5 Ways to Make Your Site Fly

1.  Take your laptop skydiving!

Just kidding.

Here are some safer ways you can help your site “fly” so it loads quickly for visitors (without getting your life insurance policy canceled for risky hobbies).

First, test your site somewhere like GTMetrix which combine’s Google Page Speed and YSlow for you.  This will help you track your progress in getting faster load speed times.

Don’t worry if a lot of the terms or things they mention on those lists seem like something even Sheldon and Leonard couldn’t explain.  Remember that you don’t have to implement everything on their lists to see an improvement in the speed of your site.  You just want a benchmark you can measure your progress against.

1.  Optimize Your Images

If you’re using large images (especially if you’re loading them directly from your nice, 5 billion megapixel camera), you need to resize them before you add them to your website or blog.

Here are three free ways to resize your images:

You may also want to look at optimizing your images so they’ll load faster using the plugin WP Smush.it  This will resize each image as you add them to your posts.  I’ve installed this one and will be testing it out so I’ll share my experience with it once I’ve used it for a bit.

2.  Scripts & Banners

One thing that can really slow down your site’s loading time is if you have a lot of scripts and banners from other websites.  So if you’ve got 10 different analytic tracking or similar scripts… or 15 affiliate banner ads… that’s going to really slow down how your pages load.  Try narrowing that down.

Sometimes your site may be very slow to load because of an image from another, slower server that you’ve featured in your home page or side bar.  Try saving the images, upload them to your own server, and using those links to display them.    Then your visitor isn’t being bounced around to different websites to load all the pieces of your website.

3.  Clean Up Your Plugins

Too many plugins = slow loading blog!

How many do you need?  It depends on the features you want on your blog.  So there is no set in stone perfect number of plugins.

Get rid of any that you aren’t using.  Don’t just deactivate them, but actually delete them from your blog.

4. Optimize Your Database

Over time your database gets cluttered up with saved versions of posts (each time you revise or save a draft, it’s stored in the database), spam and unapproved comments, etc.

You can use the plugin WP Optimize to clean it up.

5.  Install a Caching Plugin

Two popular caching plugins are WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.  Both work by creating cached copies of your pages and posts that will load faster for visitors.

I’m using W3 Total Cache.  Trust me when I say you don’t want me to turn it off.  It makes a nice difference in page load speed.

What are your favorite tips for speeding up your blog? 

Has anything on this list worked well for you?

Got any other tips, tricks, or tools you like for speeding up loading time?

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20 Comments

  1. Great advice here Michelle.

    Every blogger or webmaster needs to bear all these things in mind. The thing is that most of us don’t consider these things.

    I hope you’re having a great day over there in Alaska. It’s probably getting pretty freezing this time of year.

    I’m looking forward to your next post.

    Your friend across the pond

    David
    David Verney recently posted… Facebook App Review: PollMy Profile

    1. Hi David, yes, we’re snow-covered and below freezing. But it’s very pretty. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Better Mistakes?My Profile

  2. Thanks for posting this, Michelle. This is just something that gets lost on the back burner when you are trying to get everything else set up. Of course some of the things you mentions are only “one time only” but it still gets lost in the shuffle of excitement that comes with starting a new venture — blog, site, etc. I am printing this up and adding it to my “maintenance” work ;) Otherwise, I will definitely forget LOL

    It’s been my “best practice” when it comes to things like affiliate links or banners, to upload the images to my own server and just add the link. It helps with the person’s server allotment that you are linking to — I realize servers and hosts have come so far even from 2 years ago, but I just feel better not using up their server when I can just as easily use mine ;)

    I look forward to hearing what you think about WP Smush it. I try to optimize my own images but sometimes I am just not happy with the quality and end up using images that are more intensive.

    Thanks again for all you do for us, Michelle!!!!
    Kimberly ~ Gypsy recently posted… Thanksgiving Holiday ~ What am I Thankful forMy Profile

  3. fantastic advices and plugins michelle :)
    just optimized 2 websites and installed some nice new plugins.

    wonderful.
    helen bogun recently posted… Top 10 Blogs I like to readMy Profile

  4. Great advice. I’m going to make a few changes to make images on my site load faster. Thanks for the step-by-step tips. As always, very helpful.
    Lisa Kanarek recently posted… All Dressed Up: A Working Naked UpdateMy Profile

  5. Thanks so much for this post! Always enjoyable and informative. I never knew about testing sites. Seems like some work so I need to get started. xo
    Sharlene recently posted… Common Excuses For Not Starting A BlogMy Profile

  6. Nice tips Michelle…. these will all have an impact on blog speed.

    Mine’s suffering at the moment, I had some problems with the caching plugins and just put a bunch of directory logos on which don’t load properly… More tweaking needed.

    I went on a bit of a mission to speed it all up a while ago – I found the most important things were to have a fast theme, and good hosting.

    Also worth a look is a free CDN (I’m using Incapsula, CloudFlare also works well) which basically saves your content in a few spots around the world so it’s closer to your readers when they try to view it (improves security too!). I reviewed them both over on my blog.

    Gravatar local cache is another plugin you can add to cache the Gravatars from your commenters so they don’t have to be loaded every page view.

    Just taking a little time to sort this area out is of huge benefit. Google loves it, and it’s nice for the readers too!
    Jym recently posted… Speed Up Your Blog Without Code – Slow Blogs Lose Readers and Rank Lower (part 2)My Profile

  7. I’ve started reducing plugins on some of my blog. I have also found a n easy way to resize images is just to view them on my desktop, then reduce the size of the picture viewing window, Then I just use the snipping tool to save the image in a new size.
    Zoomit Canada News recently posted… 4 Planning Tips to Get Control of the Holiday Season | Kathy Russell – The Butler GirlMy Profile

  8. Great tips – just downloaded WP Optimize, I’m hoping it will help speed up my site. I’ve been using Super Cache and it’s awesome.
    Holly Hanna recently posted… Book Review: The Essentials of FabulousMy Profile

  9. All the ones you mentioned above. Basically keeping things clean and simple. I also love Caching Plugin and creating different combinations to improve my blogs speed, because on some blogs W3 Total Cache will do the trick but on others this will totally mess up, so I always try more cache plugins but also combination of two or even three.
    Cristian Balau recently posted… I will create 282 verified ANGELA and Paul BACKliNKS with pr3 to 7 for $12My Profile

  10. Hi Michelle!
    A great and informative post. Any blogger or owner of website should keep on mind these tips. It is important also to keep a website simple and good organized. And your step by step tips are awesome!
    EleonoraEOF recently posted… Three Steps To A Creative WorkoutMy Profile

  11. Haha, just let us fly together with our computer, which is one so great feeling, just like I reinstall the system of my computer :D. Thank you for your tips in blog and these are all very helpful to me. During my daily usage of PC, I always keep a habit of clear the disc waste regularly, so that the computer could be performed in a quicker speed.
    Sophia recently posted… My Way to Forex TradingMy Profile

  12. I just installed the WP Optimize. I was so shocked to find out how cluttered my blog’s database is. Thanks so much to you, Michelle. You’re post has been such a great help.
    Adeline recently posted… Survive the Holiday Season: 7 Easy Money Saving TipsMy Profile

  13. I believe that keeping a blog regularly updated with the information that readers want is what can make your blog fly. One trick that helped me cleaning up the plug ins.
    John recently posted… Selected Ex Girlfriend QuotesMy Profile

  14. Al the above mentioned points are really nice and useful. You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.

  15. Thanks for sharing Michelle. I’m going to delete those plugins that I’ve deactivated and I will definitely check out the loading speed of my blog by visiting the sites you suggested. Tip #2 is the only one that’s not useful to me at this time. However, it will be useful for a site that I’m planning to build in a few weeks.

    You share such useful content.

    In gratitude!
    Adalia John recently posted… Gratitude Project: Living in GratitudeMy Profile

  16. Great resource. Thanks for sharing some tips and tricks. This would really help me on my online business.

  17. Gee been a while since I visited but the quality of information is still so good. Love the optimize concepts here.
    Roberta Budvietas recently posted… Civility Is important to Business SuccessMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Roberta, and you’re welcome back anytime. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Boost Holiday Sales Even if You Don’t Sell FruitcakeMy Profile

  18. Hi Michelle

    Some great tips for improving a sites performance. I’ve used Cloudflare in the past as a CDN source, it’s free and has several security related functions. Another plugin that has helped speed up sites for me before is a little plugin called ‘Use Google Libraries’ it allows your site to use common javascript libraries from Google’s AJAX Libraries CDN, rather than from WordPress’s own copies.
    Beth recently posted… 5 Quick Tips To Get Your Ex BackMy Profile

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