We all know that blog loading time is one of the important parameters in Google ranking. Further, your load time directly affects the user experience. A slow page is always boring and makes the user wait for longer time. No blogger wants to have a slower blog.
After moving to the Avada theme, my blog design peaked to a high professional look and also, the load time improved a lot. However, I was not satisfied with the loading time. I tweaked the W3 Total Cache settings to enable browser cache, gzip page compression.
Further, I moved to CloudFlare CDN since it’s free-to-use and for a growing blog like mine, it will be enough. I also integrated W3Total Cache with CloudFlare in order to resolve cache/refresh issues.
After integrating CloudFlare, my blog loading time reduced almost by 50% (yes, you read correctly).
I always use the Pingdom tool to measure the loading time.
Here is the loading time before using CloudFlare (took around 5+ seconds).
Loading time after integrating CloudFlare (took only 2.5+ seconds).
That’s a huge improvement in blog loading time almost 2.5 seconds reduced overall.
Note down the number of HTTP requests, it’s around 70 requests.
I was happy.
However, things were not smooth afterwards. I used to get an error message like below, Error 522 or something – number of times.
Earlier, without CloudFlare, I never faced a downtime with my hosting server. Even if there were a page timeout, it will come up again the next time I hit the browser’s refresh button.
This 522 like an error message, I started getting very often especially on the WordPress dashboard. This irritated a lot and also, I was worried if someone accessing the site may also face this similar issue.
I also didn’t go to CloudFlare asking for support, instead I just disabled CloudFare without risking anything at this time.
Then, How Come Loading Time Reduced Further?
There are always a lot of improvements we can do on the web page when it comes to programming or at HTTP level.
I simply reduced the number of HTTP requests on my home page (as well as reduced the page size):
- by reducing the number of images
- by removing a YouTube video (it made too many HTTP requests)
- by reducing the size of every image (less than 50%) based on my image optimization study.
The home page of BlashO is little tricky because it’s not a blog style look.
I have compiled the steps to create a blog using text, images, videos.
I don’t want to remove or compromise the content just to gain loading time.
Hence, I moved or collated larger images into a separate page like an example here instead of having all the images on the home page.
Further, I removed the YouTube video and just linked it to YouTube page.
Surprising, the loading time reduced to great extent.
Now it’s only 1.10 seconds.Note down the number of HTTP requests, its only 21 Requests. The page size also reduced by half, 589+ KB only.
Now Reduced the Load Time to Less Than 1 Second by Migrating to SiteGround.
Further, the following steps helped to reduce the blog load time to greater extent.
- Migrated to SiteGround web hosting which offers 3 different levels of server-side cache like: static cache, dynamic cache, memcache – hence disabled W3 Total Cache Plugin
- Re-designed the homepage to have less number of images and optimized to have required content only
- Interestingly, SiteGround offers Cloudflare integration and hence you don’t need to manually setup Cloudflare. Instead, SiteGround works automatically with Cloudflare and hence you don’t need to work about the setup as well as purging cache. I am very happy with this combination.
By doing the above steps, I am able to reduce the loading time under 1 second.
Yes, now BlashO.com loads in less than 1 second.
Overall, I am able to load my blog faster @ less than 1 second only after migrating to SiteGround.
Did you face any issues with CloudFlare or any other CDN? What’s your loading time?