Let’s get technical for a moment, ever wonder why your website is slow to load? Here are 10 of the most common reasons for slow website loading times. Now put your geek hat on and get strapped in.

So you might have heard that age-old saying which states “slow and steady wins the race”, but when it comes to the performance of your website, that certainly is a recipe for disaster. Not only does a slow website irritate and un-engage visitors but it has a detrimental effect on your google ranking. We appreciate technical jargon may not be your thing but it’s certainly an interesting peek behind the website curtain.

Here are our Top 10 Reasons for Slow Loading Websites.

One: Un-optimised Images
A large volume of unoptimised images is usually the most common reason behind website slowness. High-resolution images can consume lots of bandwidth while loading. Uploading larger sized images and then scaling them down can unnecessarily increase the size of your web page – causing your website to load slowly. A case in point is using photos directly from your new iPhone. Uploading them directly can be a big issue as a standard new iphone image is currently around 5-10mb in size rather than a optimised photo at 500kb-1mb.

The image format is another important factor to consider.

For example, JPEG images are much smaller in size compared to other image formats like PNG or GIF. Quite naturally, your web page will load faster if you are using JPEG images instead of PNG/GIF.

Two: JavaScript Issues
The availability of JavaScript/jQuery plugins has made it really convenient to add dynamic content to websites. However, if implemented incorrectly, JavaScript can cripple your website’s page load speed.

It takes time for jQuery & JavaScript to be loaded, interpreted and executed. So if you are using multiple API calls to render JavaScript/jQuery data, it can result in significant delay while loading the web pages.

Three: Too Much Video/Animation based Content
Although Video is king and animations are cool for adding interactivity to your website, it is highly likely contributing to your slow page load speed. Just adding lots of animations for the sake of it can kill your site without the correct implementation. The same applies for video, there’s lots of ways to keep the style without sacrificing speed.

Reducing the size of your Video or hosting it from a separate platform will improve your page loading speed significantly, as will lazy loading the video. Animations can be minified once the site is complete to make your website faster and more streamline.

Four: Excessive HTTP Requests
Having lot’s of JavaScript, CSS, and image files can lead to too many HTTP requests. When a user visits your web page, the browser performs several requests to load each of these files – which can significantly reduce the page load speed.

Five: Not Making Use of Caching Techniques
Caching is known to improve the performance of websites by leaps and bounds. If you’re not caching, what are you doing with your life. It’s a technique that let’s you store frequently used data points in the ‘cached memory’.

Any subsequent requests for the same content gets served from the cached memory, thus speeding up the whole data retrieval process.

By implementing browser/HTTP caching and server-side caching, you are likely to experience a huge improvement in the performance of your website.

Six: Unclean Code
Another common culprit for website slowness is unclean coding. When you make your website, excessive white spaces, inline stylings, empty new lines and unnecessary comments can make the website stylesheet grow larger in size.

By removing these unnecessary elements, you can compress the code, reduce the file size and improve the overall page load time and if you’re tracking rankings you’ll probably see a boost in your SEO performance too. In technical terms, this process is known as minifying. If you are not comfortable with coding, there are several online tools that can be used to clean and minify your stylesheet files.

Seven: Not Using gZIP Compression
By enabling gZIP compression, you instruct the server to wrap all the web objects (images, CSS, JavaScript files etc) in a single container before they are sent over to the requesting browser.

Compression lowers response time by reducing the size of data being transferred between your server and the visitors’ browser, which in turn helps in serving the requested content much faster.

If you are yet to enable gZIP compression on your website, then it’s the first thing you should do without wasting any further time.

Eight: Too Many Ads
No doubt display advertisements are great for monetizing high traffic websites.

But that shouldn’t come at the cost of compromised performance or user experience. Don’t let too many ads be another reason why your website is slow!

The most obvious impact of overloading your website with advertisements is the addition of HTTP requests, which would need additional processing time.

Especially the rich media ads – like pop unders, interstitials and auto downloads – may create hundreds of HTTP requests making your website unresponsive.

To sum things up, limiting the number of display advertisements will ensure better performance for your website.

Nine: Not Using a CDN Service
A CDN service is a distributed network of independent servers deployed in different geographic locations, that can serve web content to visitors with high availability and high performance.

Depending upon the geographic location of your visitor, the requested content gets served by the node located at the nearest available data center. It would minimize the round-trip-time (RTT) and serve the requested content in a much quicker time.

Ten: Bad Hosting
Your web hosting service provider makes a huge difference when it comes to website performance. Yes, your slower-than-average page load speed may not be entirely your own fault.

If you have tried correcting all the above-mentioned causes and yet your website seems to be responding slowly, then switching your hosting provider may just solve your problem. Choose a hosting provider that offer performance optimisation services bundled in the price of the hosting.

Real managed hosting should include this.

For example, we offer custom web servers, built for each client individually and according to his web site’s needs. We know how each tool will best interface with the most popular scripts on the market today.

Slow loading websites shouldn’t “be a thing” if your hosting provider knows what they are doing.

Website page load speed depends on a variety of factors such as unoptimised images, a high number of HTTP requests, bulky codes, and JavaScript issues to name a few.

It can be a difficult task to figure out what exactly is causing the website to slow down. No matter what the root cause might be, you should leave no stones unturned to get to the bottom of the issue.

At Harrison Carloss, our team will help you get rid of slow loading websites for good. Whether your site is too old to save, maybe we can give it a new lease of life, We can help you adjust Apache parameters, PHP configurations & versions, as well as even compile custom Apache/PHP stacks upon request. We know, we know, we took the words right out of your mouth… it’s a gift.

Until next time, Harrsion Carloss signing off.

Live Chat