Check your blog’s loading time

If you have a blog and you’ve given it any thought at all, you know that its loading time is important to your readership. Studies have shown that if your blog or website takes more than four seconds to load, visitors start leaving. Internet readers are impatient, instant-gratification types. If they click on your page and don’t see anything, they aren’t going to wait indefinitely for something to appear. (Four seconds is for-EVah!)

There are lots of places online to check your site’s loading time. Many of them also provide a detailed breakdown of the elements on the page and the loading time of each. I thought it would be helpful to know where improvements could be made, but as it turned out, a lot of the items were things I either couldn’t identify or don’t have access to (eg, behind-the-scenes coding).

Anyway, I tried and liked Pingdom. Type your URL into the box at the top of the page and an easy-to-interpret bar graph will show you the loading time of each element. You can see immediately where your problems are. At the very least, you’ll learn what an “element” is.

If even that seems too technical, look in the blue “Website information” box in the lower left corner for “Total loading time.” That’s all you really need to know. Tinker with your home page until you get that time down to a reasonable amount (how long would you wait for a page to load?).

There are a few nontechnical things that even a beginner can do. Use fewer and smaller images, and optimize/compress the files as much as you can stand. (Don’t forget your header art.)  You’ll have to make some decisions, though, since illustrations add interest and help break up large amounts of text. And simplify; minimize the number of elements on your front page (Do you really need all those widgets?) Reduce the number of posts displayed on your front page (see Settings on your dashboard), or show only partial posts (use “More” to direct readers to full posts).

Oops. Sorry to be so verbose. I really just wanted to suggest you try Pingdom.

4 comments

  1. That “Pingdom” is awesome! That will really come in handy for my wordpress.org sites. LOL… I found this post in wordpress.com search/help. I was searching the terms “loading time” because my site is taking forever! Well, kind of. It loads and is functional in a reasonable amount of time. But the tab still shows it loading with the wheel continually spinning. It is several minutes before that finally goes away.

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