Speed Up Your Website Loading Times for Free

As many of you know, I am a full-time blogger, and knowing how to speed up your website loading times is an important skill to have in my business. In fact, even if you have a small hobby site or even a small business website, you can definitely benefit from this tutorial about how to speed up your website loading times. I will presume that you are using a WordPress website for this tutorial, however if you are using something else you will have to confirm that this will work for your particular website. We all no that there are plug-ins that we can install like WP Super Cache that can help your website loading times. However in this case I am going to use Cloudflare to speed up my WordPress websites.

Speed Up Your Website Loading Times for Free

Is Cloudflare free?

Yes Cloudflare has a free account. As you can see in the screenshot below I have added in four websites so far, and it is still free. I am so impressed with this service that I am starting to feel guilty about having it for free.

speed up your website loading times

How does Cloudflare speed up your website?

CloudFlare protects and accelerates any website online. Once your website is a part of the CloudFlare community, its web traffic is routed through our intelligent global network. We automatically optimize the delivery of your web pages so your visitors get the fastest page load times and best performance. We also block threats and limit abusive bots and crawlers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources. The result: CloudFlare-powered websites see a significant improvement in performance and a decrease in spam and other attacks.

What else can you do to speed up your website loading times?

You can create fast loading graphics by optimizing your images. You can install a Cache plug-in to help serve pages quickly. You can install a minify plug-in to reduce script sizes. Here is a fantastic WordPress Optimization Bible. You can get fast WordPress website hosting.

What tools can I use to test my website loading speed?

There are many tools available to test out the speed of your website is pages.

In fact I found a fantastic article mentioning more details on how to speed up your website on DiTesco’s blog. Would do you like to speed up your website loading times for free?

Comments

  1. says

    Hello,
    It’s a nice posting. This is really a well-developed blog. I have acquired much knowledge from it. I think your idea is both outstanding and educative.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. says

    I love this tool and the plugin is also great. Completely simplistic and you are right, FREE is good. You write a bunch on page load and Google also takes this into account, so this should be apart of every blogs checklist. I am somewhat addicted to GTMetrics and it is always on the website checklist. This site explains in detail of how to install and which items you need to tick using W3 Total Cache. Currently I am testing this plugin on a couple sites, and thus far the machine is oiled.
    Bryan Ring recently posted..Build A Business WordPress Site

  3. says

    Doesn’t Cloudflare only work if the website goes down? I’ve seen several websites using it, but I only ever see it in use when the website in question is offline for some reason. I’m currently using WP Super Cache for speed-ups, and it’s working brilliantly! I tried W3 Total Cache, however it leaves something to be desired. To each his own though.
    Kyleey recently posted..Clannad Episode 24 English Dubbed

    • mitz says

      Actually Cloudflare has made a massive difference to my websites… I also have a caching plugin but they never did anything like Cloudflare.

  4. Mark Tesa says

    I know that websites that load slowly can be a real issue especially with users. This is because they take such a long time to load. I have never heard of cloud flare but I am sure that by providing its services then it will really benefit many.

  5. David says

    I use a combination of cloudflare and wp-supercache for all of my customer deployments. Working great so far :-) The fact i dislike on cloudflare is that you have to point your domain’s NS entries to their nameservers. Only having to set up a CNAME entry would make me feel more comfortable…

  6. Barry says

    Thanks for the resources hadn’t heard of most of these tools to check a website’s speed. As loading time is one thing Google now looks for this is an essential task for all websites!

  7. Oz Dogan says

    Mitz great video, first time hearing about this service.
    There are many positives to using this service like fast page service and I think this is big positive. On the other hand I look at the negatives that are involved. I don’t know how it woul work with dynamic content like google ads etc.

    If you have a static site go for it.
    For those with WordPress sites I would recomment to remove as much of the plugins as possible. A lot of plugins are awfully coded and use up valuable CPU operations. I just did this with a few of my sites and got good results. THe response time from the server shortened and became responsive. Also, WordPress has a lot of junk that sits in the Database. Specially if you’re editing a lot of posts you will end up with so many revisions of one post. This invariably increases search time. Every little bit of wasted milliseconds ads up to quite a few seconds and that is alot for page service.

    Cheers!
    Oz
    Oz Dogan recently posted..Designing a Website

    • mitz says

      Well I have super cache too and Cloudflare says it works with them… I was actually thinking of moving two of my websites to dedicated servers but now I can hold off if Cloudflare works out for me.

  8. Don says

    Thanks for the info about the picture size optimization. After reviewing my site I realized that my pictures are way too big. How much compression can i do on a photo.? Is there any guidelines?

    • mitz says

      If you are wanting people to download good quality images then you need to store high resolution images but have a smaller thumbnail showing first. Therefore the page loads fast and then they click on the smaller image to see the big picture… For a normal blog that uses images for display only, I like to have them reduced to 800 pixels wide..Then I show a 300 or 400 wide image on the blog and link to a larger pic…

  9. Mac says

    Perfect!!! After watching the Title of this blog post, the first thing that came to my mind was CDN, Content Delivery Network. I have personally used many wordpress plug-ins to speed up my blog, however it didn’t work much. But, after using the CDN, I was really surprised that my blog was loading much faster and the content was delivered quickly to the visitors. Saying about the Cloudflare, the features looks decent and advanced. Generally, I have seen normal features, but the features Cloudflare offers are unique like Optimizer, Analytics, Apps installations, etc…

  10. Danny says

    I would definitely not mind speeding up my sites, but when I installed w3 cache once, it totally broke my site. I don’t want any downtime so I am not going to try it now. I’ve heard about some people havin trouble with it as well.

    BTW. Doesn’t this mess with the google analytics results?
    Danny recently posted..Poulan Pro PP446ET 8-Inch Gas Powered Pole Chain Saw

    • mitz says

      None of my results have changed as yet… I guess it messed with peoples results when they had Google analytics installed twice..Cloudflare can add it for you and keep it updated but people forgot they already had it… Anyway I am happy to be a tester! :)

    • mitz says

      Ha Ha
      I love plugins…Its like going shopping…Anyway I installed the commentluv Premium plugin and got rid of 7 plugins…I thought that was great! :)

  11. Joseph says

    Thanks for sharing those useful tools for test speed…
    I tried the Webpage test it’s quite good, it’s good to know the progress of my site .

  12. Wayne says

    hmm quite informative post Mitz. I didn’t know about it before but now i’ll install it and test the loading speed after it..
    Test loading speed tool is a very excellent tool i just love this thing.
    Wayne recently posted..Web Design Trends in 2011

  13. says

    CloudFlare sounds fantastic for speeding websites up. I had no idea that there was something out there that could not only speed up my sites but also block spam and other things that cause pages to become sluggish. Thanks a ton for the recommendation Mitz.
    Rob recently posted..P90x Back In Action

  14. Thomas says

    Rule of thumb – site must weight 150kb or less, I havent seen sites with more than that :) but those site look great!

  15. Jeanie says

    It’s a real problem (I mean when sites are loading too slow). Sometimes we can have no opportunity to wait for it to be opened. So if this application really works, then I think that the majority of people will be very grateful to you!
    Thanks a lot for sharing this information
    Jeanie recently posted..Free TV Channel Video Facebook Template

  16. Albert says

    Very useful post Mitz!
    I’ve tried the Google speed up check and I failed,getting only 35 points out of 100 :(

    I will let you know how much I get after the use of Cloudfare!

  17. Kurt Rasche says

    I guess this would be more for me to explore on my own, but I am not sure that changing the name servers is a great idea. If you were getting a good price from GoDaddy, Hostgator, Hostmonster, etc – Are you still going to get a good deal when it comes time to renew?

    It shouldn’t effect your hosting (unless your hosting is incompatible), but I like knowing where all my domain names are and get a great price.

    As I said, I will have to investigate this on my own. I love the concept and would really like to speed up some of my more graphic intensive pages. Thanks for the post – definitely something I will be checking out (already got a new tab opened).
    Kurt Rasche recently posted..Top SEO Scams: We Will Submit Your Website To Thousands of Search Engines

    • mitz says

      Hi Kurt..
      If you watch the video you will see that I do not change the place where I bought the names..I still have to renew them the same old way…They are just pointing to Cloudlfare first and then Cloudflare points them to Hostgator…It is like a filter getting rid of the junk before it hits the server.

      • Kurt Rasche says

        I am such a noob! I posted a reply to the wrong post. UUG! Anyway… You are 100% correct. I will be setting this up for any of my client that need some faster load times. Works great!

      • jan says

        Hi Mitz
        This is the answer to my question – I wasn’t sure if you changed hosts but now I can see that you go through Cloudflare and then Hostgator. Is there any downtime when you do that? Also, I was going to load Super Cache (as that’s the only one that I knew about), is Cloudfare an alternative to Super Cache?

        Got my first Amazon cheque today – very exciting!
        jan recently posted..I quit sugar: a simple 8-week program

  18. Robert Benwell says

    I really hate web sites that takes too long to respond. Good things yours loads a lot faster than other websites i usually visit everyday.

  19. Maja says

    I have read on a blog that installation of too many plug-ins also breach security of your blog. There is chance of some type of viruses to enter in your website because they can be hidden in the plug-in.
    Maja recently posted..Tips for Healthy Hair

    • mitz says

      Hi Maja
      I have a thesis so I have hand coded most of the goodies that you see on this website. If I really do need a plug-in then it is always a good one. The new comment Luv premium plug-in is one of the best I’ve seen as it helped me get rid of seven other plug-ins.
      When it comes to security breaches and plug-ins, this is usually to do with them not being updated. I like to buy plug-ins that are constantly updated and upgraded. People need to keep up with the times if they are going to develop plug-ins and they also need to keep up with the WordPress updates. It’s a full-time job.

  20. Richard says

    I’ve been using cloudflare for some time now. I think it’s one of the best options for speeding up your site and it reduces server load on your host server. Also, if you have hosting through one of their partners, it’s really easy to install and start using cloudflare.
    Richard recently posted..Get The Steve Jobs’ Biography Free Audiobook

  21. Isha Singh says

    Well, i am using cloudflare and really notice a difference! btw i like the feature of cloudflare that even the website server is offline, cloudflare manage the show up the website online!!
    Isha Singh recently posted..Save Any Articles in PDF Format

  22. says

    Hello Mitz and thank you for highlighting some of the issues you ran into using CloudFlare. There are just so many things to do on the net, and so much to take care of as a blogger / website owners. I am a beginner blogger and all information is useful for me. Every blog is different and every blog owner has different requirements and preferences; the variety of programs and plugins gives us the prospect to select what fits to each one. Thank you Mitz.
    Nick recently posted..Wilderness Systems Tempest Sea Kayak Review and Coupons

    • mitz says

      At the moment Cloudflare is working out well for me, however if anything happens I will let everyone know. I am hoping everything goes smoothly.

    • Ardman says

      I’m a new user in cloudFlare, I just started to use that service. But I don’t find any difference at my website with or without CloudFlare. Can you give me some short tutorial for tweaking ClodFlare, what apps should I enable and disable?

      Thank You.
      Ardman recently posted..CDBurnerXP Pro v4.3.9.2762 Portable

      • mitz says

        There is a Cloudflare plugin to install…you can try that..Also if your website is not too heavy yet then you might not notice the difference.

    • mitz says

      Hi DiTesco..
      I agree that this is fantastic! I am sure all the little problems can be ironed out. The problem is that people are scared to try it and also they do not understand it. Some people say there traffic has gone down but mine hasn’t. I guess they have heavy security settings put on or some setting they don’t know about. I am also in the process of putting all my websites into Cloudflare. I am also possibly upgrading to the paid version and I will let you know how that goes. I mentioned your article in this post because it was simply a great article and I know you always do the same for me.:)

  23. Wender says

    In these days that there are billions of sites on the internet, it is critical to ensure that your site loads very quickly. If you have a low loading website, you will easily lose traffic to sits that rank lower than you. I am not an SEO expert but one of the things I do is to make my images as light as possible. I am going to check out CloudFlare as soon as I finish this comment. Thanks

  24. David Walker says

    Wow, I didn’t realize just how powerful Cloudfare was! I’ve read something about it before and I have been meaning to try it out, but now I’ll have to move that up on my to do list. :) I already use the WP total cache plugin, so I’m guessing it should be pretty easy to get it going. ~David Walker
    David Walker recently posted..Why People Don’t Like “Free”

  25. Sheryl Martin says

    I have a website that gets a ton of traffic every day and I have tried CloudFlare several times now and I don’t recommend it. I had to stop using it because 5-10% of my traffic was getting error messages that pages were not available. Maybe I would have kept it if the number was lower, but 5% of 20k visitors is just to much for me to overlook. Plus, many of the people would contact me to let me know that they couldn’t access my site. I did a bit of research and found that I was not the only person having this problem, so I switched back to my normal cdn setup with W3 Total cache. The last time I used CloudFlare was the latter part of September when my site was getting so many hack attempts that I thought CloudFlare would be a great way to add some much needed security.
    Sheryl Martin recently posted..California Auto Insurance Requirements

  26. Shiva says

    Hi Mitz,
    Thanks a lot for writing this descriptive post about how to increase our site speed for free. As far as I know speed is a really important factor for Google ranking nowadays and it is indeed very important to maintain a fast speed. I have not used Cloudflare till now but have heard a lot about it. Will be trying it out in my blog.
    Shiva recently posted..Top Best Free and Premium WordPress Popup Plugins

  27. jan says

    Hi Mitz
    I was just thinking about this today! I just have a question though. When you change the name servers – are you actually changing your host? For example I purchased my domain names at Name Cheap and use Hostgator as the host. I thought that when you changed the name servers that took it from hosting at Name Cheap to hosting at Hostgator??
    Thanks Cheers
    jan recently posted..I quit sugar: a simple 8-week program

    • Sanjay says

      Hey Jan,
      You might wanna check that first on your hosting provider first before changing your nameserver, some of them doesn’t support Cloudflare. We don’t want any downtime on your website :)

      Mitz, Nice to know that you are using it too. Another thing is if you’re using WP total cache plugin, they are compatible with cloudflare. All you have to do is include your username and API key (or something like that) on WP total cache settings and you’re off.
      Sanjay recently posted..How to Create Cool Table Design in CSS3

  28. Mihai says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I was looking for something to speed up my websites, after i did all the minifying and other things by myself, but everything was too expensive for my budget.
    This post is a life-saver :) Thank you again for the help! :)
    Mihai recently posted..Fashion Editorial: Amy by Renkoh Sasaki 2011

  29. Leonor Miller says

    Hi Mitz. You have a nice post here. I’m thinking to make my own blogsite, and I know I’ve got a lot of things to learn. Your post is very helpful for me. I hope I can learn more from you. Thanks
    Leonor Miller recently posted..Bras ergonomique Ergorest

  30. says

    I have heard about this application first time but really seems impressive. I too try to add my site there for increased page speed and of course stop attackers. :) Thanks Mitz!!!

      • Kurt Rasche says

        I am glad you replied (I didn’t want to reply to my own post). YES – You are right. I have signed up and now have SUPER FAST load times. I did go straight over and research it myself. The speeds you were showing were too fast to not investigate.

        I, like you, will probably be jumping over to the paid version. Great find Mitz!
        Kurt Rasche recently posted..Hire A Professional Website Designer or Do It Yourself?

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