10 Ways To Make Your Blog Load Faster and Save Bandwidth


This post is part of Saturday, Sunday Series for Newbie Bloggers. You can contact me, if you have any questions.

Q. I have been tweaking my blog to make it load faster, but nothing seems to be helping. And eventhough I don’t have heavy traffic to my blog, often times it goes down πŸ™ Can you please suggest me something to over come my problem? Am I missing something or is it normal with all blogs. And I am hosting my blog with basic hosting package, so is that the problem?

To make blog load faster
1. Remove any extra widgets you are using on your blog.- Twitter updates, Facebook fan widget etc
2. If you are running banner ads, make sure you host all the images on your domain.
3. Make less http requests from any webpage.
Ex: Instead of using “http://yourdomainname.com/images/123.jpg” you can use “/images/123.jpg” in the img tag.
4. Use less images. Having one or two images for a article helps, anything more will really slow down the site. Use multiple images only if highly necessary.
5. Move all the CSS and JavaScript codes to an external file. And make sure to optimize them – remove extra spaces, delete the useless codes and make the scripts small and smart(good coding).
6. If you have any badges and banners which does not provide any value to your visitors, then remove it mercilessly.
7. Optimize the images that you are using on your blog.
8. Use Gzip compression. Add the following code to your .htaccess file if your web host have content compression (gzip compression) turned off. You can test it using http compression tool.

# Turn GZip compression on (as per http://tr.im/fnn6)
<Location />
# Insert filter
SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
# Netscape 4.x has some problems...
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
# Netscape 4.06-4.08 have some more problems
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
# MSIE masquerades as Netscape, but it is fine
# BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
# NOTE: Due to a bug in mod_setenvif up to Apache 2.0.48
# the above regex won't work. You can use the following
# workaround to get the desired effect:
BrowserMatch \bMSI[E] !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
# Don't compress images
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \
\.(?:gif|jpe?g|png)$ no-gzip dont-vary
# Make sure proxies don't deliver the wrong content
Header append Vary User-Agent env=!dont-vary

9. Do not make use of lot of javascript codes to track your visitors. Try to stick only to the necessary things. And do not forget to test your sites performance using Webmasters tool.
Goto Webmasters Tool -> Labs -> Site performance.
Here you can see the performance over view graph and lot more information like: Load time of certain pages from your blog, You can install a 1.5MB add-on to evaluate the performance of your pages and get suggestions on how to improve them, it also reports – what is consuming more time to load and what you can do to improve the performance etc.
10. Above all the speed of the servers where you are hosting your blog is very important – without which any tweaking will go in vain.

Bonus tips:
1. Use only the necessory plugins and remove the rest.
2. Do not use Widgets. Use handcoding and put the things into the WordPress theme directly – reducing the number of calls.

Have a backup of your blog, and if you are comfortable: Use DataBase cleanup plugin, Database optimizer plugin, delete the extra post revisions, use static links – this helps very little, if you already have Gzip compression enabled or Super cache plugin enabled.

Final Thoughts from Matt Cutts:

Invest in a good hosting company. See to that you are paying atleast 5 to 6 $ per month for your basic hosting package. If you go far a cheaper web hosting, then the problems are mostly obvious. I suggest going with Doreo host, Blue host, Host Gator, MediaTemple etc. And a basic package is all needed in the initial days.

If you are hosting at a decent hosting company, and still facing this problem, then you must consider evaluating your blogs log files. It contains information about what is consuming the bandwidth. You can mail your hosting company support team and can ask them to check it for you and to report the possible problem. In most cases it would be a plugin problem or a faulty code introduced into the CMS. Or sometimes if you are using some automated scripts to handle some tasks, all these could create some problem, if there are some bugs.

A good hosting company should be able to help you with this – if not, you know, its time to move on. And there are plenty of good web hosts to opt.

Happy Blogging!

Related Read: 20 Tips To Optimize Your HomePage

20 thoughts on “10 Ways To Make Your Blog Load Faster and Save Bandwidth”

  1. It is very essential to have a fast loading blog. Surveys have shown that if your blog takes more than 5 seconds to load, people will tend to ignore it. So you will lose a lot many potential readers. http://vrank.org is also a good place to check the time your blog takes to load. Google Webmaster Tools is quite good to indicate potential problems with your blog.

  2. You are always welcome @Crusher,.

    @Bogcess, Gzip is very easy. Just add those bit of codes into your .htaccess file and see the difference using the tool mentioned above.

    If you are asking about the Gzip command, here is some basics:

    For Compression:

    gzip filename.txt

    This will compress the filename.txt file as filename.txt.gz in the same directory as the original file.


    gunzip filename.txt.gz

    This command will extract the filename.txt from filename.txt.gz.

    1. @Harsh, Thanks for your valuable comment.

      For those who don’t know “Image Sprites” and “Smush it”:

      Smush it is a online tool or optimization techniques, which effectively reduces the image file size without compromising the quality. @ http://www.smushit.com

      Image Sprites This is a technique where you try to reduce the over all HTTP requests made, by combining all the images into one single image and using CSS to select and position the required image.

  3. Biggest issue I see on a recurring basis is blog owners or contributors who don’t know how to resize photos properly. If the blogs default width is 550px, don’t upload photos that are 1000px in width and rely on your theme to resize it.

    Problem number two is that most don’t want to take the time to open in Photoshop and use the Save for web & devices… option, which further compresses photos down in size.

    One friend of mine was shooting photos for his blog on the lowest resolution his camera did, output was 640×480, he did this so he didn’t have to resize. The problem was, his theme was defaulted to 585 pixels at the widest point, so it resized all of them. Additionally, the average photo size out of his camera was 120-250Kb in size. After my suggestions for months on running a batch resizer in Photoshop to reduce the file size, I finally got a call from him 5 days before the end of a billing cycle for his web host because he had been shut down due to exceeding his bandwidth.

    I downloaded every photo out of the uploads directory from WP on his server, batch resized them all and re-uploaded them. The following month his traffic was the same but the bandwidth dropped by nearly 60%.

  4. @Mike Panic, Thanks a lot for your input. This is one of the problems I see with most bloggers in their beginning days of blogging.

    I had a friend who use to put photos after scanning from his HP all in one printer. And every photo use to be 1 to 2.5 MB in size and he had no idea! until one day I told him to open that scanned image in simple paint (Windows OS) software and use the SaveAs option – and the file would reduce to almost 50 – 80 kb!

    Further, reducing the size of the image to fit the theme is a added benefit, as it usually reduces the file size.

    And hey I forgot to mention another simple way to make the images load faster: That is by specifying the images width and the height property.

    By doing so, the browser will hold space for the allocated width and height and will continue to load the image and the other content simultaneously.

    Thanks @Mike for your valuable input. Its a great reminder of how things would go wrong, if we miss to understand some of the basic things – like using a image larger than our themes width.

  5. @Web Design Beach, Yes, speed of a website is thing to be considered seriously – for better user experience and for SEO too! Get a clue from the above video, where Matt Cutt talks about “Google Caffeine”.

  6. @Arun, Using relative address reduces http calls. But there is a downside for it. If you are using some URL shortner and your blog post is shown in a frame – inside the URL shortner’s domain, then the images seem to be broken – if the admin of URL shortner website hasn’t taken care of this issue.

  7. @Latief, Yes it does effect. It’s a good idea to have the servers located at a place near to your websites target audience. So that the data transfer will be faster.

    As the servers are located in your country, your website loads faster for you; but it need not be same for your audience located somewhere in North America.

  8. You have illustrated some good points Satish. I would like to suggest everyone to first use pagespeed.googlelabs.com to checkout their site’s loading speed, it also suggests the improvements which will further help reducing the loading time. After checking the suggestions one should do what is most required. Hope this helps πŸ™‚

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