Signs That Your Site Is Loading Too Slowly for Visitors
One of my sites- my most profitable blog, took a dive in revenue a couple of weeks ago. On closer inspection the click through rates in the Google Adsense dipped and bounce rate for visitors increased. Most time this says to me pages are not loading quickly enough.
This has happened in the past when I have put an image on the home page and forgot to compress.
I have a very fast connection and sometimes I can’t catch a slow loading page or site. Some warning signs that your web pages and site is loading slowly may be site stalls when you are visiting it include:
– Site lags when you post to your blog
– Your ad revenue nose dives for no reason. Your Adsense Ads are tanking, affiliate links collapse , visitors may be leaving before they have a chance to click.
– You look in your analytics and see a high bounce rate or unexpected bounce rate ( your visitors come to your site and leave quickly)
Reasons Why Your Site Is Slow
– Shared server. From my experience you have to have a pretty hefty traffic surge for this to make a huge difference but worth checking, Chances are if you have a few sites and only one of them is slow- it s not your server. If you suspect its your server load don’t freak out and move your site right away- try using a plug in like WP Super Cache that caches pages and decreases server load first and see if that makes a difference.
– Too many posts on your home page. This has happened to me. I had a blog set up to show 20 posts (!) on the main page. Then I had a slew of images/graphs or scripts in each post. You can avoid this by using the “more” tag in WordPress editor and reader has to click link off of main page to see entire post OR you can set your home page in WordPress setting to show less posts.
– Giant image files. Guilty! In haste I have posted 3 and 4 MB photos on my blog and crashed my blog. Oops. Check your image sizes. Your sites graphics should be TINY ( under 10 kb). Images and photos can be compress and published and web with very little image distortion. I like my images to be under 30 kb. Us a jpg compression feature and resolution set to web or 72 pixels.
– Too Many Scripts!
Find out what your resource hogs are. I just discovered that I can see how long a script or object is taking to load very easily using Google Chrome (the new Google browser) . Open Chrome browser a load your page, then right click and choose inspect element, click on resources button, then reload your page. You will get a nice timeline on what loads and how long it takes.
I was quite shocked. I found my culprit(s). Using a tool to test site load time at Web Page Analyzer I could see my site was taking 66 seconds to load on a 56k modem. This is WAY too long. The most glaring problem was a spam plugin I installed 2 weeks ago ( Akismet doesn’t seem to be capturing as much as it used to) . I really like WP-Spam Free but it had to go. Was grinding page load time to a halt.
The other problem was one of my favorite plugins- and this hurt to remove- Twitter Tools. I have left up a couple fo sites when it doesn’t seem to affect the site as much but I had to take down. When I removed my site load time was reduced by a full 20 seconds.
Removing just those two plugins reduced site load time – it went from 66 seconds on a 56 kbs modem to close to 30 seconds, This was more than half!
I also removed some affiliate ads that were slowing down site and not producing any results and shaved off a couple of seconds more.
Three days later and every back up to normal . I am kicking myself over lost revenue. I probably between 3-500 dollars in revenue in the last two weeks because of the slow site. I HATE when stuff like that happens.
You have to keep a close watch all the time for little niggly things that can make huge impact on your blog and your income streams. I hate to say it- but i probably spend 25% of my time creating content and the other 75% checking and analyzing how to improve or maintain. Bit maddening.
I have long been a proponent of more blogs being better but slowly thinking that the time to check and re-check and crunch numbers can mount up to too much time wasted looking at numbers and not enough “creating”.