
Fast forward today, I am amazed at how many new blogs pop up everyday. It’s so easy to get started now. All you need is a domain and hosting.
Worst of all, competition for readers is at an all-time high. If you want to be noticed amongst the dozens of bloggers in your niche, then page speed is crucial to your success.
A fast site sends the signal that you are an expert and care about your audience. In a world full of clunky slow websites, I immediately remember a fast website with great content.
How I made BacklinkInsider Load in Less than 1 Second
I recently changed the look and noticed a huge increase in webpage speed and load times.
After you post a few articles and install a few plugins, you sometimes forget how much each post and plugin affects page speed.
It’s a good idea to check your page speed using Pingdom and Google Page test at least once per month to keep things running fast.
I sped up this wordpress site and got the loading times to under 1 second. 1 second or less is perfect for a nice design that loads super quickly.
Here’s ahow I did it:
1. Install WP Fastest Cache
WordPress is a dynamic CMS that uses PHP to show your webpages to visitors. Unfortunately, I notice how many resources WordPress uses every time you load a page.
It’s unnecessary because the majority of your pages content remains static especially if you only blog a few times per week.
WP Fastest Cache saves your blog as HTML files then caches them on your server. It allows your site to load faster and saves you money on your server costs.
How to Install WP Fastest Cache
Go to Dashboard -> Plugins -> Add New and Search for “WP Fastest Cache”
Recommended WP Fastest Cache Settings
Go to WP Fastest Cache -> Settings and check all the boxes
2. Reduce Your Images using WP Smush It
Images are a big bandwidth user and can slow down your site a lot. If you have an image based blog or photography site, then reducing your image size could make your site load 2x as fast.
Download WP Smush-It to automatially optimize your image sizes and make them smaller without losing image quality.
How to Install WP Smush It
Go to Dashboard -> Plugins -> Add New and search for “WP Smush.it”
3. Delete Unnecessary Plugins
WordPress plugins are amazing but sometimes we install old plugins then never use them. Each plugin creates a new database query that may slow down your site if the plugin is poorly coded.
Check through your Active plugins and deactivate any unnecessary ones. Stick to the basics to make your site faster.
4. Choose a Responsive Theme
Responsive themes make your blog viewable on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. Most themes are recently updated to load faster and come with better SEO options. If you are still using an older theme, it’s probably time to think about updating to a new, faster WordPress theme.
Where to Find Good Responsive WordPress Themes?
Here’s a list of recommended places to find good responsive themes:
Adding cool or slick features hurts your page speed a lot. Before you add any new feature, ask yourself if it helps you towards your overall website goals.
Your main goals revolve around collecting leads and building a relationship with your audience. Eliminate wasteful features that don’t help you achieve your long term blogging goals.
6. Limit Your Images to no more than 10 per page
Big image files slow down your blog a lot. There is an exception for photography bloggers or websites that have a large focus on high quality images.
If you are in a more general niche, limit the amount of images on your page to speed up WordPress. Every icon or avatar counts as an image too.
If you get lots of comments, switch to blank avatars to really speed up your page loading times. Whenever a commenter lacks an avatar, it will show a blank instead of the default myster avatar. This tip alone saves a lot of bandwidth and makes WordPress much faster.
How to Switch Your Avatars
Go to Dashboard -> Settings -> Discussion -> Select “Blank” under the Default Avatar section
7. Get Reliable Hosting
Reliable hosting is a big topic and I’ve used many web hosts over the years. A good webhost offers both shared and VPS hosting to suit your specific needs.
You never need to upgrade to a higher hosting package because your shared hosting is slow. It’s slow because your hosting company oversold the server.
Check out my cheap web hosting section for some decent hosting packages for a good price.
8. Use Text When Possible
Many bloggers use lots of images in their sidebar and footer. It’s great to draw attention to certain pages and products but sometimes a text link works much better.
Your visitors understand a blog’s layout and know to find recent and top posts in the sidebar. Some bloggers stuff the sidebar with so many images that your page speed slows down a ton.
Switch to text because not only will your page speed improve, but you get an SEO boost when you link to a certain page with anchor text. It’s user friendly and great for SEO because Google cannot read images.
9. Remove Google Adsense
Adsense is the default monetization method for 99% of bloggers because it’s so easy to use and pays quickly. However, Adsense can totally destroy your blog.
I wrote a post about how Google Adsense sucks to show you why bloggers have better ways to make money other than CPC advertising.
Better Adsense Alternatives
Consider these ways to monetize your website without using Adsense:
- Sell Ebooks
- Sell membership site
- Create recurring revenue model
- Sell a video course
- Collect emails and recommend affiliate products
- Write product reviews and comparisons
- Sell private advertising through your website
All of these methods provide valuable content to your audience without slowing down every page of your site.
10. Optimize Your WordPress Tables Using ManageWP
Every blogger proofreads and makes multiple edits to posts before publishing. Did you know that WordPress stores a copy of each revision in your WP database?
Over time, you’ll have hundreds of revisions that clog up your database and make things slow. Also, WordPress has overhead of different files overtime.
The easiest way to clean your databases clean is using ManageWP. It’s an amazing WordPress management tool that does every from backups to optimize your tables under 1 single dashboard.
You get a free trial to use ManageWP for 1 single site to try it out. I manage around 10 different WordPress sites and it save me a ton of time.
Another free alternative is WP Optimize Plugin. It optimize your tables manually.
Nowadays, your website speed is a crucial part of SEO. Make Google love your website by making it super fast and easy to access. Speeding up your blog is great for repeat visitors who want to quickly access your content and use it.
Let’s be honest: everybody hates a slow website. Don’t let that be you. Follow these simple steps and your page speed will improve in just a few minutes.
If you need help, contact me to get your WordPress blog moving faster to improve your SEO.