How to Speed Up Your Ghost Blog
As a blogger, it is paramount that your Ghost blog loads very quickly. Slow webpage load times will hurt your blog's traffic in many aspects:
- A slow blog means that visitors might decide to leave your website all together. We live in a world of wanting things now and potential readers will not hesitate to go elsewhere to get what they are looking for.
- Search engines take website loading speeds into consideration when ranking a site's content in their search engine rankings. A slower site's content will be ranked lower, which means that the site will receive less search engine traffic.
Blogs that are powered by the Ghost blogging platform are already very fast. Tests show that an out-of-the-box, basic Ghost blog is 6 times faster than an out-of-the-box Wordpress website. However, page speed is one of those things that can be constantly improved on. Here are a few ways on how to speed up your Ghost blog.
Compress your Images to a Smaller File Size
Images are one of the heaviest (largest) components to any website. The more images your blog has the more time it will take for you blog posts to load. An analogy for this is: If a hundred cars have to drive down a one lane road every morning it will take X amount of time. If tomorrow two hundred cars have to drive down the same stretch of road every morning it is obviously going to take longer.
To reduce the number of cars driving down the road you can compress images to reduce their size which in turn reduces the amount of network traffic needed to render your blog posts. Currently with the absence of Ghost Apps you must pre compress your images before you upload them to Ghost. This is as simple as saving them image in a smaller format before uploading them image into your blog post. In the future I am confident in saying that there will be a Ghost App that will be able to do this for you on the fly.
Install Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
CDN's like Cloudflare, MAXCDN, or Amazon CloudFront can help any blog (not just a Ghost blog) drastically lower it's load times. Here is how a CDN works:
Every website exists on a server somewhere around the world. But even with today's fast internet connectivity, geographical distances still affect webpage load times. Webpages that are viewed long distances away from the blog's server will load slower. If your website is hosted from a server on the west coast, and somebody from the east coast views your blog they will experience slower load times than somebody on the west coast and much slower than somebody located in Europe.
What Content Delivery Networks do is duplicate your website's static content on servers all around the world. This shrinks the geographical distance between the visitor and the website's content. With more servers in many locations around the world, the distance between the visitor and the nearest server is going to drastically shrink. Thus, webpage load times are going to decrease around the world, resulting in a faster website.
We have used Amazon's CloudFront service for just under a year now and have been very pleased with it. Granted it is currently easier to set CloudFront up with WordPress because of the help from plugins it is possible in Ghost. We have our Ghost themes site hosted on Ghost and we integrated the use of our CDN for all images.
Buy more RAM and CPU
If you're really serious about building a super fast website, we would suggest you buy more server resources. The following will not apply to you if you're hosted with the Ghost Hosted Platform. But if you're using a third party web host like Digital Ocean, you can easily buy more RAM and CPU.
What these two server resources do is increase the amount of capacity available to process requests. Let's assume that you buy more RAM, and thus your RAM doubles. From a really simple point of view, you now have twice as many resources that are "working" for your blog and loading your blog. With twice as many resources, it is easy to see why your Ghost blog will load much faster.