Today, there are high-speed internet connections everywhere. Similarly, there is quite a lot of advancements in web development techniques. If you don’t know what it means, take a look at these stats
- If your website loads with 1-second delay, it’s likely to lose 7% conversion
- In case the website is 3 seconds slower, 40% of your visitors will abandon it.
- 51% of the U.S-based consumers say that they abandoned purchase on a certain website because of slow loading time.
- The websites with slow loading time cost over $500 billion to the U.S e-commerce market.
That means, slow loading websites are business killers and there’s no room for them in the present setup.
Here are eight factors that could possibly be causing your website to load slowly
1. Un-optimized Images
If your website has unoptimized images, it’s likely to take more time while loading, regardless of any browser or server. Sites today tend to have a sufficient number of images on almost every page. Most of the time, full-sized and uncropped images increase website’s loading time. Here’s how you can optimize your images.
- Reduce image quality,
- Resize images,
- If possible, use CSS instead of graphics, or
- Tile repetitive backgrounds.
2. Poor Web Hosting
Among factors that affect website’s performance, web hosting is arguably the major one. Here’s a checklist to help you go for the right web hosting service.
Learn How Many Types of Hosting Are There
Web hosting companies offer three main servers: dedicated servers, virtual servers, and shared servers
- Dedicated servers are physical servers dedicated only for your website. Normally, corporate websites, 24/7 online businesses, and other high traffic websites use dedicated servers to run smoothly. Although they are more expensive than the other two, they have a higher number of resources and least downtime.
- Virtual servers are dedicated servers. They offer stability and resources to run your operations smoothly. If you’re running a small-scale e-commerce store, you can rely on virtual servers.
- The websites that are supported by shared servers, they are likely to run slow. The reason is, shared servers are not dedicated for one website. The websites have to share resources and that’s where it can affect your performance.
Check their Customer Support Options
Whether they offer 24/7 support via email, phone, chat or any other medium. Don’t go for the hosts that only offer support form, because they might respond in days, if not weeks.
Read customer reviews about the company and its support. But make sure that the site showing reviews about a particular web hosting company should not be one operated by the same company.
Consider Storage Size
- A website with a not-to-heavy content is likely to run better with 100MB storage space. So, don’t think about those hosting companies who claim massive storage.
- If your website is incredibly content-rich, you might be interested in “Unlimited Storage” offer. But companies that offer unlimited storage are making false claims. Even if they do, the server will be overcrowded and affect your website’s performance.
- A good idea is, choose a hosting company that offers a storage more than 20% of your existing content capacity. Because you’re likely to grow your content up to 20% by the end of the year.
Compare Bandwidth Amounts
Bandwidth requirement depends upon the content of your website. If it’s a high-traffic website with text-based content, you don’t need unlimited bandwidth. But if, for a high-traffic website with lots of images, you need a larger bandwidth.
Anyhow, if you’re getting quotes from different hosting services who’re offering unlimited bandwidth, choose the one that offers the better price.
Check Connection Speed
The speed of the server is directly related to the bandwidth limits. But make sure it’s not a shared server. Because, when a company offers unlimited bandwidth it’s likely to over-crowd the server with many websites. As the speed will be shared, your loading time will increase. So, it is better to test the performance of a few websites that are being hosted by the company you’re interested in hiring.
Consider Uptime claims
Business-related websites are likely to be affected by uptime. A web host that offers 99.9% uptime guarantee is better than the one offering 99%. Do a little math and you’ll find out that 0.9% difference is equivalent to three days out of 365 days.
What Further Questions You Need to Ask
- Ask what type of security tools the web host is offering
- Ensure that you’ll get all the necessary tools and support according to your website’s specific requirements.
- Make sure that the server is using secured operating system. Linux is the standard OS though.
3. Intensive-Dynamic Scripts
It’s an era of dynamic websites. Unlike those built on simple HTML, dynamic websites may come across the issue of slow loading time. That’s due to the fact that they utilize the data from their own database and create more web pages.
Slow loading time may not be visible on sites that have low traffic. But popular websites do face this problem every now and then. To tackle this situation, our WordPress development agency suggests caching. Caching lets you store copies of those dynamic documents that are being accessed too often. It enables the files to be accessed more quickly.
4. Web Pages without Compression
Compression web pages can really cut down your loading time. If you want to learn how to compress your pages, you can use Gzip compression. Here’s a quick way to do it – in precisely 15 minutes.
Make sure that your website is not being compressed by your web hosting service. That’s important because some web hosting services automatically compress HTML sites. You can use GIDZip Test to check whether your website is being compressed. If it says, “Yes”, you’re website has been compressed and there’s no need for the further process.
But there is a high probability your web pages aren’t compressed. To compress them, ensure the following:
- Know the type of server you’re running – Apache, IIS or something else
- You can access the configuration of your server
To enable compression in IIS server, you need follow Microsoft TechNet Document’s instructions.
Access the configuration and edit your .htaccess file. You have to add the lines shown in the image below:
After saving .htaccess file, run GIDZip Test again to check for compression. The web pages will come out compressed (most probably).
If the pages are still not compressed, that’s due to the lack of recognition of output filters loaded in .htaccess file by your virtual host. So, you need to add these lines to httpd.conf or hosts.conf file on your site. Here’s how you can do it:
- Check your site in the file and look for the line that starts with <Directory>.
- Add above lines (for Apache server) under the section of the conf file, just above the <Directory> line.
- Reload Apache after saving the file.
5. Use of Flash Application
Flash applications add interactivity and animation to your website. But, at the same time, such applications make your website quite bulky. This, in turn, causes the loading time of the website to rise considerably. So, when you’re working with flash, do consider the file size. One way to handle high loading time is to use XML. XML enables you to load sequences of external data and keep the loading time under control.
6. Heavy Code
The bulky code could be another reason why your website takes a high amount of time to load. Here, file size matters as well. The larger it is, longer will the site’s loading time.
You may want to hire a professional web development agency, such as DevriX that offers WordPress Code Review services to online businesses.
Here are few ways to reduce the file size:
- By removing unnecessary whitespace: Without modifying any of the code, just delete excess space between the lines. You can also do a simple Google search to find free scripts which will reduce the whitespace for you.
- By avoiding inline styles:
- Replacing table-based layout with CSS/DIV based layout
- Writing efficient code: Take a look at the source code of your pages.
- Using CSS shortcuts
7. Embedded Media
MySpace pages tend to take a lot of time to load. Ever wonder why? It happens because of the use of external media. It’s often a bad idea to use a media from an external website. Why? When you add external slideshows and videos (through embedding) the speed of your website will be as much as that of the external website. That means, when the external website is running slow, your website will also run with the same speed. Therefore, you should host every content format on your own website server.
Finally, your website might be running slow because of the excessive spam. If you suspect spams on your website, add captchas or other tools to make your web forms spam-proof. The problem may occur due to email spam. To avoid email spamming, install spam blocker.
If the steps above sound too technical for you, getting help from a WordPress development agency will make things easier for you. We at DevriX build powerful digital solutions on top of WordPress. We partner up with our accounts and handle their entire technology stack.