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For those who celebrated the holiday last Monday, I hope you enjoyed your short week. I know I did.

To recap the week:

On Tuesday, Pun Intended was named New Blog Of The Week

Wednesday we discussed how we can use our blogs to benefit others.

And yesterday, we took the blinders off and discussed visiting blogs with opposing ideas/opinions.

For those who didn’t follow the comments, Jennifer’s comment on yesterday’s post reminded me of an important issue.

If we’re visiting another person’s blog, and we disagree with what they’ve written, please show them the same respect you would like to see on your blog. Our blogs are our homes in blogosphere. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Secondly, as Natural stated, when disagreeing on the content of a post, stick to the issue and do not attack the author. Remember, they’ve provided the information for free, and even though we may not agree with what is written, the author is still a human being.

Behind the scenes I been working on getting my blog load faster.

I’ve removed all plugins I’m not using and also took down my comment counter. I was able to shave nearly a second off of the load time.

While researching how load time affects our visitors, it’s written if our blog is too slow to load, we risk losing visitors/readers.

Anytime we have plugins, widgets, avatars, images, ads, and/or some issues behind the scenes, our load time is put at risk. Ideally we should aim for a load time of under 2 seconds.

To test your own blog’s load time, I’ve found several sites that supply a free service to do so. They are:

1) www.iWebtool.com
2) www.SubmitExpress.com
3) www.WebsiteOptimization.com

Today’s Assignment

To start off this weeks “Open Mic”, I have two questions for all of you.

1) If a blog is slow to load (in your browser), do you click off, continue to visit it, and/or do you remove it from your reader?

2) How often are you performing a “save” (backup) of your blog?

The floor is yours. You know the rules.

Questions, comments and concerns are welcome.

Have Fun!

Keep it Clean!

And don’t forget to either check the “subscribe to comments on this post” box, or subscribe to my comments RSS feed (upper right sidebar), so you can follow along.


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  1. I wouldn’t unscribe for a load time slower than an average blog. What’s 2 seconds?

    Now, if it took 5 seconds or more, that could get annoying and I may unscribe if it isn’t material I love.

    Bamboo Forest’s last blog post..The Stain Demon Can and Will Taint Your Life

  2. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Bamboo,

    Isn’t it funny how over 2 seconds is considered slow? Seems like I also read how those that produce CDs have also decreased the time between songs as it was an issue for some.

  3. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I know if I’m stumbling (which I don’t do very often) I’ll lose interest if I can’t start reading straight away. If it’s a site I know, I just wait if it is a bit slow.

    The huge variety of internet speeds that people are using makes it tricky to know how long it takes most people to download a site. I have broadband, but it is relatively slow.

  4. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Robin,

    Yes, I agree. Some sites on StumbleUpon are VERY slow loading (especially those with pictures). I end up hitting the “Stumble” button and don’t even give the slow loading site a chance.

    Good point. It does depend on our visitor’s internet speed. I’m on high speed internet/cable which I could upgrade to a higher speed, but to me a few seconds isn’t worth the price increase.

  5. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – My broadband connection isn’t so fast anyway, so I’m usually quite patient. But if it’s a blog I’ve never visited before and it’s taking ages to load, I sometimes hit the backbutton.

    If it’s one I visit often, I’ll either go back later, or open another browser and read something else while I’m waiting for it to load.

    By saving, do you mean backing up? I’ll be honest, I don’t do it often enough. But after reading all John Hoff’s tips to protect your blog, I’m realising that I should. It’s a lot of work to lose if something goes wrong.

  6. Blogger DadNo Gravatar says:

    With Firefox’s multitabs, I open slow sites on another tab and return to them after they’ve finished loading. One of my favorite sites, http://www.lifehacker.com sometimes TAKES FOREVER to load.

    #2 – not as often as I should. It’s only three weeks old, though. Haven’t gotten to a regular schedule with maintenance issues yet.

    Blogger Dad’s last blog post..When worlds collide

  7. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    Yeah, the back button comes in handy, doesn’t it. Opening a slow site in a new tab/browser is a good way to get other things done while a slow site loads.

    Yes, backing up! John’s posts woke me up too. I have to go back and reread them again as they’re loaded with so much great information.

  8. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    1) If it’s *too* slow — I click off.
    2) I don’t “save” enough.

    I avoid slow in general — it’s an energy drain. Death by a 1000 paper cuts.

    J.D. Meier’s last blog post..3 Revealing Questions for Myth Busting

  9. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    I’m actually just about to invest in a new system, Barbara, as most of my problems with speed are caused by a slow machine.

    I really do need a blog-industrial strength processor! πŸ™‚

    As for backing up, the two issues I am certainly concerned about are backing up regularly and security against being hacked into.

  10. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Blogger Dad,

    Aren’t Firefox’s tabs great? I use them all the time.

    Even for a new blogger, maintenance and backups are just as important. When I was new, I would start tinkering and mess up my blogs because I didn’t know what I was doing. Sometimes I hadn’t done a back up and would lose important data.

    Hi J.D.,

    “Death by a 1000 paper cuts”. That’s a good one. πŸ™‚

    Hi Scott,

    You’re right. Our processors can slow things down, too. Do they sell a “blog industrial strength” one. πŸ™‚ If so, I need one, too.

    Security against hackers is VERY important.

  11. Joanna YoungNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, thanks for sharing the tools to check our blog’s speed. I try and keep a close eye on my loading and weed out what I think might be the culprits – though sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find out which plugin is at fault.

    Like others I’ll tolerate a bit of slowness for blogs and sites that are old familiar friends, not if they’re new. I tend to back off and head elsewhere.

    I back up my blog once a week – well it’s automated by a plugin that does it for me πŸ™‚

    Joanna

  12. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    hello barbara

    i did enjoy my short week, every week should be short. πŸ™‚
    it’s so true, our blogs are invitations into our homes and no way would i allow anyone to come into my physical home and show disrespect, you will get checked at the door.

    i give every blog a chance once, but if the loading time takes 10-15 seconds, i probably will click off. you do get spoiled when you have high speed internet access, you don’t expect to wait for anything, you just want it to appear before your eyes. funny. i’m losing some of my patience because of this need for speed with everything.

    i have some plugins to update myself and thanks for those links, i’ll be back later to try them all out. good stuff as usual. have a good one.

    oh i save my blog once a week sometimes more. i also use a free tool that does it automatically: blogbackuponline dot com

  13. I usually read blogs on RSS and hence site speed doesn’t play a major role there. However, I wouldn’t visit and comment on blogs that are too slow to load – even stopped commenting on problogger and johnchow as they are pathetically slow these days.

    Did you mean ‘backup’ when you said ‘save’? If so, I have a weekly automaetd backup schedule. In addition, I keep my latest posts’ draft versions just in case (I never directly type into the wordpress post editor)

    As for the speed part, yes, disabling plugins will do wonders. In addition, the theme should be optimized by cutting down commented code. Also, all your tracking code and expensive banners/ads/readers widgets etc should be pushed to the footer or to the end of the last sidebar. Whenever you post images in the content, you should size it down to an optimal dimension as well as size (ideally below 30K or so). Many people post even 500KB high resolution images which is a nuisance to the readers.

    Additional performance tips here:
    dollarshower.com/blog-performance-tips

    Cheers,
    Ajith

  14. 1) If a blog is slow to load (in your browser), do you click off, continue to visit it, and/or do you remove it from your reader? – my load time is so erratic anyway I certainly don’t notice a few seconds. Now if we are talking 30 seconds I’ll leave. I’ll come back once, in case it was just a glitch. Not a glitch, nope won’t bother again.

    2) How often are you performing a β€œsave” of your blog? – Huh?

  15. Hi Barbara,

    I think I am like the majority here, I don’t click off of regulars, but if I get the hourglass, I wander away. I always give lots of chances though. I can’t hold a grudge.

    As far as back up, I am so new at my new site I am still learning how it all works. Thanks for the reminder to go figure that out. At least with free wordpress I didn’t worry about it too much. I save all of my articles in a word doc just in case. But I would lose comments and stuff and that would be sad.

    Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations’s last blog post..Giving Back to the Givers

  16. Sunil PathakNo Gravatar says:

    I dont mind waiting few minutes if the content is really interesting and informative.

    but thank god i never found any such blog that can take more then a minute to load fully LOL

    BTW my blogs load time is 1.37 seconds what is your Barbara?

    Sunil Pathak’s last blog post..Let These Plugins Help You Build Community On Your Blog

  17. Uh-oh, mine took 2.96 seconds. I think that’s because of my Twitter status, which is always slow to load. However, it’s pretty far down on the page, and the rest loads first. But wait–I checked it again a couple more times and it keeps changing. So it’s somewhere between 1 and 3 seconds, depending on the alignment of the stars.

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..14 Life Lessons From Scarface

  18. Hi Barbara –

    As always, great questions.

    If a blog is loading slow, yeah, I usually click off. I do give it about 5-10 seconds to load at least something and if I can see some progress, I might wait. But if it’s still just a blank white nothing, I’m probably gone fairly quickly.

    I have one of those handy dandy back up plugins that I have set to back up and email me the file at least once a week. If I’m going to be doing something drastic, I’ll manually go in and tell it to send me one before I start. It works really well, though, thankfully, I haven’t ever actually had to use the backup.

    ~ Annie

    Oh – and a “blog industrial strength” processor? Just get a Mac. πŸ˜‰

  19. Hi Barbara,

    These sites are interesting. Looks like MomGrind’s load time is 2 seconds. I will take the weekend to see if I can make it even faster.

    1. Yes, if a blog loads too slowly I click away – unless it’s a blog I really enjoy or have a friendly relationship with the author.

    2. I backup my database once a week. I believe the hosting company does backups too.

  20. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    First off, thanks for the Firefox Tab Tip.
    Yes, if I stumble I don’t wait for slow loading sites unless the title/URL holds some promise…. The “save” I think doesn’t apply to my blog since it runs on blogger, right?

  21. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the link Barbara. I think there’s not enough respect these days. Although it seems I see a lot more respect in the blogosphere than in the “real” world.

    I don’t typically pay that much attention to how long it loads. Like Blogger Dad I have several tabs open at once and just do something on another tab while one is loading. I don’t think I come across many slow ones anyway though.

    The “save” thing – I need to do that. Thanks for the reminder.

    BTW – I couldn’t get the iwebtool link to work. I don’t know if it’s your link or the page itself.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Change Your Life One Thought at a Time – Part 4

  22. Interestingly enough, the other day I was thinking about how I should do a “how to speed up your WordPress blog,” however you might already know, I’m just now finishing up a 2 week 7 post series on securing your WordPress blog.

    I don’t want people thinking I only blog about WordPress LOL.

    If a site takes too long to load

    If it’s a new site I’m going to, I’ll most likely leave. If it’s someone’s site whose I like and return to often, I’ll wait. Like Blogger Dad, I have so many other things to do I’ll just open a new tab and start working on something else until the other blog is loaded.

    How often do I back up

    Once a week. However, all websites hosted with our company keep a 7 day website history full restore of your website in case you mess something up. And yes, I’ve used it twice LOL.

    Also, there’s a FireFox Addon which will show you how fast a website loads and will also give you some recommendations: FireBug.

    @ Barbara & Cath – Hey thanks. It pleases me to know my WordPress series has been insightful. My last post on the subject gives some recommendations.

    @ Scott – Not sure if you’ve been by my blog, but I have a 7 post series on how to secure your blog. I also show you how to back it all up (using a nice little plugin).

    About speeding up your site:

    Ajith has some great suggestions. Also, if you know a little about coding, make sure your content loads 1st if possible. That way if other things (like your sidebar, header, and footer) are taking up load time, at least your content will be visible for people to read.

    Another nifty little trick someone once showed me (I wish I could remember who so I could link to them) was to put the following code in your wp-config.php file:

    // Enable the WordPress Object Cache:
    define(ENABLE_CACHE, true);

    Put it just under the table_prefix = line.

    This is suppose to set up a Cache which will speed things up. Not sure if it works or not but I use it.

    Also, install the Super WP Cache plugin.

    @ everyone – My question is, for the amount of time you’ve spent working on your blog, do you think you’ve given sufficient time protecting what you’ve created (i.e. worrying about security)?

  23. I’m another person who uses tabs, so I don’t realize whether something is loading slowly or not. If it’s not up by the time I get to that tab, I’ll probably click away.

    And if I’m Stumbling, speed is a priority. I’ve probably missed a few good things because I don’t wait the few seconds it takes.

    I totally need to check my loading speed; it’s been one of those, “Oh, I’ll deal with later” kinds of issues. Eek! It’s way past “later!”

  24. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Joanna,

    You’re welcome.

    You’re right. Sometimes it is trial and error when we’re trying to find what is slowing down our loading time. I realized I need to start changing the resolution on my images as they take up a big chunk.

    Hi Natural,

    Yes, we do get spoiled when things happen fast, and for blogs, it’s no different. It makes me wonder if patience is going by the wayside.

    Hi Ajith,

    I read my blogs in RSS, too, but even then, some of them are slow loading.

    Yes, I meant “backup”. I revised the post to show that. πŸ™‚

    Your comment made me realize I need to change the resolution of my images. Thanks for the reminder and the other great tips/links, as well.

    Hi Urban Panther,

    You do save/back up your blog, don’t you? If not, talk to the Lion and he’ll show you how to do that.

    Hi Wendi,

    Like you, I do give a site a chance, and even visit some sites that are slow loading; mainly because I like the content. It can be frustrating, but as mentioned previously, I’ll open them in a new tab and do something else while I wait.

    Hi Sunil,

    I checked my blog loading time on two of the links, and I get different numbers. One shows 1 second, and the other one varies, but it hangs around a second.

    Hi Hunter,

    You must have checked on iwebtools, too, as mine kept changing, too. I agree, it must be the alignment of the stars.

    Hi Annie,

    The backup plugin is something I need to add. It would make it a lot easier than doing it manually.

    My host does automatic backups, and I had to use them when I crashed my blogs. Fortunately I only lost one post and that was early in the game.

    Hi Vered,

    Like you, my loyalty to a favorite author equates to a little more patience in load time.

    Hi Maya,

    You’re welcome. You’ll love the Firefox tabs add-on.

    I don’t know how blogger works with regard to backups. Does anyone who’s reading this know?

    Hi Jennifer,

    You’re welcome. Like you, I see a lot of disrespect in the real world. It’s sad, isn’t it? One thing about blogosphere, if someone isn’t showing respect to others, we can choose not visit their blog. In life, sometimes it’s hard to avoid.

    I doubled checked the link for iwebtools. It worked for me. Try it again, or just type in the URL and go directly to their site.

    Hi John,

    I’m happy you showed up. I was going to add a link to your site if you didn’t. Your series is phenomenal.

    Thank you for the link to Firebug. I’ll try that one, too.

    That’s a great reminder about the WP Cache plugin. I added that when I started getting CPU errors a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I haven’t had any more.

    Re: security. I’m in the process of working on mine, thanks to your series. That is SO helpful. I appreciate all of the hard work you put into that.

    Hi Sara,

    Ah ha, another vote for tabs. They are slick, aren’t they?

  25. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara.
    More to learn today and I will have to ask my tech person about my speed for load time and for safe back up systems information.

    I have not found any ones blog load speed to be too long and I just consider the slower one’s an extra opportunity for a “bathroom break” or to get another glass of water. I came to that blog to read what the writer had to say, I am looking for differing opinions and ideas when I am looking about. I am most frustrated by not comprehending what the person has written or not understanding what they are trying to say – when the words are too brief or confusing. I think profanity is boring and takes away more than it emphasizes or makes a point. Name calling just speaks about the informer not the recipient.

    If the writer is making an all out effort to share something of value to him or her, I feel like I want to acknowledge that effort and recognize that value. I seek out differing opinions, ideas, creativity and concepts and I look for the thinking, value and idea that is being shared first and foremost.

    Jasmine, who I met here on your site, is going to help me with facebook, twitter, and some of those other faster places after she finishes her deadline at work. Her Plushies always give me a good idea or two.

    The last 4 nights on National Television a number of people have found creative ways to denigrate my vocational choice, call me a free loader, inept, unproductive, stupid, irresponsible and an elitist(they used 19 different terms) and they got lots of laughs and boos and applause for their words. I think they should be ashamed of themselves – speakers and audience alike – and they should issue a National Apology to every community organizer in the USA. I do not think they will even issue an insincere apology but I am entitled to my opinion of my 28 work years for my community and my country. And I hope someone will read this and not just say, “Oh that’s the way it is – toughen up.”

    I always feel it is a great day when I learn something new and I am waiting for my amazing new computer to arrive via UPS. How lucky am I on a sunny day. Thank you for such a good article – finely stated.

    Patricia’s last blog post..Stress Relief – Nintendo DS Brain Age

  26. Al at 7PNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – way cool with the load time advice!

    I stumble off-and-on too, and that’s about the only time that load time matters to me. If I’m going to a site I regularly frequent it won’t stop me, but in all honesty it might make me a little annoyed.

    Al at 7P’s last blog post..The Criminally-Minded Approach for Achieving Goals

  27. No problem Barbara. Hey I’m glad to see you’re taking some steps toward security. Let me know if you have any questions.

  28. Load doesn’t bother me too much as long as it doesn’t crash my browser.

    I backed up my blog twice but need to make it a regular habit. I also want to see if my host provider does automatic backups. Thanks for the reminder.

    Stacey / CreateaBalance’s last blog post..How to Synchronize Your Authentic Voice

  29. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    You’ve always got us thinking of ways to make our blogs better!

    1.) If a blog is slow, but it’s one I’ve visited regularly in the past, I may wait, but more likely I’ll just come back later. I won’t remove it from my reader. If it’s one I end up not visiting as frequently, or it’s one that is new to me – I “may” remove it. Depends on what’s going on at that time. I try to be patient… But still, sometimes…

    2.) I have not backed up very often. Only when I’ve upgraded WordPress versions. Not good. I need to address this – soon.

    Oh, and I liked the links you had to check out our sites. I see a couple of things to look at with keywords. I guess you’re going to make me work all weekend Barbara!

  30. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    If I click on a link to a blog I’ve never been to before and it’s slow to load, I leave. But if it’s a blog I’ve been to before and I like it, I’ll wait.

    I don’t do any backups, I’m literally at the mercy of the gods of the blogosphere and the benevolent little man who lives in my computer.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..20 Ways to Raise Your IQ

  31. RitaNo Gravatar says:

    Barb,

    1. When I visit a blog, it doesn’t matter a whit to me whether it takes 2 seconds or 10. It’s like being caught at a red light sometimes, but I still continue on when the light turns green.

    2. My blog is automatically backed-up nightly on a free-server host. (Or is it free-host server?) Well, either way, it works!

    Rita

    Rita’s last blog post..MY NOVEL IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Patricia,

    Congratulations on getting a new computer. That’s always exciting

    Yes, some sites are worth the wait. Like you said it’s a good time to get up and take a break.

    Hi Al,

    I agree, it can be annoying to wait for a site to load. We can only hope it’s worth the wait.

    Hi again John,

    I’ll let you know if I have any questions as I work on the security issues of my blog. Thanks for your kindness.

    Hi Stacey,

    You’re welcome. Most hosts do provide free backups, so hopefully yours does, too.

    Hi Lance,

    Oh no, don’t work on your blog all weekend. Find some time for family and friends, too.

    Hi Marelisa,

    Please, do backups. I would hate to hear you lost all that you’ve put so much time into.

    Hi Rita,

    That’s great your blog gets backed up nightly. Knowing that is a big relief, isn’t it?

  33. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I will give any site a reasonable amount of time to load, whether it’s new to me or old. And, it would take a lot for me to remove it from my reader completely — doubt the loading time alone would make or break that decision. As others say, I’ll flip to a different tab and come back when it’s done loading.

    I am vigilant about backing up — my computer as well as my blog! That’s my “NY paranoia” in action. πŸ™‚ I’d hate to lose anything on my blog or on my computer.

  34. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    I usually have a million tabs open so often I don’t even notice how long something loads, Middle click in firefox, or ctrl-click depending on the O/S I’m using is usually how I click on links. (Which is why I HATE sites that use javascript top open links…grrr…)

    But when I’m away from home I don’t do a lot of browsing so I don’t tab it up, but I also visit only a select few of the sites I normally do. πŸ˜‰

    As for backing up… don’t tell anyone, but I do it once in a blue moon…if I remember. Often I’ll just rely on archive.org lol πŸ˜‰

    For money making sites though I back up at least weekly (depending on the content change frequency) My work site I back up daily via a cron job.

    Here’s a question for everyone, when traveling, for work or pleasure how often do you try to get online? Do you totally disconnect or do you give in and hop online as soon as you get a chance?

    hyrcan’s last blog post..A Watchful Eye

  35. I have multiple tabs open so I am not too concerned with a longer than normal load time.

    I am not even sure what you mean by a save backup Barbara. I just cross my fingers and hope my webhost (Bluehost) does all this.

    Will someone please tell me if I need to do more. I am a bit clueless about this type of stuff.

    Leanne Magraith’s last blog post..3 Benefits of Active Reflection

  36. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Linda,

    That is great you’re so vigilant about backing up your blog/computer. When we put so much work into our blogs, it would be terrifying if we lost our posts and/or comments.

    Hi Hyrcan,

    Re: your question. I haven’t done any long term trips since I started blogging, but when I do I will probably disconnect completely. If I’m on vacation, I would hate to have an electronic umbilical cord cord attached, although curiosity could win and I’ll be eating my words. πŸ™‚

    Hi Leanne,

    Yes, you probably should do more. I, too, am on BlueHost and they do some automatic backups, however, I don’t like relying on one source only, so I do my own, too.

    I’m also going to check into the WordPress automatic backup plugin. That sounds pretty painless.

  37. AxeCityNo Gravatar says:

    I usually leave the blog if the loading is too slow, you brought a very important point to pay attention to!

    I prefer to make a backup after publishing a new post; the database, files & images, this might save me someday!

  38. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi AxeCity,

    Backing up after publishing each post is a great way to know everything will be safe. You’re right, we never know when we might need it.

  39. JerseyMIcNo Gravatar says:

    I need to make backups more often. I’d like to say I do it every week (or every post), but it’s as lot more like every 2 weeks.

    It would be an enormous loss, but I haven’t found a simple way to automate it yet.

    For a consistently slow blog, I would visit it less often
    .-= Check out JerseyMIcΒ΄s awesome post: Alternative Soul at on July 2nd, 2009 in EHT, NJ (pics and video!) =-.