So, you have a website... But it is running super slow... Why?

In this article, we will talk about potential issues that could be damaging your websites load speed. We will also touch briefly on WordPress and it’s page builders like Elementor, DIVI, WP Bakery and Beaver, Easy right? Maybe…

Slow and Steady... Not when it comes to website speed.

Many years ago when I was a child running around I was constantly told “slow and steady wins the race”. I have also noticed this saying throughout my career also… Well, when it comes to your websites performance that saying will certainly set you up to fail.

So the question "why is my site running slow?" Top 8 reasons below!

1. Images aren't optimised

The most common cause of website slowness is a huge number of unoptimised images. While loading, high-resolution images might require a lot of bandwidth. Uploading larger photos and then scaling them down might increase the size of your web page unnecessarily, making it slow to load. This is true no matter what CMS or website builder you use.

Another significant element to consider is the image format.

JPEG images, for example, are substantially smaller than alternative image formats such as PNG or GIF. Using JPEG images instead of PNG/GIF images will, of course, make your web page load faster.

Key Points

  • Check your image file sizes; anything over 1MB is considered unsuitable.
  • When working with larger photos, JPEG is preferable over PNG. Icons are acceptable.
  • To quickly scan image sizes and take necessary action, use waterfall testing.
  • Images that aren’t optimised can cost you money in the form of bandwidth overage.
  • Make sure your website is being developed by a front-end developer rather than a full-stack developer. Because of the variations in development scope, front-end developers are usually more adept at taming JavaScript on the client side and can quickly resolve any JS/jQuery difficulties.

2. Issues with JavaScript

The availability of JavaScript/jQuery plugins has made adding dynamic content to websites extremely simple. JavaScript, on the other hand, if used poorly, might slow down the load time of your website.

Loading, interpreting, and executing jQuery and JavaScript takes time. As a result, if you use several API requests to render JavaScript/jQuery data, the web pages may take a long time to load.

Key Points

  • Script bloat is a major problem. Examine your JavaScript scripts to determine what you actually require and what you don’t.
  • It’s essential to use asynchronous loading.
  • Use a tool like Segment or Google Tag Manager to manage your tags. All of your tools are controlled by a single script!

3. HTTP Requests in Abundance

Too many HTTP requests can be caused by a large number of JavaScript, CSS, and picture files. When a user visits your website, the browser makes numerous requests to load each of these files, slowing down the page load time dramatically.

Key Points

  • Sprites can be used to minimise HTTP requests.
  • Keep the number of files on your pages to a minimum. CSS, pictures, and javascript are all included.
  • Users will have to download less files if you minify your CSS and Javascript scripts.

4. Caching Techniques Aren't Being Used

Caching has been shown to enhance website performance by leaps and bounds. You’re missing out if you’re not caching. It’s a strategy for storing frequently used data points in ‘cached memory.’

Following requests for the same material are served from the cached memory, which speeds up the entire data retrieval process.

You’ll probably notice a significant boost in the performance of your website if you use browser/HTTP caching and server-side caching.

Key Points

  • Caching boosts performance significantly.
  • You can cache a variety of items, including HTTP requests, database queries, and images.
  • If you have the ability to cache something, do so. However, proceed with caution to avoid making a mistake.

5. Unclean and Excess Code

Unclean coding is another common cause of website slowness. Excessive white spaces, inline stylings, empty new lines, and superfluous comments can all increase the size of your website’s CSS.

You may compress the code, lower the file size, and improve the overall page load speed by deleting these superfluous elements, and if you’re tracking rankings, you’ll probably notice an improvement in your SEO performance as well. This is referred to as minifying in technical terminology. There are various online programmes that may be utilised to clean and minify your CSS files if you are not comfortable with coding. You could also enlist the assistance of several IT service providers.

Key Points

  • It’s important to pay attention to the details.
  • Don’t be a laggard and use inline CSS instead.
  • When you can utilise a single CSS stylesheet, don’t make numerous ones.

6. gZIP compression isn't being used.

You tell the server to wrap all web objects (images, CSS, JavaScript files, and so on) in a single container before sending them to the requesting browser when you enable gZIP compression.

Compression reduces response time by lowering the amount of data transmitted between your server and the visitor’s browser, allowing you to offer the requested material much more quickly.

If you haven’t yet enabled gZIP compression on your website, this is the first thing you should do without delay.

Key Points

  • Compression with gZIP provides a simple performance boost.
  • It encapsulates all of your web assets (images, CSS, and JS) into a single container that is given to the browser that requests them.

7. If you're not using a CDN, you're missing out.

A CDN service is a distributed network of independent servers installed in several geographic areas that can provide high availability and high performance online content to visitors.

The requested material is served by the node situated at the nearest available data centre, depending on the visitor’s geographic location. The round-trip time (RTT) would be reduced, and the requested content would be delivered considerably faster.

Key Points

  • CDN isn’t required, although it can help. Especially if you have international visitors.
  • In geographically distributed data centers, the CDN caches frequently accessed data.
  • They can help you reduce round-trip time (RTT) and offer material to your viewers more quickly.

8. Cheap or/and bad hosting

When it comes to website performance, your web hosting service provider makes a tremendous difference. Yes, it’s possible that your slower-than-average website loading speed isn’t completely your fault.

If all of the above-mentioned issues have been addressed and your website still appears to be slow, switching your hosting provider might be the answer. Choose a hosting provider that includes performance optimisation services as part of the package.

This is something that should be included in real managed hosting.

For example, at Macbeth Designs, we use a number of web server providers all with different types of service levels but each one provides a custom web server that is tailored to our specific demands for each of our client’s website. We understand how each tool will work with today’s most popular scripts, such as Drupal, WordPress, Expression Engine, Joomla, and others.

If your hosting company knows what they’re doing, slow loading websites shouldn’t be an issue.

The Conclusion

Unoptimized pictures, a high number of HTTP requests, bulky coding, and JavaScript difficulties, to mention a few, all affect the speed of a website’s page load.

Finding out what is causing the website to slow down might be a tricky task. Whatever the core problem, you should leave no stone unturned in your quest to find a solution, because failing to do so could be the difference between an extra £1000/month in revenue.

Our support team at Macbeth Designs will assist you in permanently removing slow-loading websites. On request, we’ll assist you in adjusting Apache parameters, PHP configurations, and versions, as well as compiling bespoke Apache/PHP stacks.

WAIT! Page Builders - Elementor, DIVI, WPBakery and the rest

Page builders provide ease of use, seamless navigation, and an appealing appearance for visitors to your website. But, they also have a bad reputation by some developers and others that have only heard bad things… So, are WordPress page builders bad for SEO and Site Speed? No! You heard correctly. Here at Macbeth Designs, depending on our clients requirements we will use Elementor Pro to allow our clients the freedom to customise their own website knowing we are here for support! We will touch on this slightly, but read our other blog which compares all page builders as a whole and themes for site speed and SEO… It’s an interesting one…

Many people have shied away from WordPress page builders because of their reputation for slowness. Will using one cause your site to slow down?

If you use a page builder with a lot of data, forms, elements, personalised content, and huge images it can slow down WordPress. Like it would with any other website that uses code or Advanced Custom Fields… High-end page builders and simpler sites, on the other hand, have little effect on the speed.

Changing your theme or using better plug-ins can make a huge impact in the speed with which your website loads. Read More…

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