With all the widgets popping up from different websites that allow you to add photos, videos, bookmarks, and tools to your blog, it’s becoming easier and easier to bloat your pages to the point where they start to fall under their own weight.
This was recently illustrated by the case of A VC Blog, where Fred’s site got so bad, it warranted its own “wow, my blog is slow” post. Fred from Webreakstuff gave him the lowdown about what was actually causing the unbearably slow page loads.
With broadband penetration being as high as it is, it’s easy to start ignoring the size of your pages. If you ever hope to be Dugg, you HAVE to mind your load speeds. It’s a lesson we learned the hard way with this blog earlier this month. If you don’t want your first time visitors clicking the “back” button once they get to your blog and want people to actually like coming back and reading your posts, you have to mind your load speeds.
Ask yourself “is this plugin/widget/script adding something useful to my blog or am I really the only one who cares to see my cat’s flickr stream on my business blog?” and “how much does it slow down my site?” It might be time to trim at least a few of them – or maybe move them to their own pages and replace them with a link.
Use the Speed Analysis Tool and check out the stats on your blog. The tool is not perfect (and frankly a little outdated) so don’t take it as gospel but it’s a pretty good starting point. (This blog takes 17 requests and 38k to load. Not too bad.) The “Analysis and Recommendations” at the bottom is really strict in my opinion. It tells you that your site should be 30K or less and your external scripts should be 8K or less. I’m going to guess that if you went by these “Kilobyte Nazi” standards, your site would look and function a little like this. I mean, even Eric Meyer’s website gets a caution.
Audit your blog once in a while.