Recently I blogged about switching to a new blogging platform. In this post I mentioned how fast the new platform was, and how I had reduced the amount of working parts in the system significantly. The act of switching from WordPress to Ghost sped up my blog, which is more important than a lot of bloggers realize.
As bloggers, one of the most important things we try to do is engage new readers. We do this through networking with other bloggers, link exchanges, and writing posts with content that has staying power. (People aren't going to be googling and finding us for what we had for lunch that day because most of us aren't famous and most people don't care.) Writing relevant content for what people are searching for is the most important part of getting visitors from search engines, but something people don't realize is that content isn't the only important aspect of search rankings.
We have all seen it before—that one blog that has many flashy aspects, moving parts, and a style sheet to be envied, but here is one problem though, it is slow. Website speed is also considered when a search engine like Google is choosing what to display first. You may have content that is relevant, but Google isn't going to show it near the top if your website is slow to load—or even worse, your website fails to load at all. We all know that if you aren't on the first page for a keyword, you may as well not be in the results at all, but what can you do?
Switching to a new blogging platform probably isn't the best way to speed up your blog while also increasing your page views. When I switched to Ghost, my blog actually dropped off of Google entirely. The reason for this is that my content URLs were no longer the same and all of my pages were throwing out errors. While I knew this would happen, and I was OK with it, if you're already running a high traffic website you either need to be more careful or you need to seek out other options.
There was a lot of great ways to lower your page load times.
- Use a CDN like CloudFlare for static content
- Enable server-side compression
- Lower the amount of WordPress plugins you're using
- Move render blocking scripts to the end of the template
- Compress your images
- Move to a webhost that isn't egregiously slow
Not only will increasing page speed help increase your search ranking results, but it will also stop people from giving up on your website after they've already arrived. Nobody likes a slow web page, and even if you're actually interesting your visitors probably don't have time to wait around. The technology bloggers have available to them now is excellent, but we need to cut out the fat in order to retain and grow our readership.