Are you struggling to determine why your website is as fast as a sloth after visiting a buffet? Slow loading websites aren’t only frustrating for you, but are the most common reason why an online business fails to ever reach its true potential.
According to both internet users and Google, if a website fails to meet established speed expectations, then you’ll not only suffer in rank position, but also potential income.
While there are literally hundreds of various reasons why your websites so slow to load, some causes are far more common and widespread than others.
As with anything in life, the first step to solving a serious problem is understanding why the problem began. It’s only after knowing why your website is so slow that you can begin the necessary steps to rectify this situation.
Before diving into the various reasons and causes of a sluggish website, it’s important to not only use this information as a guide, but combine it with the analytic power of a website speed testing program.
In terms of accuracy, insights and cost, few tools offer the service level as Dotcom-Tools Free Online Website Performance Toolkit. This collection of testing tools measure and analyze everything from on-page website elements, email servers to network configuration and web server performance. This suite of tools is a must-have for any website.
Okay, now that we’ve covered your toolkit, let’s dive into the murky waters of website speed killers.
#1 – Web Server Issues/Performance
Whenever an end-user accesses your website, their web browser sends a request to your web host server. Regardless of your optimization tactics and dedication to speed best practices, a sluggish and underperforming web server will always result in slow website load times.
Rectify this situation by first verifying your server performance via the HTTP/HTTPS Web Server Test by Dotcom-Tools. Once confirmed, you have a couple of options. First, you may want to consider upgrading your server hosting plan to one with more power.
Your only other option, which is favored by most website owners, is to upgrade how your website is stored. Rather than suffer the performance-draining issues of a standard shared server hosting plan, consider moving into the 21st Century with a cloud-based web host.
#2 – Distance Between Visitor and Server
Did you know the physical distance between a visitor and your web server directly impacts perceived page load speed? While our world is moving into the most advanced level of digital connectivity, we’re still limited by the rules of physics. Data can only travel so fast.
If you primarily target a local audience, make sure your server is nearby. However, if your audience can come from anywhere in the world, leverage the power of a CDN (Content Delivery Network).
#3 – Unexpected Spike in Traffic (Visitors)
On one hand, a sudden surge in website traffic is exactly what every website owner craves. On the other hand, unless your site is hosted on a powerful cloud-based server or VPS (Virtual Private Server) this desirable situation can spell disaster for website speed.
If the trend of extra-high traffic continues, consider upgrading to a more powerful server plan (with greater resources/bandwidth) or switch to a cloud-based option, which features the greatest resource allocation for the price.
#4 – Big Images, Unoptimized Visuals
While images are an essential component for every website, if they aren’t appropriately optimized in terms of file size, format type and compression, then they will 100% slowdown your website.
Take inventory of your website images. Delete, optimize and compress existing images. Going forward, only upload resized images that have been optimized. This will have an immediate positive influence on website speed.
#5 – Bulky, Dense Code
As you may be able to tell, big files of any type spell disaster for website load times. In essence, it’s the same concept as running around a track. If you wear a backpack filled with bricks you’re going to go much slower than if the backpack only had a towel and water bottle in it.
Your website, regardless of size and scope, is powered by an unimaginable quantity of code. While you may think a simple text document can’t be detrimental to your site, you need to think again.
#6 – Graphic-Based Text
Still using images to display text? While we’ve come a long way in terms of design capabilities, a significant number of websites still use images, or graphics, as a form of communicating a text-based message.
Images are important, but when it comes to conversing with visitors with words, stick to actual text, not image graphics.