3 Easy Ways To Speed Up Your WordPress Blog

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How To Make Your WordPress Blog Faster

It’s a known fact or rather a substantiated rumor that Google favors websites that are fast, and penalizes sites that are slow. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Search engines want visitors to have a pleasant and satisfying user experience.

Make your sites go fast

No one in this day and age wants to search for something on the web and have to wait for pages that hang. What once was the norm (remember dial-up internet connections?) is now a no-no. We have to speed things up if we are going to even be considered an “important” site these days.

So What’s Wrong With WordPress?

WordPress is probably one of the best inventions since sliced bread, especially for article marketers like myself. We love it because search engines love it, as well as the fact that it enables the Everyday Joe the ability to build their own site. Sorry web designers 🙁 Yet one of the biggest issues of building a WordPress blog is that it can move rather sluggish the more content, images, video, etc. you add.

You must keep your WordPress blog fine tuned, and in fact I found that out the hard way. I tend to do check ups on my site about once a month, and I noticed that the search engines found my site to be “really slow”. So I set out to do a little research, a lot of testing, and came up with what I found to be the top 3 ways for speeding my blog up.

Tip 1 – Minimize Your Use Of Plugins

It’s very easy to fall into the rabbit hole of
WordPress plugins because they are so convenient and there are so many. There is practically a plugin that can do anything you can think of and more are being developed everyday.

Instead of just free plugins there are also “premium” plugins that do a lot of fantastic things for your blog as well. The trouble is though is that too many plugins will absolutely slow your blog down. So you have to streamline. Consider this…

1. Are there any plugins that you are using use purpose can be replicated by adding code to the custom_functions.php page of your blog?

2. Are you using any outdated plugins or unnecessary plugins?

3. When is the last time some of your WordPress plugins have been updated? Do they run properly with the latest version of WordPress you are using. If the plugin developer hasn’t updated his/her plugin in a year – I’d ditch it. There is probably an updated alternative out there.

Tip 2 – Use A Caching Plugin

Okay with this tip you are actually adding a plugin to the mix, but it is a very important one. When someone visits your site, your site has to serve the posts, the images, the css code, etc. every time they visit. That takes time.

What a caching plugin will do is improve your server’s performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration. This blog uses Max CDN (it’s easy to set up and robust) but there are several other caching plugins out there that do a great job as well.

People have seen dramatic improvements in the speed of their blogs by using a plugin such as this one — myself included.

Tip 3 – Watch Your Sidebars

The trend in blogging these days is simplicity. Nice, clean, template design. Not a lot of clutter. Especially when cluttering your blog’s sidebars with every ad and widget under the sun can severely slow your blog down.

1. When you serve an ad, say a 125 x 125 square ad in your sidebar from another site, you have to depend on them serving the ad to your site in a timely fashion. Unfortunately if ads on your site are continuing to “load” that is contributing towards slow your sluggish blog.

2. Be selective about your social media widgets. I use small simple images that are linked to my profile pages on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. It’s best to stay away from using everyone’s hosted widgets because they are notoriously slow to load.

If you MUST have one of those widgets on your site, then make a choice. Don’t host your Twitter stream and your Facebook Followers in the same sidebar. You are bound to get slow response times from them enough that they will make a difference in the speed of your site. I choose to show my Facebook fan page widget, but sometimes it drives me crazy when it takes what seems like forever for it to load.

Conclusion

Don’t drive yourself crazy with this. Ultimately your superior content, seo tweaking, and backlinking will bring you all the traffic you need regardless of the speed of your site — but it’s also important to remember that people have a short attention span. Hey, I lost my train of thought while I was writing this article:)

You only have a few seconds to make a good first impression. Don’t waste those seconds on slow loading web pages!

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Article by Lisa Angelettie

Lisa has written 1 articles.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Windows 8 February 4, 2011, 9:35 am

    Great post and I completely agree that facebook widget takes lot of time to load though it’s must for all the blogs

    • Lisa Angelettie February 4, 2011, 5:42 pm

      Yes, it took me a little time to accept the fact that it was more important to have it on my blog then worry about how slow it was. I’m a work in progress:) Thanks for reading.

      • Windows 8 February 5, 2011, 11:18 am

        Indeed now I have around 11K fans on Facebook using this widget and also every post on facebook gets traffic to the site 🙂

  • prints on canvas February 4, 2011, 9:39 am

    When you export your media library, it has you back up all of your blog’s widgets and media items, so I’m assuming it handles these items the same way as it handles images for your site.

  • Car Rental February 4, 2011, 11:22 am

    I like the caching technology because a lot of old posts never get updated and I don’t want my server to process the whole page on each request.

    • ZK February 4, 2011, 11:44 am

      Caching networks like Max CDN are very useful for caching images and plugins…that helps in faster loading of your blogs and websites

      • Car Rental February 7, 2011, 7:55 am

        Yeah CDN could be a real option. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • used tires February 4, 2011, 4:35 pm

    Best thing you can definitely do is to review your plugins, I know I’ve been trying to minimize the plugin usage on my site, and it has definitely helped speed wise.

    -Jean

    • Lisa Angelettie February 4, 2011, 5:44 pm

      I agree Jean. I got rid of 3 last week and few others the week before. Streamlining is the key. Thanks for reading:)

      • used tires February 6, 2011, 3:45 am

        You’re welcome Lisa and thanks for the feedback 🙂

        -Jean

  • Aluminum Cases February 4, 2011, 6:47 pm

    Great topic. Google has basically admitted that website speed is a part of their search algorithm. While you could probably offset that factor with more links and better seo, it is also important to your visitors. So you might as well kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Make both the search engine spiders and your visitors happy at the same time.

  • iphone 5 February 5, 2011, 1:00 am

    I have seen many sites that load slow because they are waiting for the ad sites to load first… and that really annoys me… read this blog you slow blog holders….

    • Lisa Angelettie February 7, 2011, 9:08 pm

      Aah the slow loading ads…is it really worth it? I wonder.

  • Property Marbella February 5, 2011, 2:43 am

    Hi Lisa,
    That’s right, the download time for large ads that sometimes contains small movies takes time and visitors are dropping off and go to another blog. I do it directly.

  • Durable Goods February 5, 2011, 7:33 am

    I completely agree with you on the fact that too many plugins make your blog slow.

  • Dictionar Englez Roman February 5, 2011, 9:02 am

    I’m proud to say that I follow all these 3 easy ways. I use another plugin for cache but I’ll give maxcdn a try.

  • Seo company Kanpur February 5, 2011, 11:14 am

    That’s really a nice collection of info on Make Your WordPress Blog Faster.I will follow this nice advice in my blogs.
    Thanks
    Raj……….!

  • Jasmine February 5, 2011, 1:01 pm

    One other thing to note is do not use too much Flash! Of course they will add to the interactivity and make a webpage more attractive, but Flash is not search engine friendly and can take longer time to load!

    • Aluminum Cases February 7, 2011, 6:04 pm

      I don’t think Flash is really an issue with blogs. It was more of a problem with business websites who wanted a flash website. It is quite uncommon to see blogs using any flash, aside from a small ad. It’s not as if there are tons of wordpress themes that use flash for navigation or other crucial elements.

      • Lisa Angelettie February 7, 2011, 9:14 pm

        Yep – Flash is kind of old school now. Not too many bloggers use it.

        • used tires February 9, 2011, 5:16 pm

          And besides… those sites that take long to load with flash are due to poor coding, or just having insanely large files lol.

          -Jean

      • webtechlife February 9, 2011, 11:53 pm

        very true infact I have not seen one blog that has too many flashy flash objects…. and flash used for ads in small boxes doesn’t carry that much weight

  • Alex@Jocuri February 5, 2011, 5:31 pm

    Hey Lisa,

    Search engines to reward blogs that have lower loading times but don’t penalize those that load slower (google even stated this in a video), but the fact is that someone who has faster page loads will most likely outrank you because of the boost they will get.

    One of the great resources you can use to speed up your wordpress are caching plugins combined with a good cdn. Also trying to keep your image use as low as possible and instead of embedding videos in your page directly. You can create an image that when people click it will load a video (this can be done with javascript).

    • Lisa Angelettie February 7, 2011, 9:17 pm

      Well it could be coincidence but after I made some of these fixes to my blog, not to long after, my page rank increased. I’m not saying that PR is the end all and be all – but I thought the two were clearly related because I was stuck at my previous PR for a very long time. Much longer than any of my other sites in the past.

  • Steve February 5, 2011, 11:55 pm

    I just realized one of my sites was not properly running W3 Total Cache so I modified the settings and the speed of the site has greatly improved.

    • Jasmine February 6, 2011, 8:39 am

      That’s great. I usually use WP super cache if there is a need to have a caching plugin.

  • p90x February 6, 2011, 2:09 am

    I think the speed at which your site loads is definitely a factor in ranking. Thanks for the great tips on speeding things up Lisa.

    – Robert

    • Lisa Angelettie February 7, 2011, 9:17 pm

      Thanks for reading:)

  • Maria Pavel February 6, 2011, 3:16 am

    Hi Lisa,

    Excellent article with excellent tips for optimizing the Wordpress blog. The speed of a website/blog is very important nowadays as it is a factor for the Search Engine Optimization too, if your website/blog is slow – you will rank lower than a faster website. So it is very important to have a website/blog that moves fast. Also, I can recommend you the – smushit – website, smushit is a free online service in which you upload your photos (from your template and images shown within the site/blog and the script will make the files a little small by compressing them – same quality – lower space occupied) so you can try smushit too for optimizing the images that make traffic too. Thank you for sharing this excellent article, keep up the good work!

    Best regards,

    Maria

    • Lisa Angelettie February 7, 2011, 9:20 pm

      Thanks Maria.
      I host my images with a CDN and have seen a difference. I use to think CDN’s were for the big boys but the cost is minimal and worth the speed. Thanks for reading:)

  • dedicated cpanel February 6, 2011, 11:53 pm

    I had to go back and take out some plugins as well as installing a cache plugin. That seemed to help it load faster and not be so cumbersome.

  • eCommerce Features February 7, 2011, 12:17 am

    My website has been running since 2001 and I set up a wordpress blog that connected with the domain, still the blog is running slowly. Hope, all these three ways help me to get higher speed of my blog.

    • Lisa Angelettie February 7, 2011, 9:21 pm

      I think this will help. It made a difference for two of my content/plugin heavy wordpress blogs.

  • Johanna @ GIJoh.com February 7, 2011, 12:55 am

    Hi Lisa,
    I didn’t know that having lots of plugins can result to slowing down of my WordPress site. Thanks for sharing with us the CDN caching plugin.
    I think one other way to speed up a WP blog is to reduce the amount of ads, but this isn’t applicable for those whose blogs earn by the help of ads.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa Angelettie February 7, 2011, 9:24 pm

      Absolutely Johanna.
      I think it’s because most people throw up ads that are being served by 3rd party servers. Not on their own site. So there is a lot more waiting for others – much like how social media widgets work.

  • Software Development Company February 7, 2011, 6:56 am

    Nice tips about page loading speed. Yes, use necessary plugin and upgrade with latest version of it. Do not use large size images that takes time loading.

    • Car Rental February 8, 2011, 6:54 pm

      Also, I think images should be handled using a handler script which can automatically decrease the image size.

  • Leaflet Printing February 7, 2011, 7:03 am

    The trouble is though is that too many plugins will absolutely slow your blog down. So you have to streamline. Consider this…

  • windows 8 February 7, 2011, 3:11 pm

    Hi Lisa. Nice post written . I totally agree with the thought of reading minimum number of plugins and thus run least scripts possible.. Also sidebar ads can be used effectively..

    • Lisa Angelettie February 8, 2011, 7:21 pm

      Thank you for reading:)

  • iphone 5 February 9, 2011, 4:46 am

    faster blog is the wanted blog…. speeden up your blog to get more traffic

  • iPhone 5 February 11, 2011, 8:13 am

    Fast blog is all what we need, And these are some great tips that you have provided. Thanks for the share. And even i think minimizing the use of plugins helps.

  • Kirsty February 12, 2011, 11:02 am

    Yeah you are right when you said that widget contribute towards slow our sluggish blog and that hurts our site. I have noticed it before but I just ignore it with the thought that it won’t affect. Now I know I must delete that widget on my sidebar.

  • Aloys February 12, 2011, 2:26 pm

    Hi Lisa, very timely and helpful post 🙂 I just put up my first blog and your tip about the caching plugin really comes in handy. That’s a must. And by the way, I thought your blog was loading fast enough. If it’s the caching plugin, then it’s surely worth getting it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa Angelettie February 14, 2011, 7:25 pm

      I definitely attribute the speeding up of my blog from the caching plugin. I highly recommend. Thanks for reading:)

  • Fazal Mayar @ Make Money Online February 13, 2011, 5:53 pm

    great tips, I use t3 cache as plugin. But I have way too much plugins, I think it makes my blog slower.

    • Lisa Angelettie February 14, 2011, 7:28 pm

      I still have a whole lot of plugins (about 30) but the caching plugin has helped and I deleted all inactive plugins. Major improvement.

  • Alex February 16, 2011, 8:06 am

    I agree with you on most part, but even though i love minimalistic websites, simple and easy to use, people mostly prefer full-option, colored ones that keep them busy. That is, when they’re not looking for important info. But on a blog it’s nice to offer something more than just plain text.

  • Carolyn@The Wonder of Tech April 2, 2011, 7:57 pm

    Thanks for this very helpful blog, Lisa! I want my blog to load quickly but I didn’t realize a faster loading blog would increase my page rank. Do unactivated plugins slow down the blog? I was thinking of de-activating some plugins to see if that sped up the loading of my blog, but I don’t know if that would be an accurate test.

    • Lisa Angelettie April 3, 2011, 11:10 pm

      Hi Carolyn,
      While they are a small part of why your blog is slow — plugins do matter. Especially if you use a lot of them. I do. If you have plugins that are installed that you definitely will not use again (ex. Hello Dolly:), you should delete them completely.

      If there are some plugins you aren’t sure about yet because you are testing some other options, then deactivate them. That will help — but ridding yourself of the bloat is the optimal solution. You can test your blog’s speed on this site: http://www.iwebtool.com/speed_test

      I recently checked my blog’s speed over at Alexa since I made these changes and saw a definite improvement. My site is “average” speed.

  • diet reviews August 23, 2011, 10:44 am

    One thing, that also was bugging me a lot was Google Friend Connect and its poll. Too complicated coding did its job for page loading time. So I had to remove them.

    • Lisa Angelettie August 23, 2011, 3:58 pm

      I’ve really had the biggest issue with the Facebook Friend widget. Sometimes it’s so slow. Sometimes it completely fails. But it’s one of the things I’m not totally ready to give up yet.

  • hcg reviews October 1, 2011, 10:44 am

    Great article! I will definitely be implementing these and hopefully it will speed up my wordpress blog. The htaccess trick is going to be awesome for advertising as I notice, through analytics that my pictures are be hotlinked.