No one actually likes waiting. Some of us are just better at it than others.
The internet seems to be a parallel reality where time passes differently, slow at times, fast at others. Web pages seem to take eons to load, no matter how fast your internet connection is. I remember having to wait more than a minute for most pages to load (that was back when I had dial-up). Nowadays I have a DSL connection that generally runs in the 700k-900k range. It’s a lot faster, but not fast enough. Sure, some pages load lightning-fast, but others still seem to crawl along. While they’re not taking over a minute to load, it sure seems like it.
While you’re using the web, time flies by overly quick. It seemed like it was taking an hour for that video to load, but it was really only five minutes. So why is it four o’clock? Oh yeah, you logged-on to World of Warcraft for a few minutes… But how does that come-out to be an hour?
Do you get what I’m saying?
So what can you do to make your blog load faster?
- Install WP Super Cache. You’ll notice the difference immediately. While it won’t magically make every page load faster, it will make your more popular posts quicker.
- Pick a Faster Host. If your webhost has a slow connection, and horribly oversold servers, you can’t expect great performance out of your site. I’m currently getting by with a 1and1 shared server plan, which is okay (and cheap), but not as fast as it could be. Michael of Pro Blog Design uses Media Temple, a pricier host that is held in high regard by bloggers everywhere. MT is known for their speed and reliability. For those looking for cheaper plans, I’ve also heard hood things about A Small Orange. Do your research before buying hosting. Check loading times for sites that use the host, look for current reviews (from reputable sources), etc
- Lighten your images. Use less images in your template if possible, and make sure you optimize them correctly.
- Compress your CSS. Use a CSS-optimization service like Clean CSS, or CSS Optimizer. Make sure you save the original stylesheet, in case something goes wrong!
- Kill unnecessary template tags. Don’t waste server resources by using bloginfo(‘name’) when you can just write the name of your blog. See Pro Blog Design’s 13 Tags to Delete From your Theme.
- Simplify your design. Go simplistic, and your blog will load faster. As of this writing, Webmaster-Source’s overall design only has two images. The logo, and the tiled edge graphic. Everything else is just CSS magic. The aforementioned ProBlogDesign.com takes a similar approach.
Now that you’ve optimized your blog, you can use the time you will save waiting for your blog to load every day to play World of Warcraft, er, write more blog posts.