Near the end of last year Google mentioned that the amount of time it takes your web page to load will probably have an effect on your page ranking beginning at the start of this year. Matt Cutts, Engineering Leader for Google’s search engine, said, “We haven’t used [the speed at which the website loads] yet in our web rankings, but a lot of people within Google think the web should be fast, it should be a good experience.” Time is precious to Americans and we do not want to waste it waiting for a web page to load. Here are some ways to lower the time that it takes for your website to load:

  1. Take off social media buttons: Social media buttons that have active accounts will increase the amount of load time because it is like having extra websites open as they call back and forth to each other. When they send information to each other, this extends the amount of time that it takes for the page to load. The two plug-in buttons that can really bog down your load time are share this and tweetmeme because they use a lot of connections.
  2. Take off social widgets, plug-ins, or javascript-based add-ons: These kinds of things add a lot time to loading a website. You will have to be the judge on whether or not they bring you enough traffic to be worth the load time.
  3. Stop using image resizing methods: The best way to use images is to have smaller images on your website and linking to larger images. Use image editing features to do this. Images can have a huge effect on your blog.
  4. Use GZip: Use Gzip with WordPress to reduce file sizes, if you can.
  5. Use WP Minify: This application compresses javascript and CSS files. Sometimes it will be incompatible with your site, but it can save a tremendous amount of time.
  6. Caching: Be sure to clear the cache ever so often, especially with wordpress. This helps make sure that new content is posted and it saves on load time.

As with many SEO procedures, it will take a combination of many small efforts to create a huge change. It is not likely to have a large effect on your load time by doing just one of these things, but a combination of these things.

Jamie Bates