If your site is taking more than a few seconds to load, you’re losing customers. But why is it slow? Here are the reasons behind your slow loading web pages.
Have you noticed your website running slower than usual? If so, you’ll want to resolve this issue before your conversion rates take a hit.
These days, people expect their websites to load as soon as possible. If you have slow-loading web pages, your user experience (UX) will suffer. This, in turn, leads to higher bounce and page abandonment rates.
Even fractions of a second can make a big difference in your site’s performance. This is why site speed is now a key Google ranking factor. Without maintaining decent speeds, your site’s SERP position is more likely to go down.
Want to look into the main reasons your website is slow? Here are 7 of the most common problems and what you can do about them.
All websites load from the ground up. When someone clicks on your site, they’re basically turning the key in the car’s engine.
The first thing that happens is that their browser will send a ping to your server. This happens because the browser needs the right data to load up your site. If your server’s performance isn’t up to par, their request takes longer to process.
In most cases, server performance will be down to your web host. If you’re on a shared hosting plan, you’re sharing resources with other sites. The best way to solve this issue is to invest in dedicated server hosting.
Large Media Files
In the days of dial-up internet, large images could take up to a minute to load. Our speeds are much higher now, but the same principle still applies.
Unfortunately, most media files such as videos and images tend to be on the large side. With images, the simplest solution is to compress them. You can use a free online tool such as TinyJPG or one of the many WordPress plugins.
Compressing videos is trickier and more time-consuming. In these situations, your best bet is to host the video on YouTube or a similar platform. From there, you can easily embed those videos on any page you want.
Too Much Traffic
It’s no secret that experiencing a lot of traffic will cause your site to slow down. Even the best web servers can only serve a set amount of people at once.
Think of this as queuing in a shop. The more people come in, the slower they are served. To remedy this situation, the shop may call in extra staff from the back to help. However, this will cause the backend stuff to slow down as well.
A slow-loading website is a lot like that busy shop. Sometimes, your server will need more help to manage the extra traffic, slowing the site down. If this starts happening often, it’s probably time to upgrade to a new server.
Lack of CDN
A content delivery network (CDN) allows you to store copies of your site on it. This helps users located far from your server to load pages faster.
If you’re running a WordPress site, you have plenty of good CDN choices. These days, Cloudflare is likely the most popular all-around option. For images and videos, Jetpack CDN is just as good, especially if you opt for the premium package.
Too Many Plugins
Most WordPress sites have a bunch of plugins behind the scenes. Each one of them makes its own file request and has a CSS file that needs to load.
If you have too many plugins, you’re likely to experience performance slowdowns. Sometimes, all it takes to get to that point is a few bulky plugins. To reduce the chance of this happening, consider getting rid of any plugins you’re not using.
Some plugins can also interfere with your site’s caching. To find out whether this is the case, install the Proxy Cache Purge plugin. Then, go to Proxy Cache > Check Caching and remove any plugins that are causing the problem.
To get your CSS into shape, you can use inline CSS instead of the external version. Again, though, inline CSS only works with certain parts of code. If you have several small external CSS files, it’s better to combine them into one or two files.
The best option is to use “media types” to specify when your site should load certain CSS files. Depending on the specifics of your code, this can have a major impact on your site’s loading speed.
More on Slow Loading Web Pages
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons for a website running slow. With some luck, the above tips should help you pinpoint the issue and solve it.
Keep in mind that some performance issues won’t be your site’s fault. For example, slow site speeds are often a result of network congestion or bandwidth throttling. Both of these problems go back to a user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Want to know more about how to deal with slow-loading web pages? Looking for the most effective way to improve your site’s rankings? Check out more of our SEO-related content!