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Make Your Blog Load Faster than ProBlogger: Part 2

This guest post is by Devesh of WP Kube.

A few months ago, I wrote a guest post here called How to Make Your Blog Load Faster than ProBlogger. Today, I’ll go into some more detailed advice to help you speed up your site even more.

If you’re a blogger, you already know about the importance of blog loading speed, and the role it plays in search engine rank and marketing your blog. But if this is new territory for you, here are three quick reasons why you need to speed up your blog:

  1. Google includes website loading speed as an important metric in their ranking algorithm. If you want your blog to rank high in the search results, you need to make sure your blog loads faster than others.
  2. It can increase the quality of your blog’s user experience and engagement. Having a good-looking blog won’t make your readers’ experience better if it takes ages to load. You need a theme that loads fast and is well coded.
  3. It can help you decrease your bounce rate, and we all know that the lower your bounce rate, the better your chance of driving engagement and generating leads.

Before we get started, check out these five tools you can use to measure your WordPress blog’s loading speed.

1. Optimize your database

One of the very first things that a blogger needs to do is optimize your blog database and delete the post revisions. You can use phpmyadmin to clean up the database, but if you don’t want to play with phpmyadmin, you can set up WP-Optimize instead.

Make sure to remove all the unnecessary tables, old post revisions, and spam comments from your blog’s database. You can use the Better Delete Revision plugin to remove those post revisions, too.

2. Use CloudFare

CloudFlare is a (free) service that makes your blog faster, safer, and smarter. In other words, CloudFlare supercharges websites. It is a CDN service that will protect and accelerate your website, and doesn’t interfere with the WordPress Caching system (W3 Total Cache).

This plugin keeps your blog safe from the Hacking attacks, spammers, and bots by challenging them with a CAPTCHA system whenever it doubts a user’s authenticity. With this tool, you’re easily able to block the spammers’ IPs and websites with just few clicks.

3. Use the P3 plugin

P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) is one of the best plugins for those wanting to see a performance report of their blog. It comes with a lot of great features, but primarily, it can show you what plugins are slowing down your blog.

It creates a profile of your WordPress site’s plugins’ performance by measuring their impact on your site’s load time. Often, WordPress sites load slowly because your plugins are pooly configured, or because you’re using so many of them. By using the P3 plugin, you can home in on anything that’s causing your site’s load time to slow.

Note that this plugin uses the canvas element for drawing charts and requires Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, or IE9 or later. This plugin will not work in IE8 or lower.

4. Disable hotlinking

Hotlinking is when other sites link directly to the images hosted on your blog from their blog posts or pages. This makes your server load high and decreases the loading speed of your blog.

It is very important to disable hotlinking. To do so, add the following code to your blog’s .htaccess file. Make sure to back up your .htaccess file before you begin to make any changes.

#disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?yourdomain.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?yourdomain.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?feeds2.feedburner.com/yourdomain [NC]
#RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg)$ ñ [F]
#RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg)$ http://www.yourdomain.com/stealing.gif [R,L]

Make sure to allow your feeds to display the images, however.

5. Limit front page posts

Limit the posts that are shown on your home page. Never show the full posts on the home page, because this will make your site very slow to load. Imagine you have more than eight posts on your home page, and all of them are of 600 words or more—it will likely take a significant amount of time to load the home page.

You should use the excerpts on the homepage and most other pages, instead of showing full posts. To use the excerpts, find the below code in your index.php and other pages that list posts, like archives.php, category.php, and so on.

<?php the_content();?>

Replace that code with this:

<?php the_excerpt();?>

More resources

For more ideas on speeding up your blog, see:

These are simple tips that can help you to make your blog load faster than ProBlogger. What others can you share to increase blog speed?

Dev is a part time blogger and blogs about WordPress Marketing at WPKube. Hit him up on Twitter if you need anything, Dev will be quick in responding and helping you out.

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

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Comments

  1. Great tips James! I’m currently using WP-Optimize and it works a treat for my blog. However, I have used CloudFlare in the past and I’ve found it slows down my blog ever so slightly by injecting .js files if you use the minify function. However, its minify function does work slightly better than the one built into W3 Total Cache.

    Jonny

  2. skykid says:

    I am using all techniques outlined in this article. However after a year or so trouble free experience with Cloudflare I had to disable it today as it was causing an extremely high first byte loading times.

  3. Mark Gibson says:

    After struggling with dozens of plugins, tips & tricks for many years I just moved my site over to WPEngine. It’s not the cheapest service around but they do all the grunt work & the site just flies now. The speed difference is quite noticeable.

  4. Already installing P3 & WP-Optimize. Thanks!!

  5. LGR says:

    If you use Cloudflare (and you really should use Cloudflare) you can disable hot linking using their settings. Saves having to do it using a htaccess file and you can turn it on and off much faster.

  6. Majuterus says:

    After experiencing some troubles with cloudflare, I decided to never use it again. Instead, I’m using Google App Engine. Although it’s not that easy to use compared to Cloud Flare, but it’s a lot faster.

  7. Jon Loomer says:

    Wow. Immediate results. Thanks so much!

  8. Dzulhelmee says:

    Any advice on blogger whom uses blogger.com platform like myself.?

  9. Hi Dev,

    Super helpful stuff.

    I have a few adjustments to make here, but overall, my blogs are simple and light so my loading time is pretty swift.

    Cut out most of the extras. Loading time slows by overloading your site. Focus your readers on 1 or 2 calls to action and get rid of all the stuff that slows down your blog or distracts readers from taking your call.

    I want people to get on my list and sign up for my newsletter. So this call is prominent. I cut out much of the other stuff which was not necessary, got more calls taken, and of course my loading time is quicker because there is not as much to load.

    Simple, light and clear works.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Dev.

    Ryan

  10. Bryan says:

    Just make sure you’re not also blocking search engine access to your images when you disable hotlinking, especially if your images are well tagged. Allowing Google access can be done with a line like:

    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !google\. [NC]

    Perishable Press has a very thorough post on how to setup your .htaccess file to combat hotlinking, the best I’ve ever found:

    http://perishablepress.com/press/2007/11/21/creating-the-ultimate-htaccess-anti-hotlinking-strategy/

  11. Ben Norman says:

    Hmm a couple of things I’d missed there, thanks. Another tip I have is to try and code additional functionality normally found through plugins in your self. As all plugins are generic all but the extremely well written ones run additional code that isn’t required by you and therefore slow down your site.

    Obviously this is easier said than done but I’ve found it can make a huge difference, even if you just replace the plugins which provide the simpler functionality. For instance placing social media button directly into your template rather than having to use PHP to wrote them in using an plugin… Everything helps!

  12. How to Make My Website Load Faster? This was the question asked by many users these days, because Google is changing their Search Algorithm in which it is mainly concentrating on Page Loading Factor. From 2010, Google is going to index the websites that have Faster Page Load Time and User Friendliness more than the websites that have Slow Page Load Time. Due to this reason, all the webmasters are concentrating on Page Loading Time to increase their website crawling rate.

  13. Google’s own pagespeed tool is also pretty handy to quickly check your blog’s performance and to get a list of any potential speed hindering issues and steps to address them.

  14. geek says:

    thanks for these tips now i am planing to start new blog self hosted wp blog i try your these tips i hope they really helpful well thanks james.

  15. Nice Dev, I’m going to try implement some of these this weekend, always looking for ways to make things faster for my visitors.

  16. Nick Palmer says:

    Starting a new wp site, glad I came across this post! I will be using CloudFare from now on, thanks for the great article!

  17. marak says:

    when we use free hosted blog, does your tips work?

  18. Andrea Kalli says:

    These articles couldn’t have come at a better time. My main website has been stricken with slowness increasing over the last 6 months. Lately, I’ve been looking closer at what’s going on and what I can do. While I’m not particularly a techie, as those who have commented already, I do like to at least have some knowledge on how my sites are running and ways to help speed things up. You can bet I’ll be implementing your tips mentioned and hopefully will be increasing my site speed. I’m a sucker for plugins, which is probably part of my problem.

    Thanks for the tips.
    Andrea

  19. Joe Marchese says:

    This works great, thanks so much for the advice. I lowered my load times by 25%!

  20. Great info!!! I have been interested in Cloudflare (or Incapsula) for a while now…But unfortunately, my web host doesn’t support them…SUCKS!!! I’ll be moving to a new host soon enough!!!

  21. trailsnet says:

    Thanks for the tips.
    It seems like I’ve seen a simple toggle box for disabling hotlines somewhere in my WP dashboard or possibly on my theme options. Was I imagining that or does it exist?

  22. I didn’t had the idea of hotlinks nor i have read anywhere about such links. Now when i have read it in your article i would definitely like to give a shot asap this would surely decrease few more seconds of my sites load time.

    Regards,
    Irfan

  23. Tom Durkin says:

    WP optimize is a great recommendation thanks! I also use wp super cache to try and speed up my site. Also make sure you optimise all images you use by dropping the image quality down a little. Most won’t even be able to notice and pages will load faster.

  24. It’s the end of a long day where I am and this post just blew my mind. I’ll have to print this one out and revisit it this weekend, because I would love for my blog to be faster than ProBlogger.net.

    I’m a bit technically challenged so I find myself wishing that there was a blogger car wash we could run our sites through and have the come out perfect on the other end.

    Whew!

    Thanks for getting me started!

  25. Fran Dee Bee says:

    i’m currently using W3 Total Cache, and it works gret for my blog. I haven’t used P3 plugin before, and I’ll give it a try this weekend. Nice tips though, thanks for sharing them.

  26. I have noticed how slowly my site has been loading. Thanks so much for a really timely article!

  27. Webliberty says:

    For me doesn’t work Disable hotlinking because the server nginx is used. In a support service have told that in it the reason :(

  28. I find it a bit complicated using W3 Total Cache and Cloudfare. It made my blog loads slower than before. I’m pretty sure to have followed the configuration of this plugin, but still not working well, so I ‘ve decided just to removed it.

  29. Mourad says:

    I have been searching for ways to improve the blog performance. Thanks for the tips

  30. What an awesome resource CloudFlare is. Thanks so much for keying me into this cool service.

  31. agungfebri says:

    Very nice info… thanks for share….

  32. Dean Saliba says:

    I gave up on my goal of making my blog faster than this one when you mentioned whichloadsfaster.com in your first part and I spent weeks becoming obsessed with making my site load quicker than Darrens. Let’s face it I’ll never do it! :P

  33. Ocha says:

    Zoom zoom…I added the plugin CloudFlair and I really did notice a difference in the speed of loading. Is it faster than yours? Who knows but it is faster than it was. Thanks for the resource.