Your website’s speed is one of the most important factors for gaining new visitors, who eventually transform into customers. However, the website often does not work as it should, and the visitors wait for it to load. What can you do if that’s the case?
A good idea is to ask for help and use a company that offers web development services, as they can perform a more in-depth analysis of your website. After all, people specializing in web development (both front-end and back-end development) are experts in understanding its capacity and performance.
If your website takes more time to load than it should, you’re not alone. A slow-loading site can negatively impact user experience and SEO, affecting your online success drastically.
However, if the problem is not severe, you can always try fixing it yourself. Since we want to help you, we created this short guide with four ways to improve a website that takes quite a lot of time to load.
Table of Contents
Problem: Your Images are Unoptimized
Images take up around 60% of the average bytes loaded per page, so we suggested reducing the number of images earlier.
Once you have done that, look at the sizes of images you have left – most people download the images they use from a stock photo site and don’t even bother optimizing them for the web. If you notice that some of your images take up too much space, run them through optimization software. The best option is to keep your images below 150 KB, as images larger than that will load very slowly.
Now, when it comes to filing extension, here is a basic formula:
- SVG is the right choice for vector images; you want to have a high amount of detail in
- specific icons can use font libraries to render certain graphics instead of saving individual pictures
- PNG is the way to go for images in which you need a transparent background
- JPG is the best choice for photographs and other images in which details are not as important
It’s easy to forget how image sizes can affect your website speed. However, larger-scale images tend to slow down site load times and lead to a frustrating user experience. Here’s what you can do about it:
- Optimize Image Size: Ensure your images aren’t any more significant than needed. Resize large pictures using photo editing tools before uploading them.
- Use Compression Tools: Explore compression options in editing apps to further reduce your files’ size without compromising quality.
- Choose The Right Format: JPEGs are usually more efficient than PNGs if the graphics don’t require transparency.
Optimizing your web content, especially images, could drastically improve your site’s loading speed.
Problem: You Have Excessive HTTP Requests
Every time a browser fetches a picture, a file, or a page from a web server is counted as an HTTP request. Those can take up even up to 70-80% of your website’s speed. Another thing is that the browser limits the number of requests to anywhere between 4 and 8 simultaneous connections per domain. Simply put, the more HTTP requests you need to load, the longer it will take for your website to load.
However, there are some ways in which you can decrease the number of HTTP requests. Those include:
- Use queries to only load what’s needed – try to get to know your site better, as you might realize that you only need to load certain images on the desktop or that specific scripts need to be run only on a mobile. If that’s the case, consider using conditional statements to increase your website’s loading speed instead of forcing your browser to load several images and scripts that will not even be useful.
- Reduce the number of photos – if some of the images you use are pretty space-consuming, you should seriously consider removing them. It will help you with HTTP requests and positively affect the user experience, as the images won’t distract your visitors from the written content.
- CSS sprites – if you can, you should consider combining the pictures you use quite often across your website into one sprite sheet and accessing the images using CSS background-image and background-position. This will allow your browser to breathe, as it will not have to continually retrieve multiple images when particular pages on your site load.
- Use CSS Instead of Images Where Possible: Using simple CSS tricks for styling can reduce dependency on images thereby reducing HTTP requests.
By limiting HTTP requests wherever possible you’ll be able to improve the overall performance and speed of your site. Proper management thus plays an essential role in optimal web design.
Problem: Your Website Lacks Effective Caching
Every time you visit a website for the first time, certain elements get stored in the cache so that the next time you visit this site, you can access them quickly and, thus load faster. Usually, your site would have to download every single resource. However, when using caching, there is no need for that – it only needs to download a few.
As some experts say, around 50% of your website’s daily visitors come with an empty cache. Your site needs to load fast enough to be willing to spend more time on it and visit the rest of the website (with faster loading time).
Suppose you are using a CMS like WordPress. In that case, you can install one of the plugins, such as W3 Super Cache or W3 Total Cache – no matter which one you chose, you should be able to decide whether you want to allow site-wide caching or caching of particular site elements.
Your website might be slow if it isn’t effectively utilizing caching mechanisms. Caching allows certain parts of your site to load once and then save a ‘snapshot’. This snapshot can be reused, saving time during subsequent visits. Here’s how to handle it if you’re starting your career in website development:
- Implement Browser Caching: Enable browser caching in the settings. This helps by reducing server lag when users return to your site.
- Use a Cache Plugin: If you’re using WordPress or another CMS, plenty of plugins can handle this task.
- Utilize CDN (Content Delivery Networks): CDNs deliver cached static content from servers closer to the end user, improving page load times.
Caching is an effective method for dramatically enhancing performance on repeat hits, making it an instrumental aspect of web hosting best practices.
Problem: Your Web Server Itself is Slow
Surprisingly, your server itself could be the one causing slow website speeds. Poor performance might occur due to inadequate resources or an overwhelmed hosting package.
- Upgrade Host Package: More bandwidth, memory and processing power can optimize loading time. Consider upgrading if you find yours falls short.
- Use A High-Performance Server: Implementing a reputable solution like LiteSpeed Web Server gives you access to optimization features that provide quicker content delivery compared with traditional Apache servers.
- Keep Software Up-to-date: Updating software applications ensures consistent quality performance on the latest technologies as it often includes speed optimizations.
Adjusting your web server arrangement can have remarkable effects on site speed. So it’s critical to constantly keep tabs on its operation and invest in server upgrades as needed.
Problem: Bad Code is Bloating Your Website
Poorly written or redundant code can reduce your website’s speed. Streamlining coding operations results in a leaner, faster loading site.
- Minimize Redundant Coding: Eliminate unnecessary repetitions to speed up overall performance.
- Review and Remove Old Plugins/Themes: Unused or outdated plugins/themes may generate additional and needless code.
Ultimately, reflective programming methodology maximizes efficiency and enhances the website aesthetics by simplifying its backend.
Problem: The Database Queries Are Too Intense
Complicated or inefficient database queries can be a hidden culprit slowing down your site. Here’s how to optimize them:
- Optimize Your Queries: Review query structures for efficiency. Unnecessary JOINs or uncalled data can harm performance.
- Use Indexing Properly: Effective use of indexing speeds up retrieval times by minimizing the number of disk accesses.
Accurately pinpointing issues and improving techniques means you’ll find database efficacy significantly enhanced, directly resulting in better overall website speed.
Efficient web design and hosting are crucial for a fast-loading website that attracts more visitors. By optimizing your site’s speed, you can enhance user experience and increase your chances of online success. If your website consistently loads slowly, seeking professional assistance to diagnose and resolve the issue may be helpful.
Why is my website taking so long to load?
There can be several reasons why your website is taking a long time to load. Here are some common issues to check:
1. Large file sizes: Reduce the size of your images, videos, and other media files to improve load times.
2. Slow hosting: Consider upgrading to a faster hosting provider or optimizing your server configuration for better performance.
4. Lack of caching: Implement caching mechanisms like browser caching and server-side caching to store static content and reduce server load.
5. Unoptimized code: Optimize your website’s code by removing unnecessary characters, reducing redirects, and leveraging browser caching.
6. Lack of content delivery network (CDN): Use a CDN to distribute your website’s files across multiple servers around the world, reducing latency and improving load times.
8. Poor mobile optimization: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and optimized for different devices to enhance the user experience and loading times.
9. Network issues: Check for any server-side or network-related problems that could be affecting the load times, and work with your hosting provider to resolve them.
10. Excessive plugins or scripts: Remove or disable any unnecessary plugins, scripts, or tracking codes that could be slowing down your website.
Remember to regularly monitor your website’s performance and conduct speed tests to identify any bottlenecks or areas for improvement.
What causes websites to not load properly?
There are several factors that can cause websites to not load properly:
1. Server issues: Problems with the server hosting the website can lead to slow or interrupted loading. This can be due to server overload, maintenance, or technical glitches.
2. Network or connectivity issues: Slow internet connection, network congestion, or firewall restrictions can prevent websites from loading properly.
3. Browser compatibility: Websites may not display correctly if they are not optimized for the browser being used. This can result in layout issues, broken elements, or missing content.
5. Caching problems: Cached files stored in the browser or server can cause conflicts and prevent the website from loading the latest content.
6. Plugin or theme conflicts: Incompatible or poorly coded plugins or themes can conflict with the website’s functionality, resulting in improper loading.
7. Content delivery network (CDN) issues: If a website uses a CDN, issues with the CDN servers or configuration can affect the loading of website assets.
To troubleshoot and resolve website loading issues, you can try clearing browser cache, checking network connections, disabling plugins or themes temporarily, and contacting your hosting provider if the issue persists.