Chances are you’ve asked this question, “why is my website so slow?” When your website is slow, it’s a hassle for visitors, subscribers, and customers. You have a just few seconds to capture a reader’s attention, especially for a first-time visitor. If they have to wait for your page to load, they may leave your page for your competitor’s. If they are a repeat visitor to your site, it’s important for them to have a flawless, easy user experience every time.

Why Is My Website So Slow?

How To Make Your Website Faster

Speed really makes a difference: according to Kissmetrics, 57% of shoppers would abandon a page after a 3-second wait. Just think of all the times you’ve felt frustrated by a page that loaded slowly, and imagine what your customers must think if your page is slow.

Now, there is an actual definition of “slow” when it comes to websites. If a basic HTML page takes more than 3 seconds to load, it’s slow. If a more complex page takes longer than 5 to 7 seconds to load, it’s considered slow. Slow websites are not only a problem in terms of user experience and satisfaction. Google has begun to take into account site speed for its ranking algorithm, and of course, faster sites tend to be ranked higher. So, if your website is slow, potential customers may not even find your site if they are using a search engine casually.

Because of these two factors, a slow website can actually drag down your business. But not to worry! There are several ways to optimize your website to make it run faster. (If you have a WordPress website, pay close attention – WordPress sites are, unfortunately, known for being slow.)

Choose a Good Web Host

It’s common to want to economize when you’re first starting out. So you try to find a bargain when it comes to finding a webhost. But shared hosts tend to have slow site speeds and won’t work with high traffic. As in many things when it comes to your web presence, you really do get what you pay for. Also, make sure your host has great support for that time when your website does go down.

If you don’t have a problem with your webhost, and if there’s no problem at the server level, you’ll need to take a look at the website itself. At the very least, your landing page should load quickly. Make sure the landing page loads quickly, since that will be the first thing many people see when they visit your page for the first time. We recommend using SiteGround for all of our clients. What ever you do – stay away from A Small Orange and any other company owned by Endurance International Group (EIG). They are well-known for horrible customer service and slow website hosting speed. We had major issues with them and made the company switch to SiteGround in January 2016. Since then we haven’t had any website downtime.

Simplify Your Landing Pages

It’s usually a question of how much content shows up on the page. For example, if you have a blog, you would show excerpts instead of complete posts. Many people make the mistake of including too many bells and whistles on a landing page. Focused pages not only grab attention and look great, but they load more quickly, too.

Look At The Code

Inefficient code can cause a site to run slowly. For example, with CSS many coders include white space for readability, but in general these sites can do without a lot of this white space. Trimming away line breaks and spacing shrinks files, shortens your code, and speeds up your site. This goes for any type of code – fast websites most often have simpler and more elegant back-end coding. If you are redesigning or rebuilding a website, your developer probably will make significant changes to the code and assorted plug-ins to optimize your website speed. If you are building a site from scratch, try to choose a web developer who builds with solid frameworks that include only the features that you really need from the very beginning.

Double Check Your Database

If your website incorporates a database (if you have heard the words WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla in reference to your website, then your site uses a database), it’s important to check for any database server problems. Also, if the code for making queries to the database is convoluted or awkward, this will also cause your website to slow down. Once you’ve evaluated the webhost and the code for the website itself, you might have to look further at your content and media.

Reduce Image Sizes

Sluggish websites often have many unoptimized images – images that take a lot of bandwidth to load. You can resize your images (just be sure to do so proportionally), change the image format, or change the image quality. There are a variety of image optimization plugins that we recommend; read this blog post by WPMUDEV for a list of 10 of them. A word of caution: this is very time consuming if you have many images on your site, as most of us do. But it is important.

Do Your Have Flash? Get Rid Of It

Flash may look cool, but it is very slow and isn’t even compatible with most mobile devices. It’s time to reconsider using Flash.

Think Twice About Embedding Media

Videos and slideshows look great, but if you use someone else’s media, your site will run only as fast as that someone else’s site. So avoid using other people’s content. Also, it’s better to host your content on your own server so you can have control over the speed of your site.

Consider a Content Delivery Network

Another option for managing your content would be a CDN. This takes all of the static files on your site and allows visitors to download them quickly because the CDN puts the files on the closest possible server to the user.

Making sure your website runs quickly is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your business, but it’s not easy and and it can be overwhelming. We can help.

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