As being a blogger, I have seen that many new bloggers or even professional bloggers complaints that their blog (based on WordPress) is loading quite slow. There could be many factors that may affect the loading speed of your site. So first of all I will discuss some major factors that will increase your site loading speed.
The foremost factor that may affect the loading speed of a blog, is the type of hosting you are using. Generally there are three types of hosting, i.e. Shared Hosting, VPS and Dedicated Server.
Now the point comes, how will you choose which hosting is best for you….??? So here I will give you a vivid description on the types of hostings, so that it will help you to choose right hosting.
Lets take an example of students and a class teacher. Where students including you are deemed as “Websites / Blogs” and the teacher is referred as “Server / Hosting”. So there can be three possibilities discussed as follows:
1. SHARED HOSTING- Lets say, there are 100′s of students in one class and all the students are served by a single teacher. The real world example is of “Government Schools”, where 100′s of students are taught by a single teacher. Likewise, in case of Shared Hosting, 100′s of websites are held by a single server, and all the websites share the same server resources.
2. VPS HOSTING- Now lets say, you are in a reputed private school where only few seats are available in one class, say 20. So in this situation, only 20 students will be available in the class and will be taught by the teacher. In this condition, teacher will give more attention to each and every student, as there are limited number of students. Likewise, in case of VPS Hosting, each server holds only limited number of websites that have their own specified resources to use. VPS are quite expensive than shared hosting.
3. DEDICATED HOSTING- Now lets assume the case where you have hired the teacher for personal private tuition. Here the teacher will only be available for you and no other student is allowed to share the class with you. Similar is the case with Dedicated Hosting, the whole server is dedicated to your websites and no other person can use that server. Dedicated Hosting is the most expensive hosting in comparison with Shared and VPS hosting.
So, if your site is really small then you can opt for Shared Hosting, as they are cheaper than other hostings or if your site is very big and has Lacs of visitors daily, they you should surely opt for Dedicated server, and if you think that Dedicated hosting will be more than enough and shared hosting will be less than enough, then you can always opt for the middle option, i.e. VPS Hosting.
Content Delivery Network
Next step to speed up your website, is to use CDN (Content Delivery Network). Generally, when your site is hosted in a server placed at US and a visitor visits your site from Japan, then it may take few seconds / milliseconds to ping your server placed at US. So to overcome this problem we use CDN. CDN also reduces the load on your server resources to a great extent. Some reliable CDN services available are MaxCDN, VPS.net, etc.
The above two factors are generally hardware based and affect the site loading speed to a great extent. Now lets discuss the tips that may decrease your site loading time.
Cache is a static page of your website that is send to the visitor instead of processing the actual page of your site, that will require too much of server resources. So caching of site pages is a must to decrease the site loading time. There are many plugins that are available for WordPress users, and the best one are: WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, Hyper Cache, Quick Cache, etc.
Site loading speed may greatly be affected if your site has loads of heavy java scripts. There are two solutions for this,
Place Scripts at Bottom
According to best practices, it is recommended that you should place all your scripts in the footer instead of header. The main reason for this is that when a script loads, it does not allow any parallel downloading, i.e. if you place any script in header, then it will not allow to load any other content, images, etc, till the scripts has completely loaded.
Another important factor that affects the site loading speed is the use of many images. Although sometimes, the use of images become extremely necessary and thus cannot be avoided, so in this case we can use optimized images fro better loading speed. But it may be tedious for everyone of us to optimize each and every image manually. So this problem can easily be solved by using the wordpress plugin “WP Smush.it“. This plugin automatically optimizes all the images of your media library.
Use of Light Weighted Themes for WordPress
A use of light weighted theme is a very nice idea from the view point of SEO and site loading speed. Currently there are many wordpress themes that are floating around the internet, some are free and some are paid. According to me, the best wordpress themes are Thesis and Genesis. Genesis and Thesis both are WordPress theme framework and should be used with their child theme. These frameworks are very light and can be customized according to the blog owners.
Although there are many other factors that affect the loading speed of a site but I have discussed only few important points that will surely help you to decrease your site loading time. If you have any other tips for increasing the site loading speed, then please share with us here, we will love to make an addition to this article…!!!