How I Dramatically Increased My Website Speed

The name of the SEO game in 2010 is going to be increasing the speed of your website. And what I mean by “speed” is this – the amount of time it takes for your website (and web pages) load.

About a month ago, I showed a video of Matt Cutts (Google engineer) talking about how important it will be for website owners to focus on increasing “load speed”, and how the speed of your website can affect your rankings in Google.

I’ve been learning more about the process of increasing website speed and all the intricacies in involved, and from one simple change in my website (this blog), my website went from taking 39 seconds to load down to only 12 seconds.  I actually got it loading in 7 seconds for a few days, but when I added Digg back to my articles, the load time increased to 12 seconds.

Here’s How I Dramatically Increased My Website Speed

This is not complicated, and it took me only about 20 minutes to go through my website and make the necessary changes, but all I did to increase my website load time by 27 seconds is I removed unnecessary “HTTP instances”.

What are “HTTP instances”? Your website or blog is made up of a lot of different HTTP elements.  For example, on this blog I have Google Adsense running, Digg social bookmarking, and several different WordPress plugins.  There’s actually a lot more “stuff” running on my site, but these are definitely the largest consumers of resources when my blog loads.

Your website might have things like a lead generation forms, images, and other javascript embedded into your site such as your Facebook Fan Page or maybe even your live Twitter feed.

Regardless of what it is you have running on your site, every unique element is an “HTTP instance” – and the more instances you have, the longer it will take for your website to load.

So what I did is I scrubbed my website from the ground up – removing a lot of unnecessary elements that were consuming a lot of load time resources.  One of the biggest drags on my website speed load time was the Facebook Fan Page “fan box”.  This blog would take 5 – 7 seconds just to completely load the Facebook “fan box” – so I got rid of it.

And since this is a WordPress blog, I then went through all of the widgets and got rid of the ones I either had deactivated, or that were not absolutely essential for the functioning of my site.

Ultimately, I just got rid of all the unnecessary elements in my website along with those that were javascript elements and were consuming a lot of my load time resources.

After scrubbing my website, I’m now loading 27 seconds faster than before – which is an amazing amount of time as measured by website speed.

*** NOTE:  The speed of your website, regardless of what you do, will also be greatly affected by the particular browser a user might be using.  For example, someone using Google Chrome will see your website load 100 times faster than someone browsing the web on Internet Explorer.

Post your specific questions about your website below in the comments, and I will be more than happy to give you my suggestions on increasing your website speed.


  • Sultan

    You missed the point. Cutts was talking about the load time from server to browser not browser load time.

    The first is based on how fast the server is and how fast it can connect to the server, while the second is how long it takes the browser to load. Google can't evaluate for how long a site takes because there are sites that have endless javascript (it keeps polling). Sites like GMail never finish loading technically, since they're always polling with ajax.

    He was referring to how long it takes for google's spiderbot to connect to your site, but he also went into detail about user experience and site load. So reducing connections is good for your visitors, but work on improving your server speed (decrease complex php scripts etc)

    • Hi Sultan – thanks so much for your comment. As I mentioned, I'm still trying to learn as much as I can about this new area of focus of "SEO" work.

      Would you be interested in writing a guest post here at Social Media SEO to explain, and help us all including me, understand this new area of SEO and "website speed"???

      Thanks again Sultan!

  • Sultan

    You missed the point. Cutts was talking about the load time from server to browser not browser load time.

    The first is based on how fast the server is and how fast it can connect to the server, while the second is how long it takes the browser to load. Google can't evaluate for how long a site takes because there are sites that have endless javascript (it keeps polling). Sites like GMail never finish loading technically, since they're always polling with ajax.

    He was referring to how long it takes for google's spiderbot to connect to your site, but he also went into detail about user experience and site load. So reducing connections is good for your visitors, but work on improving your server speed (decrease complex php scripts etc)

    • Hi Sultan – thanks so much for your comment. As I mentioned, I'm still trying to learn as much as I can about this new area of focus of "SEO" work.

      Would you be interested in writing a guest post here at Social Media SEO to explain, and help us all including me, understand this new area of SEO and "website speed"???

      Thanks again Sultan!