Your website speed it imperative to user experience as well as your SEO. Speed is critical to the success of your site because people don’t like waiting around for web pages to load. Google recommends that the page load time be under 2 seconds. Users are expecting the site to interactive in that time frame. You can check your stats at Gtmetrics. There are many factors that cause a slow site and we can explore just a few here.
Common Causes of a Slow Website
Image size – should be properly resized and resolution adjusted before uploading to website. Many hosts provide options for CDN which speeds up image delivery. Also there are several optimization plugins allowing for image conversion to webp format (the format is capable of reducing image file size up to 34% smaller than JPEG and PNG images while retaining high-quality.)
Too many embedded videos on one page – Embedded videos allow the video to stream from Vimeo or Youtube, however too many on one page causes a delay in Time to Interactive.
Cheap or Overloaded Hosting – Often people will purchase hosting that is cheap (we all want to save some money) however, in most instances the hosting is shared with other sites and can be overloaded or the package does not provide any dedicated resources. Think of hosting as part of the engine, you can’t expect a 2 cylinder engine to run like a Porsche. When the website has more functionality, the hosting must be tailored to the website to make sure the “engine” is powerful enough to run the site.
No Caching – It is beneficial to use a cache plugin. (Caching is the process of storing frequently-accessed data temporarily in a cache.) We love Siteground Optimizer plugin for WordPress- There are many utilities we can set up to speed up the site.
Old coding– If the website is more than 3 years old, it is good to get a professional to audit the site and make sure it is secure and coding is up to date. This may sound like a money grab to people not in the industry but if you think about it, your phone and computer are always upgrading/changing and lets talk about your apps. Constantly changing right? Wwll the same for your website. I can’t be static. The average lifespan of a website is 3 years however you can get more time out of a maintained and upgraded website with proper security plugins and a good host.
Outdated server software – Some hosting companies require you to manually change things like PHP and MySQL versions. These outdated versions can cause compatibility issues on websites and present security risks.
Hacked site – If a website is hacked, the code has been compromised, it may cause the server to be busy doing background functions we do not desire. This slows the site down. Run a security scan from multiple sources.
These are just a few common causes. Technically we run tests on website load times that help pinpoint where improvements can be made. This can examine time to interactive, full load, site structure and resource issues.
If you have a slow site, contact us to take a look.