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Analysis / Ecommerce

How Are Blog Design, Page Loading Time, And Web Hosting Related?

Blog Design

The design of a blog, the loading time of its individual pages, and the web hosting responsible for maintaining its existence on the web appear to be different and separate concepts but are actually deeply related. They are very important factors that contribute to the success of a blog. Get acquainted with their interrelationship through the following points.

Blog Design Affects Page Loading Time

Broadly, blog design refers to the overall blog structure, appearance, and the way a blog works as they are viewed on web browsers. It encompasses a wide range of topics, from the selection of the colours, the setting up of the layout, the adding of the various elements, the planning of how the content is to be delivered, and the conceptualisation of the “personality” intended for the blog. It’s about many things that directly and indirectly influence the way a blog looks and works.  Blog design may even take branding into account.

Given all of these, it can be said with certainty that blog design indeed affects page loading time. A blog design that has not been optimised is bound to result in poor page loading time. Pages, as used here by the way, don’t only mean the “Pages” in WordPress (as distinguished from “posts” in the WordPress dashboard) but also refer to the individual pages if each post. The time it takes for a post to load is also affected by blog design.

When it comes to displaying thumbnails for post snippets, a poorly thought out design can lead to a major page loading slowdown. In particular, not downsizing images for the snippet thumbnails (and simply changing the dimensions of the images as they appear on the snippets) means that you are basically loading dozens of full-size images all at once, as you load a page. This means a massive page size despite showing only snippets with thumbnails that may even too small to mean anything. Worse, if you have snippets persistently shown on every page (on the sidebars or footer), you will end up having a dismal page loading time across the board.

On the other hand, the amount of page elements added to a blog also has an effect on page loading time. Expect a slowdown if you add background music, a video gallery that automatically plays, a large header image (made fancier by having rotationally changing pictures every time a page is loaded), and interactive elements such as games and polls.

Ads, additionally, contribute to the page loading dilemma. You certainly want the maximum number of acceptable/tolerable ads to maximise revenues but are you willing to take the slowdown they can bring? The adding of video ads and banner ads that feature large images or animated graphics can negatively affect page loading time.

Even if the loading of the ads can be isolated from the actual loading of the blog, it can’t be helped that some visitors of the blog may think that the blog has poor loading time or is not that responsive as they see blank spaces on the page. Anyway, just to clarify, the adding of ads is also part of blog design as the placement of these ads also need to be planned, including the choice of the type of ads to be shown.

Moreover, it’s important to make sure that you have a clean code for your blog design. Errors and other problems in the code can affect page loading speed. When using JavaScript, in particular, it’s important to observe clean coding best practices.

Web Hosting Can Affect Page Loading

Not many may realise this but the web host you choose can also have an impact on page loading time. Just because you are paying for your web host (instead of relying on the free hosting on WordPress or Blogger for example) doesn’t mean you can already expect perfect page loading time. It’s also important to meticulously choose your web host.

It’s important to ascertain that the web host you choose has the track record for ensuring fast performance. If you are targeting a specific region – say the UK, you’d want to get a UK-based web hosting service with local data centers. Ideally, you’d want to choose a web host that can let you choose web servers or data centres or one that has servers in different parts of the world, and can perform efficient switching to deliver the fastest connections possible.

Furthermore, it’s important to have a web host that has adequate protection against online threats. DoS, DDoS, and other cyberattacks are already too prevalent nowadays. Such attacks can siphon your allotted bandwidth to slow down your blog or even shut it down completely.  If your web host is attacked and is unable to properly defend itself, not only your page loading time will be affected but also the uptime or the entire online existence of your blog.

Specific Web Hosting

Your web hosting choice may have to take the specific features of your blog into account. Your blog could be using technologies that are not supported by some hosting companies or may not be compatible with what they can offer. This is something you need to remember as you may end up ditching an important feature of your blog because the host you choose cannot support it. It’s important to prudently make your decision as to the right WordPress host to choose, even though most web hosts nowadays are already able to support almost all the technologies and special features of blogs.

For example, you may need a web host that has dynamic caching based on Nginx to ensure that your complex image galleries or multimedia content are properly or optimally rendered. You may also need other features like staging servers or CDN. In some cases, the problem is not necessarily the lack of support for the technologies you want to use but the insufficiency. That’s why you really to clarify everything with the web host before finalising the deal.

Ultimately, blog design, web hosting, and page loading time are related because they all figure in creating the kind of experience you give your blog readers. They have their respective roles in making sure that your blog succeeds in what it is aimed at achieving.

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Tim Erinwright is a UK-based web developer at his freelance gig WRightDigital, and a self-professed tech geek and writer. When he’s not creating magic on WordPress, he can be found analysing the “Song of Ice and Fire” books, and of course hiking.