The current blogging community is very competitive. Users have more choices than ever. When a potential reader lands on your blog, you only have a precious handful of seconds to get attention and retain the user.
Blog loading speed matters a lot in this regard.
The longer your blog takes to load, the lower your conversion rates will be. A 2-second delay in page loading time can reduce user satisfaction by almost 4 percent, according to data gathered by Microsoft Bing. That’s close to 4.3 percent in lost revenue per user! Also, site speed also matters for SEO purposes, especially with mobile search results.
Yes, there are many reasons why you should improve your blog’s loading time. It’s not as difficult as you might think. Here are several quick and straightforward tips that will surely help:
1. Start with a Solid Theme
Most bloggers are tempted to pick highly elaborate themes packed with features. Most of these features are unnecessary and only add bulk to your blog. So, choosing a lightweight and speedy theme for your blog right from the start is important.
Find a theme that keeps the most important components simple. Minimalist themes are ideal in this regard. They are sleek and appealing and only come with the most important features that you will not need to spend time discarding later.
2. Avoid Shared Hosting
Shared hosting may seem like a total bargain, especially when you are just starting out as a blogger. However, those promises of “unlimited speeds,” and so on, come at a price: slow loading sites. When you share a server with many other sites, even a single bulky site can slow down speeds for everyone else on the server.
While shared hosting might be suitable when your blog gets only a dozen or so clicks, you need to upgrade to dedicated hosting just as soon as your blog takes off. Choose an excellent package that guarantees high amounts of bandwidth. You might have to expect sudden spikes in traffic, so pick a suitable, business-grade hosting package.
3. Use a Caching Plugin
Plugins can notoriously slow down site speed. However, having one or two essential plugins can do the opposite. Caching plugins, for example, can do wonders for your blog’s loading speed.
If you use a CMS like WordPress, you will be able to find excellent caching plugins for free. Choose a plugin that is small and easy to install. It will not hurt to test two or three, and pick the one that fits your needs the best.
4. Compress and Resize Images
Most bloggers tend to post lots of images. If these pictures are not reduced in size correctly, they can drag down overall site speed quite incredibly. So, you need first to resize large pictures and compress them before uploading to the server.
There are plenty of free tools that allow you to resize and compress images automatically. Choose a tool that lets you resize multiple images at once. Some plugins can resize and compress images as well.
5. Reduce the Number of Drafts Stored
Most CMSs automatically save blog post drafts. Obviously, this feature is a life saver if you ever forget to save a post yourself. The problem is that post revision saving can get out of control and take up a lot of server space if you are not careful.
If you have a post uploaded and ready for viewing, do you still need to store a dozen auto-saved drafts of it? Use a plugin or a tool to remove such unnecessary drafts. If you need many drafts saved, try saving them externally on your computer, instead of taking up space on the server.
If you implement the above suggestions, you can improve your blog’s site speed significantly. You should also consider improving your blog’s speed on mobile. Making your blog load speed is not optional in this day and age. You must do it to retain traffic, reduce bounce rates, and, ultimately, to improve your blog’s current conversion rate.