Are you overloaded?

Between Thanksgiving and mid-December I had the opportunity to visit over 400 blogs. Okay, it wasn’t an opportunity but rather sheer madness. I participated for the first time in the IComLeavWe (International Comment Leaving Week) for November as well as Merry SITSmas put on by the SITS gals. I am always looking for new blogs to add to my feeder and felt that these two activities would provide me an occasion to do just that.

I did find a few blogs to read, but this activity also left me with the overwhelming need to share a piece of basic web usability advice. For the past 15 years I have had career in internet marketing, which has exposed me to usability standards and best practices that have helped me develop a sensitivity to certain issues. One of those issues that drives me insane is page load time.

Industry guidelines for page load time hover around 4 seconds, many say it is actually 2. I whole-heartedly believe that this applies to blogs as well. I know that if I visit a blog and I have to wait more than a couple seconds for the content to load I am out of there!

Remember, the core reason that people visit your blog is to read what you have to say. Content is king, design is queen and everything else is just window dressing. Make sure those curtains are made of silk rather than steel! I get that widgets are cool, it shows that we are members of various tribes or causes, and that is important to gauge the personality of the blogger, but too many widgets, etc can really load your pages down. Too long of a wait and people may not see them anyway!

Choose your widgets and badges carefully. Maybe rotate several, changing them out on a weekly or monthly basis. De-clutter a bit and clean out from time to time. No one is going to read your blog if they aren’t willing to wait around for the content to load.

Here are some tools to test out how your site/blog loads. Honestly, the only problem is that you will get different answers based on the tool type. However, it will give you an excellent indication of whether you are in trouble or not and allow you to consider your options.

Thanks for allowing me to vent a bit.

Related Posts

About Andi Fisher

I'm a lifestyle blogger focused on travel and food. I love to travel via my stomach eating and seeking out local artisans to feature here. I'm a big supporter of the blogging community and love highlighting travel and food bloggers for you to meet.

Comments

  1. Thank you for venting. There are some good links there. I tested my blog and it’s telling me .47seconds average load time? Yeah. i guess that’s good.
    Anyhow, thanks for the venting and for the links.
    -NK

  2. Thanks for the advice. I didn’t manage to get through the whole of the ICLW list in November purely because of the time constraints.

  3. What fantastic advice! You should definitely vent more often! I had never thought of the “load time” that you mention, but I am absolutely a person that will “move on” if forced to wait more than a few seconds for a page to load. I checked mine, too, thanks to your link, and I’m relieved to see it’s in the acceptable range! (.29 seconds). Thanks, Andi!!

  4. Wow, that’s a lot of blogs! I’m pretty new to blogging so really appreciate the tips.

  5. Andi, thanks for the tip. Mine loads in 1.19 secs so I guess I’m okay. If I want it to load faster looks like I need to skinny down the header. On the to do list. Thanks!

  6. This is SO helpful Andi …..ditto what Joan said …..your vent is our gain! Your followers would love more of this helpful advice.

    I’ve got to go and check-out my load time. I’m afeared I might be guilty!

  7. Wow 400 blogs??? Thanks for the tips. I do try to re-evaluate my blog on a regular basis, especially for sidebar. I’ve rotated, removed, added and still never seem to be satisfied. I included load time in my recent reader survey, but I’m off to check out the tools you suggested to make sure I’m good.

  8. First off, 400 blogs….aaahmazing. And time consuming! I feel like I’ve barely done anything else in my life since this ICLW started because I set a goal of getting to Iron Commenter (it’s been over a year since my last IC status, so it was time)!

    Anyway, great advice and much appreciated. I recently relocated my blog to a new home and am working on making it more of a “me” blog as opposed to an IF blog. But I do have a question about design, and since you mentioned it is Queen, I thought you might be able to help. I’m interested in a cute and unique design, but one that won’t require me to do much with it and will still be easy to edit my page content and whatnot (just a blogger account). I’d be willing to pay (though not a whole lot of money) to have a design customized but don’t really know where to start…any suggestions?

    Thanks again for the good advice!

    Christina
    the subfertile frugalista

    • @Christina – I can help you out, I don’t want you to suffer from the same mistakes that I made which cost me a bit of money last year! I will send you an email and put together a post for others as well!

  9. Um, holy whoah. I am totally doing that IComLeavWe thing!

    I have been having loads of conversations recently about how to find new blogs and there seems to be no efficient ways… perhaps it’s time to give this a shot!

    PS I found your blog via blog catalog… I too am a French lover (and previous France liver!).
    PPS That kind of made it sound like I used to be pre-foie-gras. Ummm not what I meant. πŸ™‚

  10. I totally have this problem, thanks for the link!

  11. Thank you for this, Andi. I never thought to check how fast my blog uploads. I’m going off to do that now, with my fingers crossed. As for whether I’m succeeding at entertaining and inspiring my readers, I’m feeling hopeful. I’ve heard from some outstanding visitors who seem to be coming back for more. But that’s probably because my mother was a stickler for good manners. Her house was always opened to anyone, anytime. I’m trying to make my blog emanate that atmosphere. Thanks for the help.

  12. @joylene Welcome! I grew up in a military family so good manners were a must! My behavior reflected on my father, so I was always at my best…for the most part. I believe in the general concept of being nice to people, so I too want a warm and hospitable environment. Everyone is welcome, including now you!

  13. @Christina – I have not forgot you and do intend to write a post on design, look out for it soon!

  14. Thanks, Andi! I took your advice and had my blog and webpage tested. Turns out my blog, the larger of the two, loads in .8 seconds. What a relief!

  15. Sorry, forgot to mention I’m blogging and linking back to this post. Thanks again.

Speak Your Mind

*