Every active blog slows down over time as ever-increasing numbers of visitors put an ever-increasing load on your web server’s resources.
As more pages are loaded from your server its CPU must work harder and the RAM and disk I/O eventually get maxed out. This results in sluggish page loads, and during peak times your blog can even grind to a halt.
There are several things you can do to mitigate the problems you’ll almost certainly encounter as your blog grows in size and popularity.
One of the first things you should consider when you need to speed up a sluggish blog is to move it from a shared web server where it must compete with lots of other sites for the server’s resources onto either a VPS or Dedicated Server where all or part of the server’s resources are dedicated solely to your blog.
If you can afford to do so, I strongly suggest moving your sluggish blog to a faster server as mentioned above. But if you can’t afford a VPS or Dedicated Server at the current time, there’s a free alternative that can help speed up your blog quite a bit. All you have to do is sign for a free account with the Cloudflare Content Distribution Network.
CloudFlare and other Content Distribution Networks (aka CDNs) place an exact replica of your blog’s static content onto multiple servers that are located literally around the globe.
When a visitor’s web browser requests one of your blog’s posts or pages, the static content on that particular post or page is delivered to the visitor’s web browser from the CDN server that’s located closest to the visitor’s physical location. The benefits of that are two-fold:
1 – The requested post or page loads quickly in the visitor’s browser since its static content only has to travel the shorter distance between the server and the visitor’s computer or mobile device instead of from your primary web server which could potentially be located half-way around the world.
2 – The dynamic content that must be retrieved from your blog’s primary server is delivered faster as well since the aforementioned CDN server has already delivered the page’s static content, reducing the over-all load on the primary server.
3 – The benefits mentioned above also help protect your blog from Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and help prevent it from crashing when a post goes viral on Reddit, Digg, Facebook or one of the other popular social networking sites.
4 – And finally, the faster page load times enabled by the CDN will help your blog rank higher in Google’s search results since Google now takes page load times into consideration when ranking pages in their search results.
In a nutshell, a CDN can speed up your blog, make it more secure, help prevent it from crashing during periods of heavy use and help it rank higher on Google. Those are pretty good results for such a simple move, right?
There are several CDNs that you can choose from, but I use CloudFlare with RicksDailyTips.com for the following reasons:
1 – Unlike some other CDNs, CloudFlare has a free option, and I have used it with great success for a long time now.
2 – Signing up for a free account with CloudFlare and setting it up to work with your blog takes just a few minutes when you follow their step-by-step guides and tutorials.
Bottom line: If your blog is growing and getting slower by the day, I recommend that you consider moving it to either a VPN or a Dedicated Server.
But even if you can’t afford to make that move right now, you definitely need to open an account with CloudFlare and put their awesome Content Distribution Network to work for your blog!
Note: The links in this post are affiliate links.