No one likes a slow website. They are frustrating and at times angering. But the thing is, consumers don’t understand why a website is running slow, nor do they care. They click a link and expect the site to load. If it doesn’t, their expectations are crushed. According to Kissmetrics, 40% will click the back button if it takes longer than 3 seconds. Conversions drop drastically, bounce rate goes up, and visitors start to disappear.
But we are positive thinkers over here at Intuitive Digital. We want you to know that all is not lost when it comes to a slow website. The first thing you need to understand is why your website may be running slow. If you don’t know the problem, you can’t fix it!
In our years of combined experience, we have come across 6 common reasons why your website is running slow. Even better, we’ll tell you how you can resolve them.
Poor Server Performance
Poor server performance is the number one culprit of a slow website. Poor performance leads to longer response time, ultimately ending in a slow load time. Your web host is to blame for all of this.
If there is one thing you shouldn’t skimp on when it comes to your website, it’s a quality web host. Opting to go with an inexpensive host usually means you will end up with a shared server. Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to your website’s speed. Sharing resources with hundreds of other websites slows your site down drastically.
When choosing a web host, don’t pinch pennies. Choose one where you know you won’t be sharing a server. It’s ok to be selfish every once in awhile, especially when it comes to your website’s speed!
Location of Server
Let’s say your server is located in America and someone in Australia wants to visit your website. When they click on your site, a message is sent to your server asking it to load content. Because of the long distance (think of it like a telephone call) it takes more time for the information to travel.
So when the Australian visitor clicks, the information has to travel to your server, in America, requesting access, and then travel back to Australia, in order to load your website on their computer.
To understand if your server is in an optimal location, it’s important to know where the majority of your traffic comes from. You can move your server as needed to accommodate the traffic you receive. Doing so will increase your website’s speed.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise – the busier your website gets, the more likely it is to slow down. Think of it like checking out at a grocery store, one that is understaffed on a surprisingly busy day. Everyone rushes in to buy what they need, but there is not enough inventory or staff to keep up. When people go to check out, the lines are long and not all lanes are open, leading to increased wait time. The staff calls in for backup, but then other parts of the grocery store begin to slow. The cycle continues until the majority of customers leave and the store returns to its normal amount of traffic.
This is essentially what happens to your website when it experiences high amounts of traffic. Your server tries its best to manage all the requests, but somewhere it will slow down, eventually slowing down the whole site as it tries to compensate.
Updating your hosting, optimizing content delivery, and streamlining your site design are all changes you can make that will help improve site speed when experiencing high traffic.
Top notch images are key to a having a fantastic website. Humans are visual creatures and will often stay on a page and purchase if the images are enticing. But adding images to your website without optimizing them can lead to slower site speed.
If you are uploading full-size images you are contributing to the problem. Full-size images require a good amount of bandwidth while loading, which leads to slow site speed. But there is a simple fix! Resizing your images is all it takes to improve speed. Making simple height and width, format, and quality tweaks can go a long way.
The good news is no one will notice the difference in the images, but they will notice how fast your site loads.
Update, update, update! If you are using a popular CMS such as WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or Drupal it is imperative that you stay on top of updates. These platforms are constantly tweaking their software to ensure your website performs at full capacity.
If you see a popup asking you to perform an update, do it. Having the latest versions of any software and plugins will lead to faster load times.
Do You Feel The Need – The Need For Speed?
Ready to make the necessary changes to increase your website’s speed but aren’t sure where to start? Look no further than Intuitive Digital. Your business is our business, and we want to see it accelerate – drop us a line and find out what we can do for you!