Optimising Your Blog

There are many reasons why people have a Wordpress blog.  One thing that all these people want is to increase the number of readers that their blog has.  One of the ways that you can do this is by ensuring that your blog has fast page load speeds.  Even with the best broadband people will move on from any blog that takes an age to load.  There are a number of different ways that you can speed up your blog that you should know about.

Having a Good Blog Host

If you are not using a free Wordpress blog then you may be hosting the blog yourself or through a web hosting company.  When you look at the web hosts you can use the cheapest are generally the shared hosting services.  The one problem that you can face with shared hosting is that the speeds of your blog are going to be slow. 

You should look for a hosting company that does not offer shared hosting.  You should also consider reading some reviews about the host company.  If you can find reviews where the person was hosting a Wordpress blog then you can see what your experience may be with the host company.  Even if your visitors have the best broadband available they will struggle to get a decent experience from your blog if the hosting is poor.

Checking the Theme You Use

Most people want to have a trendy and unique Wordpress theme.  The problem with a lot of themes is that they take a lot time to load.  This is mainly due to the theme framework being bulky and not very easy to load.  If your blog does not load very quickly you should try changing the theme to test if this is your problem.  The fastest Wordpress theme is the default Twenty Ten theme.  You should use this when you are testing your Blog.

Look at a Caching Plugin

There are a lot of Wordpress plugins that you can use on your blog.  Some of these plugins are known as caching plugins.  While they do not add anything to your blogs pages they do make them easier and faster to load.  A lot these plugin are free from Wordpress and they are easy to install. 

It is important that you know what these plugins are going to be doing.  These plugins will cache certain elements of your theme.  This means that when people come and view your website certain elements will load quickly which makes the overall experience faster. 

Optimise All Your Images

There are a lot of people who have a lot of images in their blogs.  What these people do not realise is that the more pictures you have the longer your blog will take to load.  That is unless you optimise your pictures.  There are a number of services that you can use which optimise your images by reducing the file size while not affecting the resolution of the image.  However, having to do this for every single image you are going to place on your site can be time consuming and annoying. 

There are some plugins that you can use to do this automatically.  These Wordpress plugins will automatically optimise all images that you are going to be placing on the blog.  This will be done as you upload the image to your blog.  This saves you time and effort while making your blog faster.

Makes Sure You Homepage is Optimised

There are a number of ways that you can optimise your homepage and you have to know what they are.  It is important that you optimise your home page because this is the page that people will generally visit.  There are 5 things that you can do to optimise your homepage:

  • Do not show full posts on the homepage.  You should only have excerpts and a way for the visitor to go to the full post.
  • Reduce the number of posts that are listed on the home page to between 5 and 7.  Any more than this can cause a lag in the loading of the page.
  • Remove sharing widgets from the homepage.  As people have to go through to the full post only have the sharing widgets on the individual pages.
  • Always clear out the widgets and plugins that you do or need or use.  There are a lot of people who have unnecessary widgets on their homepage which slows down the loading. 
  • Keep everything to a minimum.  Your homepage should just point people to your other posts.  You do not need to have a lot of widgets and plugins for this page.

Disable Leeching and Hotlinking

Many Wordpress blog owners do not know about leeching and hotlinking.  When other websites do this they hotlink the images from your blog onto their website and basically steal your bandwidth.  This can actually add up when your blog becomes more popular and people start scraping your blog posts for their websites.  To disable this you will need to place some coding into the root menu of your hosting. 

Control the Number of Post Revisions that Are Stored

When you write a post for your blog you may revise it a number of times.  When you do this each revision is saved by Wordpress.  If you leave this up to Wordpress all the drafts will be saved and this slows down the loading time of your blog.  Once the post is live you don’t actually need the drafts, but they are all still being stored. 

There is a plugin that you can use which limits the number of drafts that Wordpress will save.  You can set this to 2 or 3, but you should never set this to 1.  You need to have these drafts just in case you make a mistake and need to revert back to one of these posts. 

Turn Off Trackbacks and Pingbacks

There are a lot of people who assume that pingbacks and trackbacks affect the backlinks of your site.  This is not true as the data does not affect the fact that your site has been mentioned.  Turning off the trackbacks and pingbacks that you get when your site is mentioned will speed up the loading of your blog.  

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