Anyone who has spent a few minutes surfing the web (in other words, everyone) knows just how frustrating it is whenever a page takes forever to load. Slow loading times don’t only negatively affect visitor experience and page reputation, they are also a primary cause of high bounce rate because web visitors nowadays no longer have the patience and the attention span—which, by the way, only lasts three seconds now—to wait.
There are many possible reasons behind slow website loading times. In this guide, we will discuss all of them, including all the ways you can do to fix the problem.
1. Too many scripts
Overly crowded style sheets can also affect your page load time. These codes, which contain the instructions for your page (e.g. font type, colors used, table code, etc.) each eat up request time which can lead to slow page downloads. Try to minimize the number of instructions embedded in your scripts to help your page load faster or compress them for better optimization.
2. Unneeded pages
If your website has been around for a bit, then there is a high chance that there might be unnecessary pages there that you’ve forgotten to take out during all the changes and updates you’ve done. For example, if you’re using WordPress, you may have unused sites that are still linked to your old URLs. This can drag down speed capacity and put a toll on your load time so make sure that you unlink sites or pages that you’re not using anymore.
3. Extra elements and too much use of social media scripts
Use of extra elements like plugins, themes, and scripts can kill your page’s speed. To boost your website’s load time, make sure to clean up your scripts by removing unused themes and lines of code. You can also always look for alternative scripts that can replace the functions of longer codes.
Webpage attacks are not always aimed to steal information. In some instances, hackers do malicious attacks to illegally utilize your server resources instead. A common example is when a hacker embeds a malware on your page so that the files that are loaded with your page are directed towards another server. This transfer is what causes the slow loading of the website.
To make sure that your website is malware-free, you can use security tools that are designed to clean up your site without affecting its response time and performance.
5. Wrong web host used
Not many realize this, but your choice of web host plays an important role in determining the speed of your website. There are man types that you can choose from like cloud hosting, shared hosting, and dedicated hosting, and you can easily choose packages according to what features and functions you want for your website. For example, dedicated hosting gives you better speed because you don’t need to share your account with other websites like in the case of shared hosting. They do, however, come with a heftier price tag. More expensive web hosts come with beefier features that can not only improve page speed but also provide better scalability and security.
6. Unbalanced load
Incorrect load distribution might also be the culprit behind the slow loading of your site. For example, when visitors are incorrectly assigned to your website, it can overwhelm your servers regardless of whether it is under capacity or not. Check the load distribution within your website and consider scaling up if needed. One idea you can consider is to use a group of servers instead of just sticking to a single one. If you do add more servers, you can also always consider shifting to service-oriented architecture (SOA) to help prevent scalability issues.
7. Title Tags
Did you know that the title of your website can also affect its loading speed? Not having a specific title tag on your page makes it harder to be picked up by search engines because they have to go through duplicates first. This causes slower load times that can sacrifice speed. One way to go through this is to use tools that can help you spot HTML errors like missing descriptions and title tags.
Similar to title tags, your choice of theme can also cause your page’s load time to lag. This is especially applicable if you’re using low-quality themes that are very prone to viruses and other malware that cause your page to crawl.
The best way to solve this is to use high-quality themes from reliable sources. Yes, you’ll have to pay for them, but you get more from the purchase in the long-run because of the extra security you get.
Overhead is the term used to refer to the unnecessary traces in your database (e.g. plugins, themes, logs, etc.) that build-up over time. Having too much overhead on your website can lead to longer loading of database queries, and, sometimes, even web server timeout. Thankfully, many web hosts lets you access your database management platform now where you can check your website’s overhead. Checking it regularly to remove unnecessary traces can significantly improve the loading time of your website.
Web loading speed plays a big role in visitor experience and sale conversion. As the internet speeds up more and more, so does the changing of web users’ behaviors. For marketers to keep in touch with its audience, they don’t only need to catch up with this speed—they should be capable to ride it smoothly as well.
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