If you have been wondering why your website is so slow, don’t worry. We will go through the most common reasons clients come to us for help making their website faster, as well as the solutions that can help make your site faster. If you are not technical and need assistance with this, just reach out for a free consultation. We’ll check out your site, find the reason, and come up with a plan to get your site loading like a fine tuned sports car,
WHY IS SITE SPEED IMPORTANT
First, we need to define what a slow website is. Here are the facts about a website’s load time:
- Ideally, your site should load in 2 seconds.
- X% of website visitors bounce if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- A 25-40% bounce rate is fantastic.
- A 41-50% bounce rate is average.
- A 51-70% is higher than average, but will still drive traffic.
- Anything over that means you have an issue, it may be related to your site speed.
Does the above mean you are in trouble if your website loads at 5+ seconds? Not necessarily, you will see why in a second or two…but imagine how much traffic could go to your website if you invest in site speed and beat out your competitions. Here are some averages about site speed across the web:
- A website that loads in 5 seconds is faster than 25% of the web.
- A website that loads in 3 seconds is faster than 50% of the web.
- A website that loads in 1.7 seconds is faster than 75% of the web.
- A website that loads in 0.8 seconds is faster than 94% of the web.
Site speed is important for various reasons.
First, search engines want to serve the websites that have the best answer to queries made, BUT…they also want to serve the site that has the best experience for the users. When crawlers try to crawl your website, if your site takes too long, they will leave the site so as not to bring it down. That means your site has a lower probability of being indexed and as a result of being shown in search results.
Second, people want it now. If someone clicks on your website and they have to wait for it to load, they may click back and click on the next search result.
There are other reasons why you need to value site speed, but these are the most important ones.
WHERE CAN I CHECK MY WEBSITE'S LOADING SPEED?
TOP REASONS WHY YOUR WEBSITE IS SLOW
1. SUB PAR HOSTING
Your website may be perfectly built, but if it is being hosted on a cheap server, it is likely that your site is on a shared host with other websites and that you are sharing resources. Each time the other websites on that shared host receive a visitors, your site will load slower.
Upgrading to a more robust hosting plan or migrate to a dedicated server. We can help with that.
2. YOUR SITE IS NOT CACHED
Your life will change once you set up proper caching on your site. A cache is basically a copy of your website that is held in a “cache”. When someone comes to your site, they see the cached version of the site so they don’t need to wait for the site to load. A Cache makes it so that Chrome, Safari, and other browsers don’t need to request thing such as HTML, CSS, JS from your server each time someone hits that page.
Implementing a Caching system. Binary Bits can set up and configure your cache as well as a CDN.
3. YOUR SITE DOES NOT USE A CDN
A CDN is a content delivery network. In simple terms, this has to do with the actual distance between the user trying to visit your site and the physical location of your server. For example, if your server is in Virginia and a user from France is trying to get to your site, it will take longer. CDNs are a bunch of servers that exist in different locations. They are there to act as your server so that they shorten the physical distance between the server. They serve the content of your website from a location closer to the user’s physical location, this makes your site load faster.
Contact us. We can set up and configure your CDN. Our CDN of choice is Cloudflare, but we work with others as well.
4. YOUR IMAGES ARE SLOWING DOWN YOUR SITE
Images and videos tend to slow down websites a lot. Images usually are 50% of the data on a page of a website.
Compress your images. Make sure to use lossless compression so that the quality of the images is not affected too much.
Set up lazy load for your images. Basically, lazy load makes it so that images that are at the bottom of the page only load when people scroll. This makes it so that the loading of the page is not taking place the whole time and saves time and resources.
Use next-gen image formats. These are better compressed and keep their quality.
5. CSS & JAVA SCRIPT
CSS & Java Script (JS) are considered to be render-blocking resources. This means that when a page is loading, they must be downloaded, parsed, and executed before the rendering process goes on. These are common elements that slows down websites.
CSS is used for the stuff on the top of your website (like your header). Inlining the CSS instead of utilising a stylesheet can shave time off your site speed.
Oftentimes, websites have unused CSS. It is a good idea to audit your site for unused CSS and see what can be done to reduce it.
You can also configure things so that your Java Script is deferred. Basically, this means that the browser won’t “execute” JS up until the point where the HTML of the page has been fully taken care of.
6. IT'S YOUR PLUGINS
Plugins are awesome. However, plugins can be tricky little buggers. For example, there are plugins that will run processes in the background taking up resources while your visitors are trying to see a page. Others are just known to slow down a site. Another common issue is that there are too many unused plugins on the site (this is bloat).
If you haven’t yet built your site and you’re working on WordPress, pick a theme that is known to be lightweight.
Audit and get rid of unused plugins.
When choosing plugins, choose plugins that aren’t unitaskers so as to reduce the number of plugins on your site.
LET US TAKE CARE OF YOUR SITE SPEED ISSUES
You read the article and now you’re thinking that it is easier said than done. There’s no need to worry. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. We will audit your site to tell you what is slowing down your site and then come up with a proposal where we clearly let you know what we will do to speed up your site. If you are curious about our work on site speed issues, check out this website speed improvement case study where we brought a site that was loading at almost 18 seconds to a mere 3.