User experience is one factor that can make or break a blog. If a visitor suffers a negative experience, they are unlikely to stick around or return in the future. One of the most common complaints is slow loading, with even an extra few seconds likely to increase bounce rates. While most site owners understand this issue, limited numbers are actually diligent with improving loading times. You might not receive too many compliments about the site speed, typically only noticed when there are issues, but you should see the benefits in your analytics. So what are the fundamentals required to build a lightning-fast blog?
Choose the Right Hosting Provider
Much of your site speed will be dependent on your hosting. There are numerous web hosting providers offering services as varied as shared, dedicated, or cloud hosting services. It is even possible to find a free, or extremely cheap, option, but you can be certain they won’t offer exceptional services. Your budget will largely define which option you choose, with any dedicated products charging more. You can go for high quality hosting services by searching for godaddy renewal promo code for popular providers like GoDaddy and Hostgator. For example, do a quick search for ‘godaddy promo code 2018‘ and you’ll find lots of great coupons for hosting and domain registration.
Most companies can also assist you with upgrading, so you could adapt as traffic increases. Finally, a content delivery network like CloudFlare can be a good idea as your site is distributed around the world, meaning quicker load times regardless of the location.
Use a Quality Theme
If you are experienced with web design, you may choose to build your own site. Most people, though, will prefer to use a content management system, with WordPress being the most popular. There is no shortage of quality themes for blog or magazine sites, so you can choose one that looks good and runs quickly. ThemeForest is the biggest marketplace, but many established theme designers offer quality products, including StudioPress, Elegant Themes, WooThemes, and more. Reading reviews and doing speed tests on demo sites should uncover any theme issues before you buy.
Install a Caching Plugin
After installing your site, the next stage is to optimize it. One of the simplest ways is to install a cache plugin, ensuring your content does not have to repeatedly load each time a visitor lands on a page. Without any caching, a dynamic content platform needs to request information from the host, including images and code, for each visit. In most cases, though, these pages won’t be altered after publishing. The plugin, depending on how you configure it, will create a static page, so there won’t be the same weight placed on the server.
Run a Speed Test and take Action
Do Regular Maintenance
Finally, ensure you perform regular maintenance checks of your blog. Issues with code or large images can lead to a decrease in speed, so look to stay on top of loading times. The bulk of the work will, of course, have taken place in the initial stages, but add scheduled checks to your routine. Tools like GTmetrix Pro can, if you are willing to pay a monthly subscription, monitor a number of URLs on a regular basis, while checking from a variety of locations around the world.
The process can be a fairly simple one, but it will be enough to provide a good user experience, while also passing speed tests set by the search engines. In some cases, there may be technical issues that require more work. Make sure you back up your site before attempting any serious changes, then follow the instructions offered by the speed checking sites or employ a specialist. Loading speed might seem like a fairly minor part of your business, but ultimately the ramifications of slow loading can do serious damage to your fortunes.