Is your website loading slowly? There could be a plenty of reasons why
Published: Mar 2, 2022
The speed of your website depends on many factors, and unfortunately it is not easy to increase it from one day to another. If you feel that your website is loading too slowly, you may need to change web hosts or modify your site to a great extent. And sometimes that's a tough nut to crack. However, we won't go into any heavy technicalities today. You can solve some of the problems yourself.
The loading speed of a website is one of the most important factors on which its success depends. Visitors are getting more and more impatient and one extra second of loading time means an average of 11% less traffic. Moreover, web search engines rank loading speed as one of their key indicators, so the slower loading the lower Google will show you in the results.
Mistakes in website construction
However, when dealing with such problems, the site often needs to be modified in a more comprehensive way. Detecting and fixing the cause of the slowdown can be quite time-consuming. Therefore, we recommend that you think about optimizing your site when you are creating it. When optimizing a site that is already running, it is advisable to create a working copy in which the defects can be gradually detected and then corrected, while keeping the original version for safety. However, if you have no experience with web development, you should leave this task to experts who will ensure that everything runs smoothly from the start. Sometimes much smaller errors caused in the future are to blame for slow loading, but these can be easily fixed. We'll look at those below.
This problem affects most self-builders who use some sort of WordPress-type web development software (CMS). When developing or modifying a website, they often start downloading and testing all sorts of plugins that come to hand. Some may be poorly programmed, and even a single such plugin can dramatically slow down your website.
So try measuring your website speed while keeping some plugins disabled. That way you may find that the page loads faster without some of them. Try to throw them out and choose an alternative to them.
Tip: Tools like Pingdom or Google's PageSpeed Insight can help you measure your website speed. They can then give you specific advice on what you can adjust on your website to make it load faster.
At the same time, try to use as few plugins as possible and deactivate or remove the ones you don't use. Then keep the plugins and templates you use up to date.
Too many too large images
Using too many huge images is a problem that most articles about speeding up the web will point out right from the start. It's simple. If you have dozens of top quality images in every post and on every page, remove them. This is because each image has to load, so the more large images, the longer it takes to load the page.
When uploading images to the web, it's best to stick to next-generation formats like WebP or AVIF (or regular JPEG or GIF), try to keep each file as small as possible (by compressing it in Photoshop or TinyPNG, for example), and use them wisely.
At the same time, it's a good idea to set a consistent aspect ratio and keep it consistent for each image. That way you can hold space for images until they load and optimize the Cumulative Layout Shift metric (which indicates the stability of the site's appearance during loading).
Unnecessarily long code
At the beginning, we have outlined that we will go through issues you can solve yourself without the knowledge of programming, right? Correct. Every website is run by a certain code, either programmed manually or thanks to some CMS. And loading of this code can be speeded up with the so-called minification. That is a process in which unnecessary spaces, paragraphs or signs are deleted from thousands of lines in HTML, CSS and JS codes – everything keeps working, but it all shrinks.
The great thing about this is that you do not need to have any clue about programming. This is the process of removing all unnecessary spaces, paragraphs or characters from thousands of lines of HTML, CSS and JS code - everything remains functional, but the whole thing shrinks. Best of all, you don't have to know the first thing about programming. A simple program or plugin will take care of the minification.
A great amount of fonts
In an article about what to have in mind when designing a website, we noted right from the start that a great number of fonts is just not the best way to go. Different types of fonts mixed together just do not look nice and overall disrupt the website consistency. And above all, too many fonts can slow down your website. Try to use no more than 2-3 different fonts across your site. Also, you should always load the fonts that the browser has in it first, and only then should external styles begin to appear.
Third party widgets and scripts
Third-party widgets include all tools that load outside your domain. These can include Google ads, Facebook chat, analytics tools, external media files, etc. These can make your life easier, because you can just copy the generated code from somewhere and get a great widget on your website. But every such script has to be loaded from some external server. And that takes time. So if you have any third-party scripts or widgets on your site that you don't use properly, remove them right away.
If your site is still loading slowly, the problem is probably deeper. Maybe you're using the wrong hosting and have your site stored on a server on the other side of the world. The problem may also be in the wrong code file structure.
However, if you're more of a DIY web developer, it's best to leave these worries to the professionals who do web development. They will look at the problem more comprehensively and can address any issues individually. However, as we mentioned in the introduction, it's always better to tackle web optimization during the actual development process. Be sure to keep this in mind next time.