Slow load times on a blog or webpage can be pretty annoying. If something is taking ages to load, how long would you wait before you clicked off and went to another site? A couple of minutes maybe? For 40% of internet users, the average time they’ll actually wait is 3 seconds. On retail websites, even a 1 second delay can reduce sales by 7%. That doesn’t seem like much but it can add up to thousands over the course of a year.
If you’re running your own blog, this is something you need to think about. This might be affecting your SEO. The well known Moz Blog says, “Google uses a multitude of factors to determine how to rank search engine results…in 2010, Google announced website speed would begin having an impact on search ranking. Now, the speed at which someone could view the content from a search result would be a factor.”
Don’t let slow load times hold you back
How many readers have you lost, just because your pages were loading a bit slowly? Every blogger knows that finding a readership and keeping them is the biggest hurdle to success so you can’t afford to be losing people for such a simple, basic reason. Luckily, there are plenty of things that you can do about slow loading times on your blog. Here are things that you can amend and check to fix slow load times on your blog.
#1: Check your plugins
Plugins are great because they add extra functionality to your blog and create a better user experience, but they also slow down the loading times a little. One or two won’t make a difference but if you’ve got loads on there, you’ll have trouble. Half the time, people leave plugins running, even if they’re not using them for anything anymore.
Go through and make sure you’ve got rid of any unnecessary ones and see if you can find a single plugin that covers multiple features, reducing the amount that you use will speed up your site immediately.
#2: Consider a better server
It might be the case that your site is running slow because you’ve got more visitors than you can handle, in which case you need better servers to host it on. If your current hosting can’t deal with the number of visitors you have, there’s no other way around it. It’ll cost you a bit of money but you can get an unsecured loan to cover it. It’s better to borrow the money and get it sorted right away than it is to save up because you’ll start to lose readers rapidly if the website is slow.
#3: Asses your blog’s theme – is it holding you back?
When you’re choosing a theme for your site, you probably went with one of the free ones. The issue is, they’re often badly coded and not optimised for loading speed. It makes a lot more difference than people realise and a bad theme can clog up your website. There are loads of great paid themes out there that aren’t that expensive, but paying a little money for it guarantees that it will be better built and won’t be as likely to slow down loading times. Slow load times can be fixed.
#4: Cut down posts on your homepage
When people go on your homepage you want them to see everything that you’ve got on offer but be careful. If you pack the homepage full of posts, it will take ages to load and people will probably leave before they even see any of the posts. It’s much better to put a few and use an infinite scroll feature so people can see more if they need to but the page still loads quickly.
You can easily fix and tweak a few things to make an impact
Start small: Load times on your blog are so important, if you don’t get it right you’ll lose a lot of readers. Just aim to do a few simple, basic things and you should see the difference with slow load times both instantly and over time.