Anticipation only sells ketchup on TV! (…on speeding up your blog)

By: Guest Author

Anticipation only sells ketchup on TV. The rest of us don’t want to wait once we ask for what we want. If the wait is unbearable, we will probably walk out and find another place to go.

It’s the same story with your blog. If the pages of your blog don’t load fast enough, there’s a good chance that new readers would walk out on your blog too. These tips should help you speed up page loading on your blog.

Images: size matters

Resize your images before uploading. I repeat: Resize your images before uploading.

Don’t make me say it again because I will if I have to!

This is the number one killer of website performance. Uploading full size images and letting them resize in the browser is the biggest no no in the entire online publishing business. Well, after stealing content, so OK, maybe it’s the second biggest no no in the business.

While you don’t want poor quality images on your blog; extremely large sized, high res images, saved at high JPG quality severely slow down page loading. Resize your images first, and then upload them already sized and scaled to how you want them to display. Further, use smaller sized images and opt for a medium size layout for images on your blog post.

Also, save at lower JPG quality… of your image software supports JPG quality from 1 to 10, 3 is usually more than good enough for a blog, and you seldom need better than 4.

You might want to opt for the save for the web feature when saving images. Alternatively you could use an image optimization web service to help with optimization. Putting up images on an external storage site like Flickr or Picassa saves bandwidth and really helps speed loading.

CSS is your friend

You want to rely more on CSS rather than images for depicting simple things on your blog. For instance, using simple CSS you could create a code for an image for a simple icon rather than linking fancy images as icons. You might also want to clean up your CSS code to help optimize your template and load pages faster. You might want to try using Clean CSS to do this for you.

Widget Wisely

Widgets are fun, useful, and awfully cute but you really should try to stick to the useful ones. There are a million widgets out there, each one more tempting than the next. But you’ve got to be mature about this! Do you really need that widget that tells you the exact location of your recent visitors? Each widget sends a request to an external website and seriously slows down page loading, especially server side ones. Think about it, would you rather show off or have subscribers? We will have a follow up post on the effective use of widgets… be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it.

Flashy Animations

Of course you think the fancy flash and javascript animations on your blog are pretty cool, but your readers could have gone an entire life without seeing most of it. Overloading your blog pages with redundant flash and java really slows you down. What good is a bunch of fancy java script when you don’t have any followers to (kinda) appreciate it?

Think about it, why would anyone want to visit a blog that takes its own sweet time to load? The longer the loading time, the more followers skim and run.

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