Speeding Up My Blog

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, do you remember the agonies I went through about 6 months ago because this blog was SOO slow to load?

Remember that I spent ages trying to speed it up?

How I Tried to Speed Up My Blog

  • I did major surgery on the number of plug-ins I was using
  • I paid a lot of attention to the size of my images

Both of those were “good and important things to do”, but despite all the stress and time spent on the technical challenges of speeding up my blog, and despite the helpful suggestions people gave me, it just stayed slow!

Blogging is a part-time activity intended to support my “real-business” but I got to the stage where I was just spending the time available to me, in fighting technical challenges instead of blogging.

It was so dispiriting because no matter what I did, improvements were minimal and even after spending time and money (on a premium theme for my complementary therapy business) I reached the stage where I was almost too embarrassed to give out my URLs.

Yes, I expect there are more things I could have tried, perhaps even going right down to the bare bones of my WordPress blog, but to be honest I had just HAD it.

So what did I do? I stopped blogging here other than occasionally, and almost completely stopped at my Hair Analysis blog site. After all, those sales weren’t coming from the slow loading blog, they were coming from my static website.

A Diversion

I tried a diversion to blogging on the Empower Network platform and while that was faster, I found their blogging platform infinitely inferior to WordPress. Bug-ridden I’m afraid. That was some months ago and hopefully they have fixed their problems by now, but it wasn’t a platform I could recommend to clients, so I came back to WordPress (with much relief I might add).

Solution to Speeding Up My Blog

Finally a colleague suggested I change my hosting company! This blog is now hosted with HostThenProfit – a subsidiary of GVO, a company that’s been providing services online for 12+ years and it’s far better to load than it was.


The image alongside proclaims that my site now loads faster than 43% of websites.

Sorry the image is pretty small, but I have learned to keep my images small to minimize the load time. I can just see the “faster than 43%”, so hopefully you can too 🙂

The other huge advantage of HostThenProfit is that it INCLUDES an auto-responder account and several other features that – if you’re new to online business – you may not realize you need. With other hosting companies you will have to buy them in at an extra cost – probably a higher cost than the actual hosting!

With HostThenProfit, these extras are included, starting from $9.97 per month. Click here for details of HostThenProfit. This should be adequate for most new online businesses, and there are very affordable upgrade paths so that your business can grow with you.

There is also an (optional) affiliate program if you’d like to earn an extra income recommending their service to others: click here.

PS Observant readers will note that the date of this post is way different from the date of the speed-check. That’s because I wrote happily about the faster service from Empower, before I had fully appreciated the problems with their blogging platform. When I left Empower, I reverted to using standard WordPress on GVO’s HostThenProfit hosting, and that’s where I am now.

Thanks to tools.pingdom.com for this independent speed test.

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I left it too late to plan for a financially secure retirement. Don't make my mistake. Start building an extra income with a part-time (or full-time) business online. Think you don't have time? Can't afford the start-up cost? Can't meet sales targets? Contact me for free advice (no obligation) on the best fit for your circumstances.

  • James says:

    Hi Joy,

    Sharing your experience and the call for action on the speed of your blog is commendable, at least for people like me who are embedded in the overall mystery of blog speed relevance.

    I just want to add my few lines of thought:
    Google is taking the speed of a website into serious consideration for its SERP rankings, therefore it is more important now to have a blog or website that loads very quickly.
    Secondly, of much more importance is the mobile version analysis of your blog speed.

    Many factors has effect on the speed of blog; right from the use of web hosting, images on the blog ( I think this two reflects for the cause of your slow blog speed) and amounts of plugins present e.t.c.

    The use of pingdom, as advised is very important to check one’s speed.

    I have learnt one or two things from your post, It will sure help lots of other people

    • Joy Healey says:

      Hi James

      Thanks for reminding me about how Google takes into consideration the loading speed. That was another reason I was so keen to make a radical change.

      I will confess I probably got carried away with plugins, but when I looked at what to remove, I couldn’t bear to part with them. Best not to have them in the first place. Another argument in favor of simplicity.

      Good grief – I get fed up waiting for it to load, so goodness knows what an impartial visitor makes of it!!

      Thanks for dropping by and so sorry for late reply – I have been pre-occupied with my son’s wedding 🙂


  • Hi Joy,

    You’re right. Your empower network site is faster. I timed it. Your old blog took about 26 seconds before it loads and your empower site took less than 4 seconds. What a difference! But why do you have two addresses on empower? (1) onlinebusinesstruth.com (2) joyh.empowernetwork.com…I’m confused.

    Also, how did others react on your redirected blog to empower?

    You know I used to have empowernetwork.com blocked from my blog but becaused of you I have unblocked them all.

    Anyway, glad everything works out for you. Will talk more later. I’ll see you around…have a nice week!


    P.S. I’m not sure I know how to leave a comment on your empower site I don’t feel comfortable in signing a username or password there, all I wanna do is comment and not sign up for any other network. 🙁

    • Joy Healey says:

      Hi Angela

      I’m glad you found it much faster too!

      There are two addresses because the Empower blog is hosted at Empower (hence the faster service) and I redirect my custom domain for Empower (onlinebusinesstruth.com) to it.
      That’s a standard thing I do with several other sites, not just Empower, to give them more appropriate names.

      Must confess I’m not happy about their comment mechanism at the moment, so hope it may be changed soon.

      Thanks for unblocking EN sites. I think if you look at a few you’ll find there is some very good content on them. A few bad apples gave all of us a rotten name, and I appreciate you being open-minded enough to look further.
      As a matter of fact, because we can do so much customisation now it can be totally transparent as to whether a blog is an Empower one or not, because we can remove all EN branding if we want to.
      Obviously I haven’t because I’m promoting the platform and products.

      Sorry for late reply – I have been pre-occupied with my son’s wedding 🙂

      Joy xx

  • Tim Bonner says:

    Hi Joy

    I use RocketLoader with my free CloudFlare account to make sure I keep my blog’s loading speed as low as I possibly can.

    According to Pingdom that’s just over a second although I think it loads a little slower than that!

    If I took RocketLoader off, it would load much slower.

    I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a Happy New Year Joy!


    • Joy Healey says:

      Thanks for the suggestion Tim, I’m pleased you’ve found something helpful.

      I had a good Christmas and looking forward to a great New Year. I wish the same for you too.


  • Cole Wiebe says:

    Hi Joy,

    I believe that our strategy for keeping our blogs running at a brisk pace must parallel the DARE campaigns in high schools: Just say no to “plugins”. 🙂 We’re barely off the high from the last one and someone’s ‘pushing’ another one that sounds so darn tempting. Not only does one tend to be the gateway to the next one; they’re habit forming.

    Wishing you a very prosperous and memorable 2014,


    • Joy Healey says:

      Hi Cole

      You’re completely right, when I look at the number of plugins I have I KNOW there are too many – but I’m just so attached to them, they all seemed to do something so useful at the time.

      I’m doing my best to stay minimalist in future!

      Thanks for dropping by, and the same good wishes to you and your family for 2014.


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