Slow Website Speed
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already understand the importance of website speed. Even as a user, you expect websites to perform based upon established benchmarks. However, if you’re suffering from a painfully slow website, it’s time to begin your investigation.
Although there can be dozens of reasons why your website isn’t performing as it should, let’s explore the 5 most common culprits responsible for a slow website, and potentially costing you untold viewers and profits.
#1 | End-User Issues
Are you receiving reports from users that your website is loading slow? However, are you unable to replicate these issues? Perhaps the root culprit isn’t your website, infrastructure or web host. In some instances, it’s the actual end-user that’s experiencing problems. There are two main reasons for this:
Old or Unstable Computer – If your end-user has an older computer, or one that’s bogged down with excess data, it’s possible that they’ll never experience the speed they demand. If an end-user complains of slow website performance, yet you’re unable to find or confirm this problem, inquire about their computer health.
Viewer Network Connection – This is perhaps the leading cause of reported website speed issues that have nothing to actually do with the website platform. If an end-user has slow internet access or is trying to access your site from a mobile device with unreliable network connectivity, it’s them, not you.
#2 | Bulky or Non-Optimized Website Code
#3 | Sudden Boost in Traffic
Did you write a piece that suddenly became popular on social media? Did you start a new advertising campaign that’s working? Sudden spikes in website visitors, or traffic, can slow your site if your web host isn’t designed to handle such traffic. This is especially the case with shared hosting plans. Want to eliminate this from occurring? Skip shared hosting and opt for VPS, or Virtual Private Server, hosting. Learn more on hosting in my article, “Choosing a Fast Web Host: Performance Considerations”.
#4 | Non-Optimized Images
You’d be surprised the effect a handful of non-optimized images has on website speed. Always resize your images before uploading, keep images less than 70 kb and opt for JPEG files whenever possible. Of course, never use excessive images. While tempting, this can really slow down your website. Discover large images and other files by performing a webpage speed test.
#5 | Excessive HTTP Redirects
When you have an HTTP redirect, the end-user must wait for the webpage to load twice. Once to the retrieve the 301 redirect instructions and then again to load the actual webpage. Prevent this from hindering your end-user experience by simply limiting or eliminating HTTP redirects. Need another reason to cut redirects? PageSpeed Insights reports redirects are viewed negatively in the eyes of Almighty Google. Appease the Search Engine Deity, and end-users, and get rid of redirects.