Look at the image on the left.
That's what I got to look at for 24 seconds while waiting for a popular blogger's site to load.
And no, it's not a slow connection on my end — almost every other site I visit loads instantly. What's worse – every page on this blog takes as long or longer to load… every single time.
Now, the only reason that I bother waiting for this site to load is because I know and enjoy this blogger's work. He shares all manner of valuable tips, interesting anecdotes and personal stories on his blog.
I don't mind the wait because I know it's coming. I do some other work on my computer and when I see his favicon come up on the tab in Explorer, I know that page has finally loaded and is available for viewing.
That works for me, but what about first-time visitors to his site? Do you think they bother waiting nearly half a minute for a page to load. Some might, but MOST definitely will NOT… which means that he's not making nearly as much money from his blog as he could.
So why does his blog load SO painfully slow when others load instantly?
Well, in a nutshell… he's got too much ‘stuff' (that's put nicely) going on.
- On a single page you'll see ads, ads and more ads. He's got Kontera, Chitika, ReviewMe, Peel away ads, top of page ad bars, one or more 468×60's banners, at least ten 125 x 125 banner ads — many of which contain Flash.
- His standard top of page navigation is heavily graphic-laden and takes up everything above the fold.
- Instead of linking to one primary stylesheet, the CSS code has been built into his header.php, which adds approximately 3000 unecessary characters to each and every page.
UGGGGGHHHH again. Mostly unecessary and a total waste of good traffic.
So, what can you do if your site is loading slower than you would prefer?
The answer is simple — lighten up!! Here are a few easy ways to do that:
- Reduce the number of graphic images that you use on your blog and that includes banner ads.
- Decrease the color depth of your own images to 256 and make them as small as possible.
- Consider whether you really need to put your Flickr album and broadcast all your Twitter tweets in your sidebar or whether having a link to those accounts would accomplish the same goal.
If those simple tweaks don't solve your page load issues, or you're not a geek / technically inclined, hire a programmer at RentaCoder to help solve the problem.
Bottom line — when people can't see your site due to slow page loads, you're killing your bottom line.