If your site loads slowly, you might as well write your articles on the back of a dumpster with a magic marker. Readers won’t wait.
Every tenth of a second your site takes to load, you are losing readers.
Step one: Check your page loading speed on a blog grader of your choice.
There are two speed graders I use constantly, Pingdom and Google Page Speed (both [and more] at the link above). May I humbly suggest that you bookmark the site to check your loading speed. It’s my own list but I use it almost daily.
I also use Woo Rank which tells you much, much more about your site, and they just updated their free service.
I’m writing because I just discovered a free WordPress plugin that sped up my blog. I already used W3 Total Cache and added Quick Cache.
Here are two screen shots from Pingdom, showing the effect of the Quick Cache plugin.
I’m suggesting that you do the same before and after experiment.
Why does my site load so slowly?
Over time I have added to my site a whole bunch of ad widgets and images, external links and doohickies.
All this stuff slows things down something fierce. Check out this evolution over time courtesy of Pingdom, including a bad badge link I fixed on Jan. 30.
Graph below shows before and after the installation of Quick Cache.
Many of you will have questions.
How does Quick Cache work?
I have no idea. I’ve been blogging for nine months and am self taught. Next question?
Why should I trust you?
You have no basis for trusting me, I’m simply reporting my results. Try it yourself.
Do you plan to be a WordPress blogging guru?
What do you mean “plan”? I already am an internet guru not only self-proclaimed but also in my own mind!
Does Quick Cache work with other cacheing plugins?
Finally, a sensible question.
I am running W3 Total Cache the most advanced (well, complicated) caching plugin out there. I found no conflicts or incompatibility. The two plugins, Quick Cache and W3 Total Cache still do their own thing, and seem to get along fine.
Caveat (that means “beware” in Latin): About exactly the same time I installed Quick Cache, I followed the perfectly understandable directions that Quick Cache provides to paste some lines of code in my HTACCESS file to enable GZIP Compression.
I had been getting advice from various blog grader sites to use GZIP compression to make loading faster. Fabulous advice, I’m sure. But for me, a coding moron, that was like saying, “Become a brain surgeon to increase your income.”
So when I saw that Quick Cache offers detailed advice on enabling GZIP with some lines of code, I did it, like a duck on a Junebug. The instructions on Quick Cache are outstanding. Did I mention it’s free?
Why the caveat? Well, I’m reporting on the combo of the Quick Cache plugin and the GZIP modification.
Were I a responsible blogger I would experimentally remove the GZIP code and analyze the results of the plugin alone. But AstroGremlin don’t roll like that.
What I am observing? Blog Grader sites like Internet Supervision are telling me my page loads in .56 seconds in Los Angeles and .78 seconds in Chicago and DC and 1.41 in Sydney. I’m West Coast US.
China takes longer to load to enable repression or something, and Chile is always ridiculous. Hey, paste in blogsnewsreviews.com and see the Internet Supervision results for yourself.
Now if you look at a blog speed grader like Pingdom, mentioned above, and look at the “waterfall,” there’s still all the other junk that loads. But it loads later. I figure that’s fine. A reader is looking for something to read right away.
All the junk that loads up later is like the gradual and magical appearance of superplum fairies. Kind of a surprise treat.
There are other tips to reduce page loading time, and you should do them all. When your page loads slowly, readers leave it for dead. When your blog loads quickly, you are in the race.
After that, Content is King. But in a ’72 Vega even a king is going to get his butt kicked.