Although personal access to the Internet will play a role in how quickly websites are loaded, there may be ways that can improve these times directly on your blog. The less time someone spends waiting for your site to load is more time he or she can enjoy the content. Generally, people like instant gratification and want content to be displayed the second they visit a website. What are some ways that you can help decrease the wait period of your blog?
Image Size and Resolution
A common mistake that many website owners make is using the wrong size and resolution for images on the Internet. Images that are created higher than 72 dpi are considered excessively large by a myriad of professional standards. Size is another aspect as many people will take images directly from smartphones and cameras to use on websites. As these files can be in excess of 2000 pixels in either direction, it takes a considerably long time to render a larger photograph than one that was cropped and re-sized to fit the page. Some designers will use the larger file and program the image to look smaller on the site. Unfortunately, this can still slow the page as the image in its entirety is still being rendered by the computer. Even though it may look like a 100×150 pixel image, the actual size is still the original dimensions of the file. Using tools such as Pixlr or other image editing tool, you can re-size the image to be exactly what is needed for the site.
Content Deliver Networks
Using content delivery networks can help speed up your blog by storing your files on various servers. Once your site is accessed, the CDN will quickly choose a server that is closer to the individual based on his or her geographic location. This type of hosting usually costs money but can be an effective way to make your site load up quickly onto someone’s computer screen.
Remove the Clutter
When maintaining your blog, it can be hard to select from various widgets and plugins that you want to use because they may be useful. However, all of these “goodies” could be drastically slowing down the website. Try to keep your widgets and plugins to a minimum if you want you visitors to access pages faster. People are there for the content and may find your weather widget to be pointless anyway.
Well-Developed Theme Usage
If you use a content management system such as WordPress, themes developed by third parties can be riddled with complications. If you suspect that your theme is hindering your site, you can easily check this by changing to one of the default WordPress basic themes to measure access times. If the site loads faster with the basic display, you may want to consider looking for an improved theme or other professional development.
Eliminate Image Hot Links
Although it’s a frowned upon action, some people will use your images including the actual link to your site on their own webpages. This means that anyone visiting this person’s website is looking at images that are loaded from your server. The action takes bandwidth from your account reducing the speed of your blog. By adding a bit of coding to your .htaccess file, you can restrict access to your images.
These are some of the more common methods of reducing load times for websites. By monitoring the access activity of your pages through analytical tools, you can see what pages are proving to be problem areas. Do what you can to allow your visitors to read your content without excessively waiting for pages to load.