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5 Reasons Your Website is Slow
The importance of website loading speed cannot be overstated. Poor website speed is the biggest reason that people navigate away from a website without converting, it can tank a website’s SEO rankings, and it creates frustration for devoted website visitors. If your website responds like a sloth working for the DMV (like in Disney’s Zootopia), you’d better get things in gear. There is no question about it: you are losing business.
There are plenty of reasons that a website might have a slow loading speed, and many factors can work together to bog down a website. It’s important to optimize your website in as many ways as possible to minimize issues for visitors. At FirstPage Marketing, we consider page loading speed in everything we do, from website design and development to minor page edits.
5 Reasons for Slow Website Loading
If your website has slow loading speeds, it can help to talk to an experienced developer to get to the bottom of the issue. In many cases, there is more than one cause for poor website speed, so getting to know a few of the top factors that negatively affect website loading can equip you to make changes for the better.
1. Heavy Media Files
Media files can be one of the biggest sources of loading speed problems for any website. Large image files that aren’t optimized for loading are the most common culprit, but issues can also come from audio files, videos, clipart, and even text files if media is not uploaded to the website properly.
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2. Poor Website Hosting
Website hosting can create a huge swath of problems if managed poorly. Some servers are simply slower than others, and many hosting providers charge a premium for faster website servers. If a website has high demands for media files or includes an online store or other interactive elements, it is worth paying a little bit extra to get better website hosting. Most hosting providers offer shared hosting plans, meaning server space is shared by multiple websites to provide better pricing and ease of service, but some hosting providers will also offer dedicated servers for high-demand websites to mitigate server delays.
3. Too Many Redirects
When a page is removed or content is no longer relevant, the URL is usually redirected to a different page to reduce dead links (404 errors). When the page to which other pages are redirected is taken down, redirects begin to pile up on one another. Regularly auditing redirects to make sure they all go to live pages can reduce the number of times that a website visitor has to be redirected, which in turn speeds up their experience.
4. Copious HTTP Requests
Whenever a website needs to load files from a database to the web browser of a visitor, it typically initiates an HTTP request. Every time a browser has to request files, it slows down the overall page loading speed and it can create gaps in content. There are various ways to speed up or negate HTTP requests, including using better caching techniques, using sprites, and reducing the number of files on a page.
5. Clunky Website Construction
In many cases, the code that is used to build the website is too heavy and not streamlined enough to allow for easy loading. This commonly happens when outdated code is used, or when code used is not as efficient as it could be. It is also extremely common with websites built using themes, as those sites tend to come with a lot of extra baggage. One of the beautiful things about building a website using WordPress is the wide variety of plugins that are available; however, when too many plugins are used to build a website, they can slow down loading speed, so it is sometimes better to use custom code to add functionalities when possible.
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If your website is not functioning as fast as you feel it should, it might be worth talking to a professional development team, like the one at FirstPage Marketing. Give us a call and we can help you get the most out of your website.