Having a slow running website is a nightmare because it can put potential customers off of buying through your site or readers from viewing your articles and information.
You’ve got your website up and running, which is great but the downside is that it is running slow.
A slow website can affect the overall website performance of the site and lead to far grimmer consequences. Website speed affects SEO (search engine optimization) which can be a real blow to all the hard work you’ve put in to rank your website.
Here are some reasons as to why your site might be loading slower than a tortoise walking backwards!
1) Your images and other media aren’t optimised!
Do you remember the old days of dial-up internet? A large image could take up to a minute to load, one small bit at a time! It was agonizing, right? As we know things have improved since broadband, but the general rule still applies. After you ping the server, it will start carrying each bit of the website to your browser screen.
The server will carry content, text, and images. This is like our shopkeeper bringing your stock out of the back. When you think of it like this, it’s simple. Large, heavy items are going to take longer to bring out. These large items are your images and media on your site.
The file format is also important here. Browsers can load JPG, PNG, and GIF images nice and quickly. But, heavy formats like TIFF and BMP are going to eat huge chunks into your load time. Avoid them!
2) Too many plugins
With thousands of plugins out there promising to do amazing things for your site, it’s easy to get hooked and catch the plugin fever. Soon you will have plugins controlling every feature and function on your site, making your site slower and slower.
This happens because the more plugins you have, the more work it is for the website to do while the site’s loading. Secondly, not all plugins are created equally – poor or outdated plugins can cause the website to load slowly.
Instead of having several plugins to handle the various aspects of a single function, have a single plugin to do the work efficiently.
3) You’re not using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) consists of several servers that are placed in strategic geographic locations. You can store copies of your website on them so its pages can be quickly loaded by users who are located far away from your main server.
The number one reason for using a CDN is to improve your user’s experience in terms of speed, and as we know – speed matters! Ensuring a consistent experience for all your users is important. A website may be hosted in a particular region, but have the majority of its users coming from an entirely different region – for example, if your site is hosted in North America, your CDN might report fast speeds based on our default test location, but if a good chunk of your users come from Europe, their speed will not be as fast as you experience it to be.
4) Your server performance is poor
Your website loads from the ground up. When someone clicks on your site, it’s like turning the key in the engine of a car. Your visitor is asking your engine to start up.
The very first thing that happens is this: Your browser (Firefox, Safari, etc) sends a ping to your server. It’s asking for all the information and data, so it can load up your website. If your server’s performance is poor, it will take longer to respond. No matter how quick everything else is, a slow server will always give you a slow start.
Poor server performance is almost always down to your web host. A cheap web host will usually give you a shared server, which means you’re sharing space and resources with countless other websites. If your site is slow, it’s because you’re in a queue with lots of other sites!
5) Your site’s code is too bulky
The more code your user’s web browser has to load, the longer it will take for your website to become visible. If your code is too ‘bulky’ or contains unnecessary characters and line breaks, your site may be slower.
Your website’s performance and response time are closely tied to its success, so taking every available opportunity to improve it is worth the effort. Figuring out why your website has lagging load times can help boost both its Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and UX, resulting in better visibility and a higher conversion rate.
That’s it from us for today! What did you think of this quick guide? What else would you like to see us covering? Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.