itmdigital_website_performance_blog Why Is My Website So Slow?

Do you wonder why your website seems to move at a snail’s pace and everything takes forever to load?

 

For many, the perception of website design is that it’s all about creating a visually arresting digital masterpiece. Website performance, however, is an often overlooked element that plays an important role for any website. If your website is running with low performance, there are several issues which can arise. The main problems are simple to understand but can be potentially devastating for your website if not addressed;

SEO: Your overall SEO ranking will decrease as Google’s algorithm won’t rank your website as high in search engine results. This means that even if your website looks amazing, few people will ever see it.

User Experience: Anyone who manages to find your website will quickly leave it because nobody wants to be waiting around for a new page to load. The ideal time you can expect a person to wait is between 2-5 seconds. Studies have found that 40% of users will leave three seconds of loading. If everyone is leaving your website, this will increase your ‘bounce rate’ for google which will also negatively impact your SEO.

So, why is your website stuck in first gear and what can you do about it?

1. Your Media Files Are Too Large

Some people can have the tendency to insert images and videos on their website without ever considering the size of these files. If your images have not been optimised, they are probably taking up unnecessary space on your website which slows everything down. You need to reduce the size of your images. You can do this manually or if you’re using a CMS like WordPress, there are plugins you can install.

If you have any video files uploaded to your website, this is also a strong indicator as to why a website page will load slowly. It’s far better for you to have a video that is hosted on a streaming website such as Youtube or Vimeo. Not only will the video work consistently, your website will be given the chance to breathe.

2. JavaScript Problems

In website design, JavaScript enables so many dynamic and interactive features that can really bring your website to life. If you’re not careful, however, implementing this JavaScript in the wrong way can cause your website to slow down. This is because when a page is loading, the JavaScript needs to be loaded in the correct order. If there is some excess script or an error within the code of your page, this can result in ‘render blocking’ which doesn’t help your performance. 

A solution for this could be to use ‘asynchronous’ loading which frees up your page from being as reliant on waiting as much for the JavaScript to load. Additionally, there could easily be some unnecessary code which could either be simplified or removed. Another possible solution would be to minify your JavaScript files. In a similar way to how images can be reduced, JavaScript can be compressed. This area is tricky one though, so we recommend consulting a developer first.

3. Clear Your Cache!

Purging the cache on your website is a simple and excellent way to increase performance. Static files and excess code can build up over time without having any real purpose. Without any improvements, the backend of your page will become cluttered and begin reading certain elements as useless over time. 

Think of clearing your cache as wiping a slate clean. Not everything can be cached on a website page but if you have the opportunity to safely purge your cache, you should. Please make sure to backup your website and consult professional advice first, as occasionally there can be some complications.

4. Failing To Update

Today so many websites are being built using a CMS. Within the market share of CMS, it was found that WordPress accounted for 60.2%. As of 2018, however, websites that were designed on WordPress had become 30% of all the websites on the entire internet

If your website was designed on a platform like WordPress, another reason your performance is low could be due to a lack of updates. Similarly to clearing your cache, if you leave your website absent without updates for a long time, the problem only worsens. Make sure you update your themes and your plugin software to avoid slow-down for the website. It’s recommended that you first carry out a backup before doing these updates. 

5. Slow Server Response Time

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons your website suffers from slow speed is due to your hosting. The worst part of this is that while you could go and fix everything mentioned in the previous 4 points, having a bad host provider will still always be a source of anguish.

Many people don’t consider their options when choosing their host provider and they also don’t research what kind of package they are receiving for the price they pay. Do some homework on the reputable hosting providers and reconsider if you’re getting the best out of what you’ve paid for. Ask a professional to take a look and this and recommend a better provider or package.

Conclusion

Website performance should never be overlooked and you need to start thinking about your own website today. The truth is that you could have the most beautiful and visually stunning website on earth, but if your website is slow, that can only account for so much.

At ITM Digital, we help people sort out these kinds of issues on a daily basis. If you want to move forward with your website but are unsure of what are the next steps to take, then please get in touch with us today.

Call us at 045 409984