Blogging Tips: A Faster Loading Site (Part 3)

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Blogging Tips: A Faster Loading Site

Blogging Tips: Road RunnerSo far the blogging tips have covered some basics with images and then some more technical stuff with compression. This time we’ll dial it back a bit and do some more basic stuff that anyone can do regardless of your choice of blogging platform.

Regardless of the name it’s known by, be it add-ons, plugins, modules, or something else, every platform has a way of adding in extra functionality that isn’t available out of the box. Like kids playing with a new toy, often when we begin blogging we set up a bunch of these. Oh, this will be awesome and That’s so cool. Next thing you know you have a ton of these add-ons installed.

The problem with having too many of these is simply that they take up space, make your site larger and in turn slower. Every now and then you need to evaluate the extras you have installed and ask yourself if you really need them all. I did this with my blog last week and disabled and removed a handful of plugins I really do not need. I can’t recall the exact size on my site I saved in doing so but I believe it was around 50KB. Not a huge savings in size on its own but as I keep saying, it adds up, not to mention speeds up the site. This puts me at the 750KB mark on file size saved with the previous methods mentioned in part 1 and part 2.

Another consideration for speed increases is asynchronous JavaScript. I’m not going to get super-technical here and it’s something most people can utilize. When your site loads it loads from the top down and it renders it as it reads it, pretty simple. If you’re site is including JavaScript, let’s say you show the Facebook like button or Twitter’s tweet button, then that JavaScript gets included in your site and must load before the site continues to the next item to be shown. If these JavaScript files are large, some are and sometimes it’s just the accumulation of how many are loading, then it slows down how fast your site loads.

Now, that’s how it works normally. The way to avoid that is using asynchronous JavaScript. The difference is when you load asynchronously your site isn’t waiting for all that JavaScript to be included before it continues, it just proceeds on and loads your site, making it faster. Once the JavaScript is fetched it then shows up. You may have seen this with things like a tweet button or a like button, the site loads and then a second later those buttons appear, that’s asynchronous JavaScript.

What you should know really is that if you’re looking to include things on your site that need JavaScript files that you should see if it’s asynchronous and if it’s not then see if they have an asynchronous version as a lot of them do. You don’t have to remember exactly what it does, just that it keeps your site loading fast and if offered it’s the method you want.

The next part in this series will get a bit more technical again but something I feel most people can do on their own if they like to tinker or are serious about maximizing their site’s speed.

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