Welcome to The Blog Report

I'm so glad you stopped by and hope you find this blog an interesting read. I've been blogging since April of 2006, currently the author of six public and two private blogs. In the beginning I knew absolutely nothing about blogging. Over the years through trial and error, frustration and elation, and a few tears I've learned a lot. However, the learning process when it comes to blogging continues to evolve. Here you will find a hodge podge of my blogging experiences, useful codes and how-tos, sprinkled liberally with my opinions. Enjoy!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Few Ways to Decrease Blog Loading Time

Yesterday I wrote about how a long loading time can affect traffic to your blog.  The unfortunate thing is as bloggers we cannot control all aspects of our blog loading time because we are dependent on blog hosts.  There are however a number of things we can do to improve loading speed.  These include:

  1. images - All images used on your blogs should be optimized for web.  In Photoshop choose file\save for web then choose jpeg and set the quality to 30 to 60 and check progressive and save.  Name your file.  This compresses the file and reduces the size for a 640 px X 480 px (my preferred uploading size) from 900 K to under 50 K.  Don't forget to optimize even the small graphics like title images and your badge.
  2. image hosting - If at all possible load images to your own blog host rather than using a third party image hosting site like Photobucket.  There are some cases where you have no choice but only use these sites if absolutely necessary.  Two things happen with third party image hosting sites.  First they can cause slow loading times for those images.  The second problem is with free accounts you are only allowed so many hits per month.  Once you hit the maximum your images are turned off resulting in an ugly 'maximum exceeded' graphic.
  3. widgets - The general tendency for some bloggers seems to be filling their blog with every widget under the sun.  The problem with widgets is you rely on their host to load the widget so any time you do that you run the risk of loading issues.  The second problem is one widget script may cause conflicts with other scripts on your blog.  When it comes to widgets the mantra should be less is more.  Only use those widgets that are going to add value to your blog (eg. blog advertising networks, LinkWithin) or widgets that are part of blogging networks (eg. BlogUp, BlogFrog).  Even these should be kept to a minimum.  Avoid those widgets that are only fillers (eg. country visited from, blog followers, current weather) as they can slow down your blog loading and most readers aren't interested in them anyway.  Besides they take up valuable blog real estate that would be better used in other ways.
  4. advertising - Many bloggers give the impression that when it comes to displaying advertising, the more the merrier.  This really is the wrong approach.  Too many advertisements from or several advertisements from different sources can really slow down a blog's loading time.  Again you are dependent on third party script so if they are having problems or their servers busy your blog loading time will be affected.  As with all third party scripts any advertising script can cause conflicts with other scripts as well.  It is better and more effective to use a maximum of three different advertisement sources.
  5. autoplay anything - Autoplay music, videos and slideshows can really affect a blog's loading time.  These are all elements that should not appear on your blog for any reason.
  6. number of posts - Reducing the number of posts on your blog's landing page can reduce blog loading time.  Instead of a whole week's worth of posts having to load reduce it to a couple of posts just to peak the reader's interest and use LinkWithin that will give them a reason to check your blog out. 


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