Your Blog Speed Sucks!

Your Blog Speed Sucks
Image courtesy of digitalart / 

“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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  1. says

    I’ve been using Pingdom and P3 as well, but after I switched to a different host I stopped having all sorts of problems. For me, it was more or less all about the web host and not so much about my blog :)

  2. says

    Great tools Tim, I had checked the first one out a while back but not recently, great reminder for me to to check it again. I’m always afraid of using too many plug-ins for slowing the speed of my blog. So this next one is a plug-in? I may check it out. I have Hostgator as well. Thanks for sharing Tim.

    • says

      Thanks Lisa.

      I know what you mean about too many plugins and I definitely have too many already!

      P3 is a plugin and What I tend to do is install it, run it to check the plugins and then deactivate or even delete it. Supposedly any inactive plugins can also slow down your website.

      P3 will show you which plugins are slowing your website down and give you a performance report which you can then email to yourself.

      Let me know how you get on! I found that a couple of plugins just crawled along on my blog so I got rid of them.

      I hope you are having a great week Lisa.


      • says

        You know what it told me? My Google Analytics dashboard is slowing it down and it’s not working right anyway, thinking I should just delete it? That was the only thing slowing it down a lot. Thanks!

        • says

          Hi Lisa

          I had the same problem with the Google Analytics dashboard and I did get rid of it.

          I still have the Analytics code on my blog though within the Add To All plugin.

          It all depends whether you are happy to not have the convenience of having the data on your WordPress dashboard or not.

          I hope you’re having a good day Lisa.


  3. Andrew says

    I remember recently reading somewhere that Amazon reports a 1% loss in sales for every added 100ms to the load time.

    Things like these make you realize how important a blog/website’s load speed truly is!

    • says

      Hey Andrew

      I hadn’t heard that about Amazon but it certainly would make sense!

      People definitely don’t stick around and wait these days. They want things yesterday.

      I remember the time of dial up internet connections! Pages loading in minutes… I’m so glad that doesn’t happen any more.


  4. Theodore Nwangene says

    Longest time Tim,
    I’ve not been seeing you around.

    This is a well thought post, this same issue has been a difficult task to some bloggers, but the problem is that most bloggers don’t even know how slow their blog loading speed is but i know this is a handy post and it will surely be of a great help.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • says

      Hi Theodore

      Great to see you.

      I’ve not been around so much of late. I’ve not had as much time to spend on my blog but hopefully I will get more time soon!

      To be honest, I didn’t notice how slow my blog was loading until you mentioned about the bandwith issue. So thanks again for bringing that to my attention!

      I’m not sure I’ve solved that problem yet but I’ve at least started sorting out the speed issues.

      I hope you’re having a great weekend Theodore.


  5. Sapna says

    Hi Tim

    My blog is on Godaddy with unlimited bandwidth, but too many plugin slows down the overall performance of the website. I am using yahoo’s YSlow for this purpose.It provides the complete details of all the elements of the web pages, will try this one also to try the difference. Thanks ~Sapna

    • says

      Hi Sapna

      Thank you for visiting my blog. It’s great to see you here.

      I definitely have far too many plugins so I need to really think about which of them are essential and which I could cull.

      I have heard of Yahoo’s YSlow but I’ve not tried it so I will also check that out. Thank you for reminding me of it.

      I really appreciate your comments Sapna and hope to see you again soon.


  6. says

    This seems to always be a continuing issue for many Tim. I’ve used both Pingdom and the P3 performance plug-in to check to see which ones may be slowing down my load time. Although CommentLuv is a big one I refuse to get rid of that one. That’s just not going to happen but I had found another that was even bigger then CommentLuv if you can image that. I decided to do away with it and see if there were any repercussions from it. You know, testing to see.

    Great post and one that I’m sure others will really find extremely helpful. By the way, I mentioned this one in my post today so hopefully that will also be of some help.

    Hey Tim, have a great week my friend and thanks again.


    • says

      Hi Adrienne

      Firstly, thank you so much for mentioning my post in yours today. I am really honoured and appreciate it very much.

      I’m also pleased you found the tools of use and I definitely agree you can’t get rid of CommentLuv!

      I got rid of quite a few plugins after using Pingdom and P3 and I’m still thinking I should get rid of some more as I have over 30!

      It’s definitely wise to test these things though Adrienne, you’re so right.

      I’ve had a number of problems with WordPress over the past few days. First, when I updated to the latest version of CommentLuv, WordPress went haywire!

      Then, most of today, I’ve had a problem with my theme and I was trying to find another one so I’ve been testing that all day.

      In the end, I went back to the original one! What a waste of a day. I hope that same thing doesn’t happen again any time soon.

      I hope you have a great week too Adrienne and thank you for your kind comments once again.


  7. says

    Hi Tim,

    Great subject to cover and one that we all need to apply ourselves to.

    Just as you described the slow driver in front us, when we land on slow loading blogs most of us will leave before we’ve got to the content.

    I’ve not used Pingdom before but have opened it on another tab and will be running my blog through it shortly.

    I do use P3 and have created a video about it, quite a funny one actually Tim…. well a little humour helps here and there 😉

    I’ve also opened your link to the Add to All plugin, so will see what that’s all about shortly as well.

    Thanks for this Tim, a great post that’s going to help many of us mate :)


    • says

      Hi Barry

      I couldn’t agree more that a little humour helps here and there and I’ll check out your video on P3.

      Pingdom was the tool that really helped me find out a few things that were slowing down my blog; particularly some of the images and a couple of plugins.

      It seemed to be more that the plugins weren’t working well together.

      After some testing, I got rid of one of them and bob’s your uncle it sorted out another part of the problem!

      Let me know what you think of the Add to All plugin.

      There may be other plugins out there that people prefer but I found it useful to be able to add code to every page using this plugin.

      Well, I hope you’ve had a great Monday Barry and that this week treats you well.


  8. Praveen Rajarao says

    Tim – Wonderful post and am sure all of us will be really interested in improving the performance of our blogs. I just signed up for Pingdom and will check it out soon. Thanks for sharing the information.

    My blogs have been a little slow off late and I was wondering why…now i am sure i can find the culprit and rectify it soon. Thanks to these wonderful tools that make our lives much easier :-)

    • says

      Hi Praveen

      Adrienne mentioned on her recent post 8 Silly Mistakes You May Be Making On Your WordPress Blog that Google now looks at load time within their algorithms. So I’m glad we’re all looking at this now and we can get our blogs running better :-).

      Pingdom certainly pointed me in the right direction to be able to tell which things were taking time to load. I think it’s worth running it a few times though just to get an overall idea of what sorts of things could be slowing your blog down.

      I really hope Pingdom and P3 will also help you discover where your blogs may require a little tinkering! Let me know how you get on.

      Have a great week Praveen.


      • Praveen Rajarao says

        Tim – Yes I read Adrienne’s post and followed up her link back here :-)

        I tested my website speed and it ranges between 2 and 3secs, so I am pretty OK now i hope….let us see.

  9. says

    Hi Tim, Great post. I struggle with this issue too. I haven’t run P3 lately so I’m doing that now. I’ve never done Pingdom before because I thought it was $10/month but I just saw that they have a free service for a single website. Could you link to that in your post so others could find it easily? (If you did and I missed it, I apologize).

    Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention and giving us solutions for solving this problem!

    • says

      Hi Carolyn

      There is a link in there for the free service on the Pingdom heading but I’ll put another link in and make it more obvious. Thank you for letting me know, I appreciate it.

      It’s great that they offer the free tool isn’t it! I love free things and whilst you often get what you pay for, this time around I think we’re getting so much for nothing.

      Thank you so much for your comments Carolyn and I hope you’re week is going well.


    • says

      It’s good that you found that out Carolyn and at least there was only one, which can easily be rectified :-).

      I’ve added a more obvious link to the free Pingdom test.

      • says

        Thanks, Tim! I am so happy. I got rid of that WP Tweet button and that made a huge difference in my blog speed. I have no idea why such a simple, small plugin was such a drag on loading time, but it was easily replaced.

        Thank you, thank you, thank you!

        • says

          No problem Carolyn. Glad to be of help!

          I must admit, the plugins I culled from my blog were also similar to yours; simple, small plugins which were just causing a huge load time.

          I suspect whilst they were simple and small, they just weren’t compatible together.

          Enjoy the rest of your week Carolyn.


  10. Khaja moin says

    I knew about pingdom and yes it is simply awesome.
    Never heard about P3.
    Thanks Tim hope it will help me to understand what actually pingdom tried to explain me. But Id didn`t get!


    • says

      Hi Khaja

      With Pingdom, I looked at all of the things that were taking a long time to load.

      Hopefully from the list you can tell if it’s an image or a plugin. If not, give me a shout and I will try my best to help.

      P3 is really useful to show you which plugins slow your website down the most.

      It’s then a case of choosing whether you want to keep the worst culprits or not!

      Let me know how you get on Khaja.

      I hope your day is going well.


  11. says

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks very much for the tips in this post. I haven’t tried these tools but will certainly look into them now. I must admit, I find all the technical stuff about running a blog extremely challenging, but I realize how important this is – I know I’ve clicked off a site before now because it’s taking too long to load, so this is something you can’t afford to ignore.

    Many thanks – very helpful,


    • says

      Hi Sue

      No problem.

      I know what you mean. I’m not hugely technically-minded when it comes to blogging but I’ve picked up a few things along the way.

      It seems to get me by and there’s usually someone who can help in this wonderful blogging community if not. :-)

      Let me know if you need any help with Pingdom or P3 and I will certainly do my best to help.

      It’s Wednesday already. I can’t believe how quickly this week is going! I hope you’re having a good morning.


  12. Annie André says

    Oh Tim, Let me count the way…

    I have been having serious load time issues. Mine was crawling at 30 seconds until i started using pingdom and an image cruncher. But i still have certain plugins that are slow but couldn’t figure out which ones they were so the P3 one is something i will check out.

    I’ve recently discovered too that having unlimited bandwith did not mean what i thought it meant. I’ve been having trouble with my pages working and workign and then serving up 500 internal error messages. Turns out when you hit certain traffic points daily, you use up CPU. Since i’m on a shared server i am only alloted so much cpu per day because i am competing with other domains ont he same server.

    i had to upgrade to a VPS to handle the extra traffic which really isn’t that much. I would love to see someone compare hosting company’s basic plans and especially CPU for the plan. I don’t want to move my blog but i will if i have to.

    • says

      Hi Annie

      Gosh, 30 seconds is even worse than mine so I’m glad we both discovered pingdom. I hope that P3 will help you find out which plugins are causing any more load time issues!

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having problems with your pages working though. I’m on a shared server too with Hostgator so I will eventually have the same issue by the sounds of things.

      They only allow 25% CPU usage and if you go over that for more than 90 seconds then I suspect account suspension may be imminent!

      I think I misunderstood unlimited bandwidth too by the sounds of things.

      I’ll have a look around and see if I can find enough information on CPU usage limits from other web hosts to write a comparison post.

      Hopefully though, P3 will help you find the plugin causing problems so you don’t have to take any drastic action.

      Enjoy the rest of your week Annie.


      • Annie André says

        FYI, i spoke with my hosting provider and they said that cutting back on some of the heavy plugins might help but it’s my dialy traffic that is pushing it over the edge and i would have eventually had to upgrade servers anyways.
        Here is a good blog post idea for you..
        “when is it time to upgrade your blog from a shared server to….VPS, Dedicated etc” I bet lots of people would love to know that answer. I am shocked at how much a dedicated server costs. On dream host a VPS costs 15 bucks a month and that’s for 300mb of cpu unlimited bandwith is the norm. I can increase CPU usage but then the price starts going up and up.
        my site is down now due to the fact that i’m migrating things over to the vps. Or should i say, my tech guy is doing it for me. I convinced my husband to do it for me because up until this point it’s been all me and i need help.:)

        • says

          Hi Annie

          That sounds like a great blog post! Thanks for the idea. :-)

          It’s great that you’re getting so much traffic to your blog, although it’s bitter sweet if you’re having to change things.

          Still, onwards and upwards I’d say. You have a great blog!

          Looking forward to the weekend already. We should have sold our apartment in Edinburgh by this time tomorrow hopefully!


  13. says

    I have never used something of the kind though I think it is high tie for me to take the speed of our blog seriously. Thanks for sharing this practical stuff – it is totally new to me and I hope that it will work. Including these procedures into my calendar

    • says

      Hi Jack

      My blog was crawling along but I’ve managed to tune it up a bit.

      It still needs work but I got the load time down substantially using Pingdom and P3.

      It’s definitely worth looking at as Google now include website loading speed in their algorithms.

      Enjoy the rest of your week Jack.


  14. says

    Thanks Tim for the update. Just checked my blog with the tool. My average load speed at first was showing 12.6 secs. Changed some css codes and removed some javascript files and some heavy images. Now it is down to 4.3 secs. Good thing about it is it shows the url of the images which loads on my blog.

    • says

      Hi Lahaul

      Welcome to my blog and I really appreciate your visit.

      That’s great news that you have been able to get your load speed down to 4.3 seconds. I really like Pingdom for the same reason as you mention. You can pretty much see exactly which file or plugin is slowing down your website and the load time of each.

      I’m glad you found my post of use Lahaul.

      I hope you’ve had a great weekend and that you will visit again soon.


  15. says

    Speed is vital to retain readers. A slow blog is something that no blogger wants. The tools mentioned here are very good. I have used Pingdom Tools before and its really very good. Although I do not have P3 plugin but I have heard good things about it. Now I might get it.

    • says

      Hi Shalu

      I’m glad you’ve already discovered Pingdom and it sounds as though it has helped. I know it really has improved the speed of my blog a lot!

      P3 is certainly worth taking a look at Shalu. It’s a plugin I use every month now just to make sure my plugins are behaving correctly! I then deactivate and delete it until the next month.

      Thank you for your comments Shalu and I hope you’ve had a great weekend.


  16. says

    A really good post on this very troublesome subject. I’ve tried most of your suggestions before but must say that my problem with pingdom is the fact that I really do not know how to interpret those results! I have tried cache plugins on various occasions and discovered that most times these have issues with the blog’s tabber tab which is on the sidebar. For now I’m focusing on reducing my plugins. I think that will help some way. Thanks this really insightful post.

    • says

      Hi Chadrack

      I’ve just taken the W3 Total Cache plugin off my blog. It was causing too many issues with other plugins and also surprisingly the load speed too!

      I had quite a few problems with CommentLuv updates because of that plugin, along with the nRelate plugins I have on my blog.

      Andy Bailey suggested WP Super Cache was a much better solution and I plan to have a look at that when I get a second to see if I can get that set up without any issues.

      The way I used Pingdom was to look at the entries that were waiting for things to load and concentrate on those. For me, they were a couple of images and a plugin. There were a couple of other files I didn’t recognise though so I left well alone! If I can help in any way, please let me know.

      Thank you for your comments Chadrack and I hope you’re having a great weekend.


  17. says

    Hi again – sorry if this is an obvious thing, but I can’t see any mention of it above – I’ve recently discovered that there’s an option in your cpanel dashboard to ‘optimize’ your site, which apparently makes quite a difference to load speed – heard about it from a techie contact who said a lot of people aren’t aware of it and it’s very simple to do – it’s in the ‘software/services’ section on my dashboard,


    • says

      Wow Sue, now that is a great shout!

      I’d never noticed that in my Cpanel before.

      Mine is currently set up to be disabled. There are two other options but I’m not overly sure what they do with them.

      I think I need to research this a little more and write a follow up post.

      Thank you so much for letting me know!

      I hope you’ve had a great weekend Sue.


  18. says

    Hi Tim,

    I’ve been told that unless you’re running fancy scripts like the kind of things you might use on a membership site, including tools like Easy Video Player, it’s safe to select the ‘compress all content’ option – apparently it won’t affect the kind of content you’d get on a regular blog, including youtube videos. I have mine set to compress all content and it seems fine. If you do have any scripts that would be affected, you’d need to select the other option and specify which scripts you want compressed.

    I look forward to seeing your post on the subject!

    You have a great weekend too,


    • says

      Hi Sue

      Thanks for that. I’m going to have a look at this in the next couple of days if I get a chance. It sounds really promising and if it’s working fine on your blog then that’s perfect.

      I don’t think I’m running any fancy scripts but I just want to make sure I’m really not before I do anything!

      It’s going to be delivery hell here over the next couple of days; a new bed for my son tomorrow and a new dishwasher on Thursday!

      Putting the new bed tomorrow could be interesting.


        • says

          Oh dear, John Lewis only delivered part of the bed. My wife isn’t happy but I’m off the hook with putting it together for another day or so.

          Let’s hope they deliver the rest before Christmas!

          • says

            Alas! Gives you plenty of time to decipher the instructions, though (assuming they were included with the first bit….)

            We bought some self-assembly from John Lewis a few years ago and a few missing screws totally shattered my belief in the company that I thought could do no wrong – on reflection, perhaps it’s reassuring that even the saintly John Lewis can screw up from time to time – but I’m sure that’s little consolation as you wait for the rest of your bed……if it arrives before Christmas maybe Santa’s little elves will construct it for you…..


            • says

              The missing delivery arrived yesterday!

              It wasn’t too bad to construct at least and there were some spare screws just in case.

              So, my son has a new bed and my daughter has a hand me down bed. Both really love them.

  19. says

    Thanks Tim for this great tool – Tested out my site. It averaged out between 2 – 6 seconds. I guess it comes down to the quality of broadband connection and generally in India broadband speeds just suck.

    • says

      Hi Amardeep

      Thank you for visiting my blog. I really appreciate it.

      That’s pretty cool between 2 and 6 seconds. When I first tested mine it was almost 30 seconds and I had to take drastic action!

      Broadband has gotten a lot better over the last few years in the UK and since fibre optic has been rolled out to many places now it’s significantly improved things.

      Thank you for your comments Amardeep and I hope to see you again soon.


    • says

      Hi Cameron

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comments.

      This post does get quite a bit of traffic and I’m pleased you found it useful.

      Hope to see you again soon.


    • says

      Hi Ammar

      1.60s seconds is awesome for your load time. I wish mine were that low. Well done!

      I’ve had to take W3 Total Cache off my blog as it was causing some issues which may have caused the load time to go up a little on mine recently.

      I’m going to look at WP Super Cache as I know that seems to have less compatibility issues with other plugins.

      Great job on the load speed though Ammar. You couldn’t really ask for more!


  20. says

    I’ve just used pingdom on my latest niche blog and was happy to see it loaded in just over a second which is faster than 82% of websites out there. That’s pretty good :)

    I also used it on my main blog because it was running slow and the results forced me to make some changes. P3 helped but it was more than just the plugins. It also had to do with website compression, optimizing images and a slew of other things. I wrote a post on part of what I did to speed things up and will be following it up with another one soon.

    • says

      That’s pretty impressive Peter; loading in just over a second is very fast!

      Mine is still around the 5 second mark. I had to take W3 Total Cache off my blog as it was interfering with other plugins. I’m going to try WP Super Cache though as I’ve been told that that is more stable.

      Pingdom is great for isolating things which run slow and I’m glad you’ve been able to interpret the results so well. I had a similar problem with a few of the images I had loaded. WP has helped compress things a little but I try and resize all images now before I load them onto my blog.

      I’ll look out for your post Peter!

      • says

        I used to use Quick Cache on those two blogs basically because of ease of use and because W3 kept crashing the site. I resolved the issue by manually stipulating which parts of the blog, css and php. files, that I wanted to minify as it was the auto selection to the config that was crashing the blogs.

        The commentluv link in the previous comment actually links to the second post of my new blog. The one in this comment links to my main blog. Last time I checked this one loaded in under 5 seconds but I’ve added some new plugins since then and I haven’t updated W3 to allow for them. Man oh man, a bloggers work is never done 😀

        • says

          I don’t know Quick Cache Peter so I’ll certainly take a look at that one. Andy Bailey suggested WP Super Cache as he uses it and it’s stable with CommentLuv.

          I tried to use W3 with manual minify settings but it just kept interfering with my WordPress theme as well as CommentLuv and nRelate.

          A bloggers work is certainly never done Peter! You have so many sites, I’m not sure I’d be able to keep up with that many. I barely keep up with two!

    • says

      Hi there Niranjan

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comments.

      I’m pleased that your blog is running much faster and 80% is a great deal faster!

      I hope to see you again soon.


    • says

      Hi Joy

      Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for commenting.

      I’m glad I could be of some help and I hope that you find the tools useful.

      I hope to see you again soon.


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