I have added a new plugin, W3 Total Cache, to improve performance on this blog. It seemed that pages were taking a bit too long to load according to Google webmaster tools. Solutions for caching nearly always make a difference, but you have to be careful about the parameters you set. However, with minimal adjustment to the defaults on this plugin, I now have a working configuration. There are plenty of options as you can see with the whole new “performance” panel in my WordPress admin screen.
Slow loading pages can really turn visitors off. Most surfers have a very low attention span – until they’re captivated by something of course. Improvements in page loading speed have been shown to improve user engagement and site traffic on sites as diverse as Amazon, Google and travel websites. Blogs are probably not as important, but that only means that tolerances are wider. Just because everyone has higher speed internet access, doesn’t mean they want to wait any more than a second for a page to start displaying. I’ve seen a few blogs on rotation that are a bit slower than that. Make sure your blog loads progressively if you can’t reduce overall page elements easily.