One thing I’m constantly aware of when looking at websites is the speed of the website, especially when I’m in a hurry! Page speed is a real deal breaker, we are all so busy and it’s a tragedy to know that if our page doesn’t load quickly, we will lose followers.
Maybe I focus on these things because we live blogging 24/7. Our household is all about blogging (obviously). I’m always tripping on something blog related. Lighting, props, books. Or I’m cleaning up sticky notes of ideas or wondering where the Cacao nibs went because they’re no longer in the pantry….. low and behold, they’re upstairs because we used them for photos the night before. It’s just become part of the lifestyle and I’m used to it. I wonder if the rest of the blogging community have similar things going on in their life?
Even though we are always busy, we try to be active in the blogging community. That means commenting on other sites, and reading about whats going on with others. It’s great to see everyone’s latest creations, life updates, and give some comment love and shares along the way. It always becomes difficult and it never seems to fail to hear some frustration and bickering coming from the other room when Sam wants to comment on someones site but it’s running super slow. I do it too and I’m sure you’ve been in the same boat.
Amazon did a study and found out that if their sites loaded 1 second slower, they’d lose 1.6 billion. Loading times and page speed is no joke. So lets talk about a few reasons why a website would be slow and hopefully you can target if you are doing any of these things.
Ads use whats called Render Blocking Scripts which means they need to load before the rest of the site loads. That’s part of the deal you make with these advertising sites. This means your ads need to communicate back to the ad servers, need to load their tracking scripts, communicate back to the user, and then after pulling tracking info from the user, it loads the ad. And then finally, the content of your site is able to load. Most of us don’t have just one ad either. So add this happening 2-3 more times, as well as all those ads you have embedded into your text, and in your images. Now you can see why your site is running slower than it should. There is a fine line between monetizing with ads, and keeping usability on your site. It’s great to get a few bucks from ad companies but make sure you’re not losing views because your site is too slow. Don’t monetize at the expense of your raving fan as it can affect your page speed.
This gets even worse when you use the waterfall effect that most bloggers learn when they first start monetizing with ads. This is because the communication has to go through multiple ad networks, tracking, and analytics, to bring up an ad all before displaying the site. There is a better solution to this! It’s call Google DFP. Never heard of this? Check out What is Google DFP? Most ad networks use Google DFP . It’s not the easiest thing to set up but it can help you make more money on your ads and help your page load faster. If this is something you are interested in, I’m running a special through March 15th. to set this up. Set up a free consult with me if you are interested!
Each plugin you install is an added bolt on to your site which needs to be loaded. Sometimes, plugins aren’t coded the best or they’re bloated with more features than you need or use. One example that comes to mind that I see on so many beginning bloggers sites is JetPack. This plugin has a TON of features, but it can cause serious issues with website load time because of how big the plugin is. Want to know what plugin maybe slowing down your site? Install a a neat plugin called P3 and test your site with it to see which plugins are taking the longest to load. Disabling these plugins can really help improve your page speed loading times.
Are you uploading your images before you optimize them for the web? I’m not only talking about reducing them in dimension size, but also file size. Typical images from your phone or your camera are HUGE, but every day I can see images on fellow blogger’s websites in the megabyte range. Remember, we need to optimize not only for desktop computers (which may have cable connections) but also for mobile phones which can sometimes be super slow. My recommendation? Get Adobe Photoshop and start saving and optimizing for the web. Many bloggers shy away from Photoshop thinking it’s a super complex program, but really it’s not. Check out Blogger Optimization Network to find tutorials and learn more about Photoshop! If you’d rather not use Photoshop there are a few other sites that can help you optimize your image like JPEGmini and smush.it.
Not sure how your site measures up? Test it with Google Page Insights.
- Have you ever had to leave a website because it was to slow?