Learn How I increased my Blog’s loading speed by 25%
Blogs should load fast. Nowadays, people lack patience. This is evident from the fact that they hate slow loading blogs and websites. Further, Google wants the web to be faster. They want blogs and websites to increase their page load speed. The page load time of a blog plays a key role in its search result standings. So, increasing the loading speed of your blog has two advantages- Happy visitors and a Google friendly blog.
There are various tried and tested ways to increase the load speed of a blog. I’ve gone through many of them and tried many methods. One of the basic steps is to use a good caching plugin. Since most of you are well aware about it, I haven’t mentioned them in this article. Earlier, on analyzing my blog’s page load speed using Google analyzer, it got a score of 60/100. After a series of modifications and experimentation, the score now has reached 85/100!
In my quest to increase the page load speed of my blog and decrease the loading time, I also invested a little amount of money (negligible amount). You will read about it later in this article. Apart from that one small investment, rest of the methods are absolutely free of cost!
Now, after getting good results on my blog, I’ve decided to share the methods I implemented. You might have tried some/all of these methods on your blog. But I guess this article will be helpful to newbie bloggers and those who haven’t tried these methods.
Here’s what I did to increase my blog’s loading speed by 25%
1 I bought and used Premium themes
This was my very first step. The small investment that I talked of was made for purchasing premium themes for my blog. Earlier, I used a free theme on my blog called ‘Admired’. But free themes are free for a reason. Premium themes offer better features and increased loading speed.
I purchased a set of three premium themes from Theme Junkie. It cost me around $27 (after using a discount coupon which I found after Googling) for 3 awesome themes. At present I’m using the ‘Freshlife’ theme on this blog. The support offered by Theme-Junkie is also great. Queries and problems are solved thanks to an active support forum.
In short, if you are really serious about reducing page load time, consider buying good premium themes. It is a one-time investment. But it is worth the money spent!
2 Found and deleted ‘Lazy’ plugins
I visited many blogs searching for ways to reduce the load time of my blog. That’s how I stumbled upon an article about plugins and page load speed. I learned that slow loading plugins slows down a blog. Deactivating and deleting the plugin was the solution.
There is a plugin called P3 Plugin Profiler. It scans the plugins being used on your blog. After scanning, it points out ‘lazy’ and slow plugins. I used this plugin on my blog and found some plugins that made my blog load slow. I deactivated and deleted them. I replaced them with ‘light’ plugins. When it comes to WordPress, there are many alternatives for a plugin.
3 Leverage Browser Caching
Google page speed analyzer is a great tool. It not only provides the speed score, but also points out serious issues and the solutions. When I analyzed my blog’s result, it suggested me to leverage browser caching.
I think my caching plugin didn’t had this feature. So I searched online for a solution. Soon, I got the solution. It was all about inserting a few lines of code in the .htaccess file of my blog.
The process is pretty simple. Go through this article to get more details about editing .htaccess and leveraging browser caching.
4 Used Js Delivr
5 Used CloudFlare
On using online tools to test page load speed of my blog, I came to know that the number of ‘requests’ made by the browser was too much. I had to find a way to reduce it. The solution was to find a good CDN service.
After searching online, I stumbled upon CloudFlare. There are many free CDN services. But Cloudflare was widely appreciated by all. So I decided to go for free Cloudflare service.
I registered on their site (free plan) and installed Cloudfare’s WordPress plugin on my blog. The process was simple. Activate the plugin and enter the API key (available after registering on their site). The next step was to change the name of nameservers.
Cloudflare offers some great features like enhanced security, better speed etc. They have their servers located at various places. Due to this, blogs and sites are served faster based on the location. This drastically reduced the number of requests and enhanced my blog’s performance.
I also took care of some small factors like compressing very large images, tuning the mobile version of my blog etc. The above methods have been tried and tested by me. And it has yielded results too! The score of my blog on Google speed analyzer increased from 60 to 85, a 25% increase! And all methods (except one) are free of cost! I tested the load speed of my blog using other tools like GT Metrix and saw vast improvement in blog performance. I think you too should try them out.