August 02, 2012
Welcome to our series of posts on Blogging Best Practices! Each Thursday for 10 weeks, we'll debut a new post designed to help you create great content, share it with the world, and become a better blogger. Check out other posts in the series here!
Ever been to a blog that takes so long to load that you leave, never to return? If so, you know the pain that your readers can feel if your own blog load speed takes forever. Luckily, there are several things you can do to combat this.
For instance, if you're using the Three Columns layout, the entire left column will need to fully load before the center column with your posts starts loading. If you have a large number of items in your left column, it can delay the posts on your blog from displaying.
The location of items in your sidebar can determine how quickly the main content of the blog loads. Selecting the Two Column Right or Three Column Right layouts will allow your posts to load first. Arrange items that require contact with another site, like advertisements and widgets, in your right sidebar, instead of the left. The top of the left sidebar is a good place to put items you want your readers to see first.
Another thing to keep in mind is that generally, the more items you have on your blog, the longer it's going to take to load. Before adding large amounts of widgets, videos, photos, etc., you should take in consideration how much you already are displaying on your blog.
A good way to limit that is to use the Extended Post (Post Continuation) feature. This allows you to display an intro on your main page, with the remainder of the post on the post's Permalink page. Your reader would click a link at the end of your intro on the main page to continue reading the post.
If you have a large number of pictures, large videos, or the like, this is a good way to still have the information and not have your load time suffer.