A key factor in both visitor satisfaction and keeping the search engines happy right now is making sure that your blog loads quickly. There should be no errors, no waiting – just click and boom the content is ready for your visitors.
If, for whatever reason, your blog is running slowly then it can affect your online business in a number of ways. Firstly people aren’t willing to wait around for pages to load anymore.
They used to say you had 30 seconds to grab a visitors attention and in the days of dial-up internet access that was true but today a guesstimate is that you have at most 10 seconds before the surfer hits the back button and goes looking somewhere else for what they want.
Secondly if your blog is loading slowly it can directly affect your search engine rankings. Slower sites don’t do as well in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
So it’s important that your WordPress blog is hosted with a reliable company that have no real latency issues but it’s equally important that you optimize your WordPress blog with plugins that help reduce the page load time as much as possible.
Before you get carried away just make sure that you test the actual speed of your blog first – you might not need to make any changes. You can run a speed test here -> http://www.iwebtool.com/speed_test
Then if you decide you want to optimize your WordPress blog speed here are 7 of the very best plugins you can use to help achieve this goal:
1. WP Smush.It – This plugin automatically reduces the size of image files on the fly so they will load more quickly. Very neat and very effective.
2. WP HTTP Compression – By outputting your pages in zip format to a compatible browser the WP HTTP Compression plugin can reduce your page size by up to 80% as well as increasing your download speeds by up to 4 times. It shouldn’t be used in conjunction with WP Super Cache however.
3. Hyper Cache – If your blog is hosted by a provider without a whole pile of cutting edge resources then this plugin is ideal for you. It’s very easy to configure and is automatically optimized to reduce disk usage for your blog.
4. WP Optimize – This is a very simple but very effect database clean up tool and allows you to run database maintenance without using PhpMyAdmin as well as clearing out your spam or comment queue with a couple of clicks.
5. WP Super Cache – This very neat plug created HTML files from your WordPress blog data and serves those instead. This reduces the overhead on the server dishing out the files because the SQL database for your WordPress install isn’t constantly involved or being queried. A very neat solution but check its compatibility with other plugins or themes you might be using.
7. Hosting Monitor Plugin – This cool plugin allows you to check host up-time, hardware info, load average and the current users. Basically it allows you to keep tabs on your web host to make sure they are not the cause of your blog suffering from any speed problems. It’s one thing for a web host to claim 99.9% up-time… But it’s another thing to actually do it.
Hopefully you’ll find at least some of these plugins useful for when you’re doing your best to optimize your WordPress blog. Remember that the overall visitor experience is critical to you achieving the kind of massive and loyal online audience that you want.
Don’t let the fans down eh?