You only have just a few seconds to make an awesome first impression with your blog. You might have a gorgeous blog design and out-of-this-world content, but if your site takes FOREVER to load, people are going to be looking for the “back” (aka: “get me outta here”) button before they even have the chance to enjoy your blog in all of its glory. If your blog takes longer than 3 seconds to load it is loading TOO SLOW and is costing you visitors. Every second counts! So today I want to share with you a few tips that will help to speed up your blog. The tips listed below are specifically for Blogger sites, but if you are on WordPress, stay tuned because next week I’ll share some speed up tips specially designed for you WordPress users.
Tip #1: Limit the number of posts on the front home page of your blog
The more posts you show on your front page the longer your blog will take to load. I recommend showing no more than 10 posts on the front page. However, if your posts are long and/or they have a lot of images, then it would be wise to show even fewer posts. To change the number of posts your home page shows, go to “Layout” > “Blog Posts” > “Edit.”
Under “Main Page Options,” switch the number of posts shown on the main page to a number less than 10. Then click the “Save” button. View your blog and it will now only show the number of posts you have set it to show.
Tip #2: Display Expandable Post Summaries on the Home Page
If you would prefer to show a lot of posts on your main page, using expandable post summaries is a great alternative to tip #1. Expandable post summaries is a feature that shows a short paragraph for each post and then allows your users to click on a “read more” link to view the full content of each post. Using expandable post summaries on your home page dramatically decreases load time because only a small snippet of each post on the homepage has to load. View a great Blogger Help tutorial that explains how to set this feature up here.
Tip #3: Resize images before uploading them to your blog
Uploading images in their original size is a surefire way to slow your site down. The larger the images you upload, the longer your site will take to load those images. The goal is to size your images no wider than your post area width, so it’s important to know that width. If you are using a Designer Blogs design, we state the post area width on each of our designs so you’ll know the exact width to use when resizing your images. If you don’t have one of our designs and/or don’t know the width of your post area, then shoot us an email and we’ll be happy to take a look at your site so you’ll know the exact width of your post area. Most post area widths are between 600-800px wide.
Photoshop is the best tool for resizing images, but if you don’t have Photoshop, Pixlr is a free service you can use to do this. Here’s how to easily resize a photo using Pixlr:
1) Hop over to Pixlr, scroll down and click “Launch Web App” under the Pixlr Editor option.
2) Click “Open Image from Computer” and find the image you want to use from your computer.
3) Your image will appear and will be ready for editing. At the bottom of the image you’ll see the current image size. My sample image is currently 4000px wide, which is WAY too large to be uploaded to a blog. So I’m going to change it to the width of my post area, which is 800px wide. In the top navigation bar, click “Image” and then “Image size…”
4) Change the image width to the width of your post area. The height of the image will automatically adjust to keep the proper proportions. Click “OK.”
5) Now you just need to save the resized image, so go to “File” and then “Save.” Rename the file (if needed) and then click “OK.” Find the folder on your computer where you’d like to save the image and click “Save.” You’re now ready to upload your resized image to your blog.
Tip #4: Get Rid of Clutter
Keep the number of gadgets you use on your site to a bare minimum. Ask yourself, “do I really NEED this gadget?” If not, get rid of it. Keep the essentials. Lose the non-essentials. You don’t want your users getting distracted from your amazing content by an overly cluttered sidebar. Less is more when it comes to sidebar gadgets. Keeping your sidebar gadgets to a minimum will allow your content to shine and will help keep your site load time lightening fast!
If you are using them within the main code of the site, it’s best to position them at the end of the body tag (right before </body>
Next week we’ll discuss some key ways to speed up your site if you are on WordPress so stay tuned for that!