What Could Be Slowing Down My Website?
Website speed is an immensely crucial component of any effective SEO, marketing or content creation strategy. While this technical concern can be easily forgotten about under the right circumstances, it has a profound impact on how people see your website.
Pages that are slow to load perform notably worse among audiences, whether they come from social media, search engines or email blasts. Coupled with the fact that more people than ever are using mobile devices to access content – and need pages to load as quickly as possible – you could be hurting your brand if pages are not loading rapidly.
Today, we’ll look at the primary culprits in slow loading pages and websites, which will help you isolate the problem and fix it.
Web Hosting Services
One of the biggest reasons why so many websites load slowly is due to the hosting provider. Unfortunately for many, reckless choosing of a provider based on cost, familiarity or even just a whim can have deleterious effects on your website’s performance.
While price isn’t always an indicator of whether a hosting provider will provide efficient and fast service, pinging servers efficiently generally requires a more premium service. There are many factors to consider when selecting a hosting provider; speed is but one of them. However, it’s important to note that a variety of technical factors can also impact how fast a provider’s service will be.
Excessive Plugins and Add-ons
Another common reason why websites load slowly relates to how much has been installed on the back-end. The primary culprit here is usually plug-ins or add-ons: even if these features aren’t currently in use, installing them can wreak havoc on a website’s speed.
This is especially true with WordPress, which runs more websites globally than any other service. As such, is it crucial that you always remove and uninstall any unneeded plug-ins from your website. Even if you feel they may be needed later, removing them and re-adding them when needed is usually the best option.
As websites grow and change, the databases responsible for maintaining all of this information can become disorganized and cluttered. Over time, this can add up and cause your website to load more slowly. Solutions such as WP-Optimize and phpMyAdmin can be used to optimize databases that are older and causing these issues.
Another big reason why so many websites load slowly is because of the size of the files that must be loaded. Much like how plug-ins can impact performance due to the need to load them (even when they’re deactivated), every visitor’s browser must load every image and file when they visit for the first time.
When you’re pinging servers with dozens or even hundreds of unoptimized files and images, the amount of data that must be transferred can become exponentially larger. Fortunately, a variety of image and file optimization programs exist to allow webmasters to reduce file sizes and ensure pages load faster.
Page speed matters more than ever: not only because of mobile users needing fast solutions, but because search engines demand it. By optimizing your website speed, you can ensure more traffic and better rankings in search. Whether it be reducing file sizes, picking a better hosting solution or improving technical concerns, most of these reforms are easy enough and deliver real results.