As social media grows, it can be tempting to embed every badge, widget and toolbar into our sidebars in the hopes that it will drive traffic and further promote your blog’s brand. Aside from an aesthetic standpoint, you can have too many embedded objects in your site leading to a virtual traffic jam. These objects can delay your site’s load times, frustrate your reader or cause your site to be completely unusable. Google has now taken a stand against slow-loading sites, calculating a site’s load time into the Ad Words Quality Score, which ultimately effects the minimum bid for an ad.
Ask you can tell from the results of the page load time test, the amount of script and flash embedded in a site significantly effects the page load time. WebsiteOptimization.com breaks it down into major categories:
- Total Objects
- Total Images
- Total Size
- Total Script
- Total HTML
- HTML Size
- Images Size
- Script Size
- Multimedia Size
There are several ways you can effectively reduce your site’s load times.
- Use HTML embeddable objects instead of Java/Flash. Most sites, such as Twitter or ThisNext, offer a variety of different types of embeddable objects. Choose the most simple (usually HTML) object to give your site a boost.
- Place large posts behind a jump/cut. If you’re posting images, multiple videos or wordy reviews, find a good stopping place and put the rest behind a cut. Not only will it slow your site’s load time, but you’ll get a bump in page views when your readers have to click through.
- Be sensible. The best way to feature your content is to keep it simple. Don’t insert too many bells, whistles, flashing objects and resource hogs into your site. You’ll appreciate how much better your site looks, and your readers will appreciate the usability.
What are your tricks to keep your site loading fast? Or do you not even think about it?