website speed

How To Speed Up Your Blog Like A Pro

Website speed and overall performance is an important factor that Google takes into account when determining your website’s rank in the search engine.

"The web should be fast."Google
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Studies have shown that 25% of all visitors will leave a website if they don’t see any content within 3 to 5 seconds.

Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to have a fast website, not just for your Google ranking, but also to retain your visitors that would hopefully become customers and subscribers.

No-one likes a slow website. No-one!

website speed
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Speed Up Content Delivery

One of the best things you can do for your visitors and Google is to utilize a content delivery network (CDN).

It’s also one of the easiest and requires very little technical knowledge.

A content delivery network like MaxCDN is a network of cloud servers strategically positioned around the would.

A content delivery network’s sole purpose is to deliver website files to the visitor in the fastest way possible.

How Do Content Delivery Networks Work?

A content delivery network takes static files associated with your website like style sheets, JavaScript files and images, and saves them in multiple copies across the network of servers.

When your domain is routed through a content delivery network, the provider will determine the fastest way to deliver files to the visitor from the closest high-powered servers.

Not only does this save long round-trip waiting times for the visitor, it also saves your hosting bandwidth usage since files are delivered from the cloud rather than directly from your hosting account.

How To Use A Content Delivery Network

content delivery network
Map Source: MaxCDN

If you’re really keen to speed up your website on a world-wide scale, MaxCDN have a vast network and fast servers from under $40 per year.

If you’re looking to test the waters, CloudFlare have a free plan or paid packages starting from $20/mo. MaxCDN may provide better value for paid accounts.

Content delivery networks are used in conjunction with your existing web hosting account. They do not replace web hosting because your main hosting account acts as the source of website files for the CDN to retrieve data from initially. You still update your website in the normal way.

When you setup the CDN, usually you would delegate your domain name to the CDN’s nameservers. Not to sound complicated (because it’s not), simply put – you point your domain to their network and they take over.

How To Test Website Speed

website speed test

Pingdom offer a website speed test that shows you how fast (or slow) your website is to load.

The screenshot above shows the speed test for youtube.com. If your website is close to, or beating Youtube’s performance, you’re doing exceptionally well.

Depending on your CDN of choice, you should see a marked difference between speed test compared to using one and not.

Optimizing Website Speed With WordPress

Most of us run our websites on WordPress and luckily there’s an awesome free plugin that tremendously helps speed up blogs.

Caching plugins collate a multitude of website files that would normal be delivered to the visitor one-by-one. The caching plugin ‘packages’ multiple files into one compress file and delivers that to the visitor instead, saving a lot of downloading time.

I use W3 Total Cache due to it’s full range of features and full integration with content delivery networks like MaxCDN.

However, don’t use multiple caching plugins at the same time as they will conflict with each other.

Find And Remove Slow Plugins

Some WordPress plugins can slow down your website and you may not realize which one is the culprit.

You can use P3 – Plugin Performance Profiler and run a test to discover which plugins are causing issues. A word of caution though. This plugin will show that your caching plugin is using a lot of load time. That’s generally OK because the caching plugin is taking over a lot of other tasks and saving time overall.

Find plugins that are using a lot of load time and remove them or find an alternative that runs faster.

I hope this helps you speed up your website.

Combining a caching plugin with MaxCDN content delivery network can effectively cut your website loading speed in half (and more).

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.