Your Blog Speed Sucks!

“I’m sorry Mr Bonner, there’s a problem with your blog speed.”

“We’re going to have to commandeer your blog for further analysis”. Say what?

“Well, I don’t want to alarm you but your blog is crawling along.”

“I mean, there’s tortoise speed and then there’s snail speed. Yours comes somewhere in between!”

Have you ever driven behind someone in their car and they’re going so slowly; not doing anywhere near the speed limit?

I know I have and it makes me feel quite frustrated, so that’s how people would be feeling on my blog, right?

I had a frenzied few hours looking for a solution and had no idea what I was really looking for. So what did I find?

Pingdom Tools

This site is a little gem but boy did it give me some horrendous results!

I ran the homepage of my website through the Full Page Test a few times. You can access this free test here.

Oh my… Average load time of… wait for it… 22 seconds. Something was seriously wrong with my blog speed.

But look at my result now. Much better! Down to between 2.5 and 3.5 seconds load time on average.

Pingdom Tools

What does Pingdom do?

Pingdom allows you to test the load page of your website but it does more than that.

Here’s the feature list from Pingdom:

  • Examine all parts of a web page – View file sizes, load times, and other details about every single element of a web page (HTML, JavaScript and CSS files, images, etc.). You can sort and filter this list in different ways to identify performance bottlenecks.
  • Performance overview – We automatically put together plenty of performance-related statistics for you based on the test result
  • Performance grade and tips – See how your website conforms to performance best practices from Google Page Speed (similar to Yahoo’s Yslow). You can get some great tips on how to speed up your website this way.
  • Trace your performance history – We save each test for you so you can review it later and also see how things change over time (with pretty charts!).
  • Test from multiple locations – See how fast a website loads in Europe, the United States, etc.
  • Share your results – We’ve made it easy for you to perform a test and share it with your friends, work colleagues or web host.

You get a breakdown of all the things that are being loaded by your website and from this you can see where any problems lie. Here’s an example:

Pingdom Tools

I noticed that there were a few things which were holding the loading time up.

In particular a couple of my images seemed to be causing an issue which I was able to rectify.

OK. Now what? How could I check whether any of my plugins were causing an issue as well?

Luckily, there’s a plugin that you can check this with too!

P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)

With P3, you can check which plugins are affecting your blog speed and take action. Take a look at the image below.

P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)

Now this is after I’ve removed some plugins and consolidated a few.

By using P3, I narrowed down which plugins were slow and was then able to make a decision about whether they stayed or not.

For example, I had a Google Analytics plugin and 2 AWeber plugins and I combined these by adding the Add to All plugin.

This allowed me to add the script required for Google Analytics and AWeber without needing individual plugins.

I know I could have added the code manually to my blog, however I do not want to keep having to do that each time my theme is updated.

This is still a work in progress. I need to really look at the plugins I have installed and cull a few more non-essential ones if I can.

There are others things apart from plugins that I really need to check as well.

I’m going to look at other tools I have come across to do this and I’ll let you know the outcome in a future post.

This will hopefully bring the load time of my web pages down even further.

Does Your Blog Speed Need A Boost?

Have you given your website a once-over recently? What about your plugins? Do they need tweaking?

What did you think of these tools? Are there any other tools you use to check the health of your website and plugins?

I look forward to receiving and comments you may have and please share my post on your favourite social media site.

Thank you in advance!

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