Saturday 2 May 2009

Speed up Blogger Blog Load Times

There are several things we can think about to speed up Blogger blog load times. It is easy to get a bit carried away by the plethora of widgets that are available on Blogger blogs. Often these are third party scripts that take time to load. All HTML that pulls in information from another site will, bit by bit, slow load times. Typical examples are on this site are:
  • Advertising. These are scripts and sometimes the adverts are the last to load. For example, I am considering doing away with the Amazon advert bottom left in red. I hardly get anything out of it so why bother with it?
  • The statcounter top right is a third party script as is the bookmarker just above. These load OK but they all add up to a slower load time. I would consider limiting these (update March 2011: this has been removed).
  • One particular slow loader is the Digg button under each post. I might get rid of this as well. At the moment, though, load times are just acceptable, I believe (update March 2011 - this has been removed)
  • Pictures will always slow loading of the webpage. Internet access is becoming faster so this is less important but an image file, including the header image, should be no larger than about 30,000 bytes (or less) if you have several on the page. If you have one picture on the page then a larger file is OK provided the other factors such as third party scripts have been addressed. One slowing factor contributes and compounds the problem and every little thing helps.
  • Image files should have dimension tags but these are automatically added by free image editing software such as Images should be resized carefully for maximum effect and quality while maintaining minimum file size. Images that are words are best saved as .png files and ordinary photos as .jpegs. Another piece of software that allows image resizing and blog writing is the new Windows Live Writer. I talk about this in another post: Write Blogs in Windows Live Writer.
  • You can tell Blogger how many posts that you would like loaded at one time on the page. The higher the number the slower the load time. To control this go to Customize>Settings>Formatting and select the number in the box against “Show”. I selected 3. 
  • Note: this page has a background image. This will slow load times. However, it is a Google background image which will load as fast as a background image can load. There is also an image above the posts - a banner - this is about 40K in size. This will slow things up.
  • Long and large posts also slow up load times. Keep things succinct and original.
The above factors are all we need to know, in my opinion to control load times. Ultimately the simpler the site with the least amount of images the faster the load time. And load times are important. Speed up Blogger blog load times and please visitors.

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  1. Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.

  2. Thanks, this was highly helpful.


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