Loading time is one of the important factor for a blog. It directly affects the browsing experience of your visitors. It also plays a major role in ranking your pages on Google. With Google using speed as an important ranking factor, it is a mandatory step for a blogger to improve the loading time.

Here in BlashO, I used to have a loading time of ~2-3 seconds earlier.

Recently, when I focused the topic of my blog towards beginner “blogging”, I added lot of content to my homepage. If you see my blogs homepage, there are lot of text, images as well as YouTube video.

I well know, all these resources will badly affect the loading time.

At the same time, I don’t want to compromise the content on my home page just to reduce the load time. Instead, I looked for different ways to improve it.

Earlier, I was using Godaddy and in the end of this article you will understand, why I migrated to SiteGround web hosting.

Steps I Took to Reduce Blog Loading Time.

Yes, with all these above optimizations in-place, it took ~5.5 seconds average to load the home page.

I tested the speed using Pingdom tool before using Cloudflare and here is the screenshot which shows more Load time 5.54 seconds.speed-test-before-cloudflare

Yet another screenshot showing, higher response time from the server (yellow bar).response-time-before-cloudflare

I wanted to reduce the loading time further.

More Steps to Reduce Blog Loading Time.

There were only 2 options left for me.

  1. Migrate my hosting from Shared server to dedicated/VPS server – I am not interested at this moment for this migration because my blog is not generating much traffic (since I took 2 Years of break from blogging and resumed recently).
  2. Use a Content Distribution Network – Here I don’t want to spend money now. I tried to use free JetPack and activated Photon CDN, it totally slowed down my blog (and also, the admin dashboard). Then I explored Cloudflare.

Cloudflare is offering a free CDN service and I found there are lot of mixed reviews about them.

  • Many were hesitant to use Cloudflare because you have to change DNS records to integrate it.
  • And many were worried about the 24 hours downtime.

In actual, there were no downtime and I integrated Cloudflare in less than 10 minutes.

Signing up to Cloudflare is simple, follow the below steps:

  • Just register with your email and password.
  • Login and click “Add Site” at the top.
  • Enter your domain name and click continue till the last screen [choose free plan]adding-to-cloudflare
  • You have to update the Nameserver of Cloudflare’s, for that you have to login into your webhosting cpanel(Cloudflare automatically finds your hosting provider and shows the help accordingly). It’s simple.
  • Once updated, it shows “Status: Pending”cloudflare-pending
  • Wait for few minutes and check again, it shows “Status: Active”cloudflare-active-mode
  • Done.
  • Go and run a speed test, now your blog’s loading time must be reduced.

I tested the speed again using Pingdom tool. Here is the screenshot after using Cloudflare with reduced Load time [2.56 seconds].speed-test-after-cloudflare

Yet another test’s screenshot showing, lesser response time (see the yellow bar).response-time-after-cloudflare

Further, there are lot of options available in the Cloudflare dashboard, I simply left them to default. I only enabled Rocket Loader for quick JavaScript execution.

Looks the pro-version of Clouflare has advanced optimization and more security features. I don’t feel they are required at this point of time for my blog. The free plan is well enough to quickly boost the loading time of my blog to ~50%.

I recommend you to go for Cloudflare and reduce your loading time free of cost, if you are looking for a simplest solution.

How Web Hosting Reduced Blog’s Loading Time to Less Than 1 Second?

As stated earlier, I was not interested to go for a costlier dedicated/VPS hosting plans.

I explored a lot about different hosting providers and finally, decided to go for SiteGround hosting.

There are a lot of reasons I found great about SiteGround.

  • Server-Side Cache: SiteGround supports server side caching that means you don’t need any cache plugins – they have their own caching system (3 levels of caching supported like: static cache, dynamic cache, memcache) which greatly reduces loading time.
  • GoGeek Plan: I opted for the GoGeek plan which is even more faster compared to other low cost plans – in spite of being a shared hosting, SiteGround is hosting very less number of accounts on their GoGeek servers. Hence the servers are not slowed down.
  • Cloudflare Integrated: By default, SiteGround hosting has Cloudflare solution integrated and you don’t need to manually integrate it.
  • Quick customer support: I am amazed by their response time – so far happy with their customer support.
  • Free Migration: They offered free migration service and they moved the complete site from Godaddy “without any downtime”.

Here we go…now BlashO.com loads @ less than 1 second.finally, reduce blog loading time less than 1 second

I am completely satisfied with the steps that I took to improve the blogs loading time to less than 1 second.

Currently, I don’t use any cache plugin like W3Total Cache or WP Super Cache.

In fact, with SiteGround + Cloudflare – you can enable HTML/JS/CSS minification directly from your hosting cpanel. You can also enable gzip compression directly from the cpanel.

The end result:

  • a fast loading web page impresses the visitors and serves them quickly – improving overall user experience
  • even search engines find the pages are quicker to crawl – hence ranks higher

I can proudly say that BlashO loads faster than 91% of the sites tested using the pingdom tool.

I also tried to test the blog using Google PageSpeed Insights and got “Good” rating.

Conclusion.

To quickly summarize, following are the steps that I took to reduce the blog’s loading time:

  • Installed Autoptimize plugin and minified all the source codes (HTML/JavaScript/CSS)
  • Migrated to SiteGround web hosting and have Cloudflare integrated automatically – disabled all cache plugins
  • Enabled Gzip compression from SiteGround cpanel
  • Now go & test the loading time – you will be surprised.

Now BlashO loads under “1 second”.

2017-11-06T23:51:19+00:00

About the Author:

I love-to-code, passionate-to-write, an upcoming author, and WordPress enthusiast. Here at BlashO, I mostly share WordPress tips. Connect with me @Twitter.

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