How do I make my blog pages load really fast?
It is a well-known fact that a fast page load time is crucial for SEO to get ranked higher in search engine results and also for better user experience for the reader.
Nothing is more irritating than a slow loading website or blog that takes ages to load.
How to get blog pages to load faster is the question that intrigues most bloggers.
There are many ways to achieve this and one of them is to enable a reliable CDN service for your blog or website.
Enabling a CDN or a ‘Content Delivery Network’ is important for your blog or website for the following reasons.
1. It speeds up your blog or website by decreasing and thereby improving page load times.
2. It keeps your blog safe by preventing against some common malicious attacks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks.
3. It improves the up-time of your blog.
It is important to note however that a CDN is not the same as a web host and cannot host your blog so it cannot take the place or replace your hosting service provider.
A CDN or content delivery network does not host your blog.
What is a CDN?
A content delivery network or CDN is a network of servers that are geographically distributed or spread all over the world and which are designed to provide fast delivery of content.
A vast majority of internet web traffic is handled through CDN’s, including Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and many others.
What are the benefits of using a CDN?
It improves page load times and so makes a blog load faster.
No one likes a slow loading web page.
A fast loading page will reduce bounce rates and increase the amount of time that people spend on your blog
How does a CDN improve page load times?
CDN’s work by having a very large number of servers geographically spread out and located at many locations across the world and maintaining a copy of your blog on each and every one of these servers on the entire network.
So even if the main server (on which the original copy of your blog is hosted or located) belonging to your hosting provider is located in a city in the USA and If a person living in Singapore wants to access your blog the CDN network will ensure that he gets the data from a copy of your blog located in a city closest to him.
If you are using Hostinger to host your blog they offer you free CDN service from Cloudfare so in this case, this person can access your blog copy from Cloudfare’s server in Singapore itself and not from the main server in the USA.
This speeds up the page load time of your blog by simply reducing the physical distance between the reader and the server from which a copy of your blog is accessed.
The page load time of your blog impacts your SEO, so this is an important consideration that you should take into account.
Take a look at Cloudflare’s network of servers located in 200 cities in 95 countries.
A CDN can help secure your blog and protect its data.
A CDN improves the security of your blog by providing DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service Attack) mitigation, improvements to security certificates, and other optimizations.
Since any request to access your blog is routed mostly through one of the CDN provider’s servers, a CDN protects your blog by absorbing any threats at the CDN server level itself and not allowing the threat (viruses, malware, Dos or DDos attacks) to reach the main server of your hosting service provider thereby keeping your blog and all its data always safe.
The connection between the CDN and the main server of your hosting service provider is protected by a secure tunnel which eliminates any possibility of a direct attack thereby keeping your blog and all its data safe always.
CDN improves up-time and ensures your blog is never down.
Hosting provider like Hostinger has an up-time of 99.9 %.
While that is very impressive, in the rare event that they go down due to any issues a reliable CDN like Cloudflare ensures that your blog is always available by letting the user access a copy from any one of its 200 servers located in 95 countries.
How much does it cost to implement CDN for your blog?
That depends. Most hosting providers charge you extra to enable CDN services for your blog.
Hosting provider Hostinger will provide you with a FREE CDN service even with their basic start-up plan.
This is in addition to other free features like,
FREE Unlimited Email
FREE daily back-ups &
While we keep saying that a CDN helps improve your blogs page load time, why is it so important?
Why is page load time important?
A delay of 1 second in page load time results in a reduction of site traffic by up to 11 %.
Now, this is a significant number, especially for a new blog.
If a page is slow to load, then the user experience is diminished so a visitor may not want to come back to your blog page in future.
In fact, Google values page load times in its search results and blogs with faster page load times show up higher in search results.
This is because Google wants its customers to have good customer experience and knows that nothing spoils web surfers’ experience more than a page that takes ages to load.
In fact, Google has been stressing on load times since a very long time.
Look what Google has to say regarding its speed update notification from 2010.
Page load time is especially critical when someone accesses your blog from a mobile device and Google places a lot of importance to page load times on mobile devices like a smartphone or tab.
It is important to not only check for fast page load times on a laptop but more importantly, you need to be aware of how your blog looks and how much time your blog pages take to load on mobile devices.
It is a known fact that most of the web content is accessed in recent times from mobile devices, so when designing a blog or choosing a theme always check to see how quickly it loads and how it looks on a mobile device even though you may be actually doing all your work from a laptop.
Take a look at a Google notification regarding using page speed in mobile search ranking.
Hostinger has one of the fastest page load times plus a guaranteed 99.9 % up-time.
Take a look at our page load times before we moved our blog hosting to Hostinger. In order to save costs, in the beginning, we had made the huge mistake of hosting with a cheaper option.
Take a look at the performance report before moving to Hostinger.
The performance score is a horrendous 68%!!! and the LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) time is a very disappointing 2.7 seconds.
And now look at the improvement in performance report after we started hosting with Hostinger.
After hosting this blog with Hostinger, the performance score is now 99% and the LCP time has now improved to 0.9 seconds.
That is an incredible 45% improvement in the performance score and and an improvement of 66% in LCP time! Wow!!
The Cloudflare CDN which comes FREE with Hostinger has a great role to play in this huge improvement.
But wait, there is more.
Look at the Lighthouse performance report now.
What does this mean?
Well, Google measures page load time in a few different ways to gauge the real user perception of how fast or slow a blog page loads.
Some of the metrics used by Google to achieve this are,
1. First Contentful Paint (FCP).
2. Time to Interactive &
3. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).
What is First Contentful Paint (FCP)?
This in simple terms is the time taken from the user clicking a link or pressing enter after keying in the URL of a website or blog into a browser and noticing something meaningful show up on the screen.
Other parts of the page or blog might still be in the process of being rendered but as far the user experience goes the user has something to see (text, images etc) to keep him hooked to the page.
This metric gives you an idea of how much time it takes for the reader to see consumable information (text, images, visuals, etc) and is much useful to gauge the actual user experience.
In the case of this blog, the time to FCP is 0.8 seconds which is fast.
As per Google, they consider,
An FCP load time of less than 1 second is fast.
Less than 3 seconds is moderate &
More than 3 seconds is considered as ‘slow’.
What is Time to Interactive?
It is the time taken for the blog to become fully interactive while some parts of the page or blog may still be loading.
In our case this metric is also 0.8 seconds which is very good.
What is Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)?
This is the time taken to render the largest element on the page that is visible on the screen.
It takes into account only elements that are rendered above the fold i.e. things like images, text or videos that are visible on the screen before scrolling.
In our case, this is 0.8 seconds.
These metrics are designed to capture the actual user experience of how the user feels or perceives the load time of the page rather than some statistical figure which just shows how much actual time a page takes to load.
There are various reasons that can affect these metrics and consequently various methods and tips that can be employed to achieve it.
These will be the subject of a later detailed discussion but suffice to say that hosting your blog with the right hosting service does help.
Hope the above helps you to understand some of the concepts related to CDN’s and their relation to page load time and why page load times impact the SEO of your blog.
Also, some metrics employed by Google to measure page load time (without going into too much detail) and why choosing the right hosting service is important for the success of your blog.
We tried and tested and made our share of mistakes as most people do in the beginning with various hosting service providers before finally settling down with Hostinger.
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