In business it pays to have a super-fast website, so why is yours running so slow?
Did you know that on average a website visitor will abandon your site if it takes longer than two seconds to load? We live in an age where your customers are used to receiving information in real time, and they know that they can head elsewhere for a faster browsing experience if they feel let down by a sluggish site straight away. It is slow and clunky websites which can seriously damage your brand reputation, not to mention your potential online revenue.
There are several reasons your website could be running slow, and most of them are within your control. You may be surprised by just how easy it can be to tidy up your online presence and what a boost it will give your business.
Here are five simple reasons your website could be running slow, and how to combat them:
- Unoptimised images
Your visual content is vital to your website; without it your site visitors would be faced with reams of writing and nothing engaging to pull them in to make a purchase. However, a vast percentage of website images are not optimised for speed; they’re simply too big to load within a short time. Large image files can be compressed without losing their visual appeal, ensuring they don’t put the brakes on your site.
- Bulky code
Inefficient coding – or in other words, a lot of it – can cause your site to take much longer to load, as every piece of code has to be transferred between server and screen. Unsurprisingly, larger files typically take longer to transfer, so a bulky code file will slow down the delivery of your whole site. Strip out all the excess code, shrink file sizes, remove line breaks and excess spacing and you should be well on your way to making your code more efficient for transfer.
- Embedded streaming media
If you’re streaming high quality media from your website then you’d better hope you have an extremely powerful bank of servers behind you if you want to deliver your content in an acceptable time. People won’t hang around to watch a clunky “live stream” which can’t be delivered in real time due to bandwidth inefficiencies. If your media content isn’t currently hosted on your own server it can take even longer to reach end users, as if the source site is having a slow day, you’re at their mercy. Store your media content on your own server, and make sure it’s packed with powerful resources.
- Too much going on.
Sure, you want your site to look good, but there’s a fine line between “visually pleasing” and “an assault on the eyes”. In addition to looking garish and annoying, fancy aspects of your website which are Flash-based, for example, will slow your website up. You don’t want it to end up looking like the world’s worst website, do you? Keep things simple: minimalistic is the name of the web design game at the moment.
- Server inefficiency
There’s no point in investing heavily in creating a fully optimised, visual masterpiece of a website if the server it’s hosted on isn’t up to scratch. If you’re hosting your site on a shared server you have to remember that it is just that: shared. All the resources on your machine are distributed across hundreds of sites, and if one of those sites sees a spike in traffic you could see your own site slow to a crawl. Upgrade to a high bandwidth dedicated server solution if you hope to serve your site to high volumes of traffic.
Investing in the machine behind your website is vital to ensure your site loads at lightning speed. Check out our dedicated servers range to find the powerful solution for you, or contact our support team to discuss which web hosting solution is for you.