9 Reasons Why Your Website Is Running Slow - How to Fix the Issue

Search Engine Optimization

9 Reasons Why Your Website Is Running Slow - How to Fix the Issue

02/12/2022 12:00 AM by Margot.C in Analytics, digital marketing

Some people may think that having a slow website doesn't matter that much. In reality, it can easily become the death of your business. Google Studies have shown that 53% of all visitors will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load on their mobile. The same issue is also true with PC users.

That's because people are impatient and don't want to wait around for something they perceive as slow. If you're concerned about the speed of your website, or if you're noticing that it is running slowly, then read on! In this blog post, we will discuss the 9 most common reasons why websites run slow and how to fix the problem.


Reasons Why Your Website Is Running Slow


Why a Fast Loading Website Is a Must?

As mentioned above, your website loading speed is a crucial factor in your site’s performance. You may not realize how much of an impact it can have on your business, but this slow load time could be costing you money and customers.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, people are used to waiting for nothing – they expect their websites to load instantly! If your site takes more than a few seconds to fully display or if the customer has been redirected from another page before seeing anything at all, he/she will likely close the tab without ever buying anything from you.

How Do I Know if My Website Is Fast Enough?

So, how fast is ¨fast enough¨ in terms of loading speed? In general, a well-designed website with great UX (aka user experience) will take only 0,5 to 2 seconds for customers to load. I would recommend you aim for a page loading time of no more than 2 seconds.

There are tools you can use to determine if your website load time is slow. For example, FreeSeoTools' PageSpeed Insights Checker will analyze the overall loading experience of your website and give you a score based on how fast it loads. It will also pinpoint the slow-loading elements and provide suggestions on how to improve the speed of your site.

When talking about the speed of a website, many factors can affect how quickly you load and navigate. These include:

  • Type of browser (elements like plug-ins or addons may need extra processing power)
  • Type of device (whether you are using a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone)
  • Page's content (text, pictures, videos, sliders...)

That is why it might be a good idea to test your site's loading speed on different devices and browsers, as well as check the specific speed of all main pages which contain pillar content.

9 Reasons Why Your Website Is Slow and How to Fix It

Now that you know how to test your website, let's take a look at the nine most common reasons why it might be running slow:

1 - Badly Optimized Images

Images are often the main reason for slow loading times because they take longer than text or code in a web page and require more bandwidth to load. They also slow down the rendering of a web page, which is when all the different elements start to appear on your screen.

Solution: you can optimize your images using an online tool like our image optimizer or a compression software such as TinyPNG. These programs will reduce the file size of your images without affecting their quality. Depending on the focus of your image, you could also just crop part of it to further reduce its size.

If your site is packed with images, you could also use Lazy Load just like Pinterest and other photo-sharing platforms do. Lazy Load plugins (a3 Lazy Load, Smush...) help you load images at the very last moment when they become visible in viewports, which will improve performance on slow connections.

2 - Heavy Video Files

Videos are a great way to engage with your audience and maintain their attention. However, if it is embedded in your website, slow speed can be an issue because videos files take a lot of space.

Solution: Just like images, you can optimize the video in itself by reducing its size using compression software or tools like Handbreak without affecting the quality. If you have long videos, you could also break them into part 1, part 2, part 3, and so on to reduce the video length.

Also, since videos are heavy media files, self-hosting them is a very bad idea... Favor embedding your videos on external free platforms like Youtube and Dailymotion, or why not on a premium custom video hosting platform such as Wistia or SproutVideo.

3 - Badly coded Templates

Another common reason for slow loading times is badly coded templates that come with bloated HTML and JavaScript files. These are often poorly optimized or have too many lines of code.

Solution: Look for lightweight templates that have a clean and readable code base with well-written comments to easily understand what each part does or means.

If you are not particularly tech-savvy, a good option is to use a website builder such as Squarespace or GoDaddy that comes with pre-built templates and ensures your site will always load fast. Although less flexible than CMS (Content Management system) like WordPress, they are easier to use for beginner website developers.

4 - Too many Plugins

Plugins are great, but too many of them can slow down your website. This is because each plugin needs to load its own CSS and JavaScript files which means more requests for the server.

Solution: The best way around this problem would be to simply remove unnecessary plugins. Try to go through all your plugins and uninstall the unused ones. Once this is done, you might want to clean up your database to erase orphaned items and other undesirable leftovers. Ironically, you will need a plugin to do this... I think Advanced Database Cleaner is a good choice for this task.

5 - Not using Browser Caching

When you load a website, your browser will temporarily save some parts of it in its cache memory to use later. This is why when you visit the same website again, it loads faster as some elements were already saved on your computer. But for this to work properly, you need to set the correct caching headers on your web pages.

Solution: To enable browser caching, you need to add a few lines of code to your .htaccess file or use a plugin like WP Super Cache or WPRocket. These plugins will take care of everything for you and make sure your website loads quickly by reducing the number of files and performing lazy loading, minification, database optimization...

6 - Using the wrong Web Hosting

Slow loading times and repeated downtime are usually signs that your website host is not really good. This can be caused by bandwidth limitations across the host server. Moreover, cheap servers sometimes do not have enough resources to handle all the requests they are getting. This can be due to too many websites hosted on the same server, or by using a shared hosting plan.

Solution: One option would be to switch web hosts but this can take time and requires a bit of research. If you are using WordPress, it is recommended to choose a hosting company that specializes in this platform such as Kinsta and Bluehost. You can also spy on your successful competitor's websites using our free Domain Hosting Checker to know which hosting provider they use.

Another solution would be to use a content delivery network (CDN) such as CloudFlare which will speed up your website by caching static files and delivering them from servers around the world. This not only reduces the load on your web host but also diminishes latency for visitors who are far away from your original server location.

7 - Too Many HTTP Requests

This is usually a problem for websites with high traffic or displaying way too many advertisements. So many requests to the server at once can slow it down, make it unresponsive for a few seconds and even crash it.

Solution: There are a few things you can do to fix this issue. One would be to use a caching plugin as mentioned before which will store static files on your computer, reducing the number of requests to the server. You can also minify your CSS and JavaScript files to reduce their size and make them load faster.

8 - Poor Web Design

A website with poor web design will definitely slow down your website. This includes too much information on one page, slow loading embedded media such as videos and images, unnecessary animations and Flash content...

Solution: Apart from optimizing your slow loading media as I mentioned earlier, you can also ask yourself if all of those elements are really necessary or worth the extra loading time? Maybe you should remove some of those heavy media files as not to overwhelm your website. Sometimes the best solution is to keep it simple.

9 - Malware or Virus

This might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about slow loading times, but it could happen. If your website has been infected by malware, then chances are that it will slow down and even crash at some point.

Solution: The best way to avoid the problem is to use security plugins such as WordFence or Sucuri. These plugins will not only scan your website to detect malware but also protect it from future attacks by blocking suspicious IP addresses, monitoring all changes...

A Short Recap

In conclusion, a fast-loading website is important for both your customers and search engine rankings. Make sure you have the 9 tips mentioned above in mind when trying to optimize your site speed. If you need help with any of these tasks or would like some outside advice on how to improve your SEO strategy, leave us a comment! We’d love to hear from you and get started improving your online presence today.


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