Factors That Slow The Speed Of Your Website And Ways You May Improve Them

Created: May 23, 2021

Updated: May 22, 2024

Conversion rates decline substantially when a website's loading speed increases, according to the market. According to statistics, increasing the page loading time from 1 second to 4 seconds reduces the conversion rate by 80%.

One of the most important aspects that determine the performance of your website is the time it takes for pages to load. If you're still not convinced, consider this: if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of users will abandon it. Isn't it stunning? If your website is taking too long to load, you must take action immediately. This article will discuss some of the technical aspects that may cause your website's performance to suffer. Let’s take a look at them. 

Factors That Slow The Speed Of Your Website

1. Internet Speed 

The speed at which any webpage loads is directly affected by the sort of internet connection you have. If you're still on dial-up, no matter how well optimized a website is, it'll just take longer. DSL provides a quicker connection than dialup, but it isn't quite as fast as cable. And, no matter how fast a cable connection is, it can't compare to a fiber optic connection.

2. Hosting/Server

The server your web hosting business selects to host your website on can have a significant influence on how quickly your website loads for visitors. If the server does not have adequate resources, everything will slow down for everyone. While shared hosting is the most cost-effective option for many small businesses, it isn't the greatest option for everyone. Larger websites could benefit from a virtual private server, or VPS, which offers the cost-effectiveness of shared hosting with the control over server resources of a dedicated hosting plan. Larger websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, require dedicated hosting, which allows them to be the only website on the server and have total control over their resources. For sites of that magnitude, more than one server is required to handle the traffic load.

When choosing web hosting business, aim for one that has at least a 99.5 percent uptime rating. Many companies claim 99.9% uptime and only have problems when changing the server where your website is housed. Your website will remain sluggish no matter what adjustments you make to speed up loading time if your host server is slow.

If your website receives visitors from all over the world, you should think about investing in a content delivery network, or CDN. This is a collection of servers that all host your website's content. Because the data does not have to travel as far, it will fetch your site's content from the server nearest to the user, reducing load time.

3. Sizes & Types of Files

In general, the higher your file sizes are and the more files you have on a website, the longer it will take for the browser to load. While faster connection speeds have allowed larger files to be loaded in less time, it's still necessary to optimize your files as much as possible. To keep your files as little as feasible, minify your code and optimize picture types and sizes.

4. Plugins 

WordPress plugins may help you add functionality to your site quickly and easily... particularly if you're running a website on your own and don't have a lot of technical skills. Having too many plugins on your website, or using plugins that aren't optimized, might significantly slow down your site.

Each plugin in the repository has its own set of features and functionalities. Some load front-end assets while others conduct database requests. Your load time will be slowed by plugins that perform a lot of database queries and require a lot of assets to load. When done correctly, you won't notice much of a difference in load time, but if you have multiple plugins flooding the server with HTTP requests, the user experience will suffer.

Check the files that the plugins are loading to determine how they are influencing the time it takes for your website to load. Make sure your website is up to date. To open the developer’s tools panel, use the “Inspect” functionality in Google Chrome or the “Inspect Element” option in Firefox. Reload your website by clicking the "Network" tab. You'll be able to observe how your browser loads each file as it reloads.

Unfortunately, there isn't a magic number for how many plugins you should have on your site. It all depends on your website and the plugins you've installed. A single poor plugin can load more than ten files, but numerous excellent plugins can only contribute a few additional files. Well-coded plugins keep the number of files they load to a minimum, but the plugin developer ultimately has the last say.

5. Browser

The browser you're using has an impact on how quickly pages load. Due to incompatibility, older browser versions may struggle to load some files and code. You may notice slower page loading rates if you don't have your browser set to cache some things from websites you visit frequently. Make sure you're using the most recent version of your preferred browser for the best results. If you don't have it set to update automatically, make sure you check for updates on a regular basis to guarantee you're using the most up-to-date software.

6. Volume of Traffic

A certain amount of bandwidth is allocated to several websites. This is the total quantity of data transported during a given time period, usually a month. If your website receives a lot of traffic, that's a positive indication, but if you don't have a host that can handle it, you risk not just a slower website but even a total shutdown until your term renews or you upgrade your plan. YouTube alone would cost Google billions of dollars every month if Google paid for bandwidth charges. When you factor in all of their other attributes, it's a truly astronomical figure.

If you own an eCommerce store, strong traffic is a sign that things are going well. This is an indicator that you have a high conversion rate. Keep an eye on your bandwidth use and be ready to modify it as needed to avoid poor performance.

Ways You May Improve Website Speed

1. Reduce HTTP requests as much as possible

According to Yahoo, downloading the various pieces of a Web page, such as graphics, stylesheets, and scripts takes up 80% of the load time.

Each of these items requires an HTTP request, therefore the more on-page components there are, the longer it takes for the website to render. The first step in reducing your requests is to determine how many your site presently generates and use it as a baseline.

Unless you're using Google Chrome, you can also use the Developer Tools to see just how many HTTP requests your site produces.

2. Combining Files

You may start working on lowering the number of requests your site receives now that you know how many there are. Your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files are the ideal place to start.

These are crucial files since they determine the design of your website. They also increase the number of queries made by your website each time a person accesses it.

This amount can be reduced by “minifying” and consolidating your files. The size of each file, as well as the overall number of files, is reduced as a result of this. This is especially critical if you're using a website builder with templates. These make it simple to develop a website, but they might result in clumsy code that slows down your site significantly.

3. Reduce server response time

The time it takes for your DNS query is one of the most important elements in how quickly your website loads.

A DNS, or domain name system, is a server that maintains a database of IP addresses and hostnames. A DNS server is what converts a URL into an IP address that shows its location online when a user inputs it into their browser.

The process of locating a specific DNS record is referred to as a DNS lookup. It's similar to your computer looking for a phone number in a phone book.

4. Choose the best hosting plan for your requirements

The majority of new website owners go for the lowest hosting service available. While this may be sufficient at first, if you begin to receive more traffic, you will most certainly need to upgrade. Don't scrimp on your host; choose someone you can rely on. 

The lowest option is shared hosting, which can be had for as little as $5 per month. While shared hosting is acceptable for low-traffic websites, it struggles to keep up with traffic surges and high-volume sites. It's also conceivable that traffic surges from other sites on the same server will affect your site.

You share resources like CPU, disc space, and RAM with other sites on the same server when you use shared hosting.

You still share a server with other sites when you choose VPS hosting, but you get your own dedicated resources. This is a decent middle ground. It keeps your site safe from other users on your server without the high expense of dedicated hosting.

5. Image sizes should be reduced

Images may have a significant impact on the performance of your website. They're frequently huge files, which might cause page load times to be sluggish.

Cropping your photographs to a suitable size is one of the simplest techniques to minimize image file sizes. For instance, if you want a picture to be 570 pixels wide, resize it to that size.

Don't just upload a 2000px wide image and adjust the width parameter to the desired size. 

This causes your page to load the entire image before resizing it to the right size, slowing it down. If you employ the width option, pictures on your site look smaller, downsizing those pictures should be your first focus. 

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