There is one thing that every blogger fears: having an inaccessible blog. You may have heard of the recent brute force attacks on WordPress based blogs, and the steps you can take to help prevent your site from being broken into (ie. don't have an account with the name Admin for login, create a really strong password based on upper/lowercase letters and numbers, etc.)
Just two days ago, the server hosting numerous sites that I've built, including Geek with Style, all went down. The best the hosting company could come up with is that the parent server overloaded, and took 20 minutes to restart. Can you imagine how much I was freaking out initially over what I might have possibly done to have a multitude of sites go down? Virtually all of the ones that are depending on me to be kept live? I freaked.
Another fear that must be in the top five for bloggers would be having a site that is reeaaallly slllloowwwwww in loading. Readers hate that, so we bloggers hate that too. It irks us to no end when our favourite page doesn't load instantly, and we have no idea why. One of the main reasons for a slow loading page, that we can control (regardless if its for a blog, or just some random page on the web,) is the image size output. Whenever we post an image on the web, the file size determines how long it will take for our readers to see it in their browser. The larger the file size, the longer it will take to load on screen.
But what if you want big, gorgeously colourful images on your blog? Perhaps you're a photographer and you really want your viewers to capture every detail, or you may be a foodie blogger and you want your next plate to look so irresistible that your viewers would practically lick their screens for a taste of that yumminess.
WordPress self-hosted sites have access to an amazing free tool that will let us have those larger images that we want to show off, without the risk of compromising load time....
There's this internet technology known as the "Cloud". You may have heard of it. If I understand correctly, a lot of what Apple does is all on this invisible Cloud. Well, with a plugin known as "Cloudinary", your blog photos can be on that cloud and be accessed by your readers instantly. Even if you still have room in your website's virtual space, images stored in cloud-space will load much faster than those that are not.
There's a free plan on Cloudinary that's not too shabby:
- 500 MB Storage
- 50,000 Images
- 1 GB Monthly Bandwidth
and it looks easy to upgrade if ever needed.
Currently, I've changed the image location of my site's logo to sit on the cloud. It's a big image and its always worried me that just the header was taking too long to load. Is there a difference now though? I feel like my pages are loading a few seconds faster, but I haven't truly tested it yet.
There are also some cool options provided by Cloudinary that you don't get with the standard WP media library. For instance, there is a option to add a watermark right from this program, or add a few image effects to improve lighting or just for plain fun. 🙂
Are you in need for a faster blog? Have you run out of space to upload more images? What tips do you have to improve the quality of a blog?