How much time do you think the average human spends waiting in their lifetime? Seriously, what’s worse, watching paint dry or waiting for a website to load? Why subject your customers to this type of agonising torture. It’s very optimistic of you to think that in the current era of spiralling attention spans, your customers will choose to wait out the buffering wheel of the death, while your website loads up one pixel at a time. Those customers will leave your slow website faster than Dorothy can click her heels back to Kansas.
Website speed plays a crucial role in the success of your website. Having a slow website is a multifaceted issue that affects its performance on so many different levels. With the abundance of distractions all around us, users are more eager to move on to the next thing if you fail to fulfil their pressing needs. Users expect websites to be fast, and the bottom line is, they’re only loyal to fast websites. Some say that if a website doesn’t load within three seconds or less, users will start plotting for the exit. The longer it takes, the less likely your potential customers will follow through, regardless of their initial intentions.
So does your website live up to the expectations? No? Well, in this post, we’ll explain why site speed is so vital to improving your website and how a few common issues can lead to bad website performance. So, let’s dive right in!
Too much traffic
You’re probably thinking, “how is too much traffic a bad thing?”, and you’d be right in thinking so. But at any given level, a web server can only support the load from a certain amount of traffic. Even most advance, expensive websites have to adhere to a limit of attendees before things start to get dicey. There is a reason why elevators have max weights, and rollercoasters have height restrictions. Some mechanisms aren’t built to handle just any type of load, and a website is no different. Once traffic on a website has reached its limit, the speed will start to be affected.
put simply, the more visitors, the slower the website. Naturally, there are ways around this. You can upgrade your website’s hosting package so that it can better accompany large groups of traffic. However, like plants, not all websites need the same things. Some plants don’t need as much sunlight as other plants may do, and some websites don’t need as much bandwidth as others. Your small local business does not need the bandwidth of, say, Amazon. Though, they may come a time, when your business grows, so will the traffic on your website. That’s when you’ll need to make the upgrade to avoid the pitfall of a slow website.
Keep reading: The pitfalls of a cheap website build »
Large media files
Media files, such as images and videos, tend to be quite large, and for some websites—for example, eCommerce websites—they may require more media files than others. Solution? Optimising files through compression can help to decrease their size and, therefore, improve your loading speed. There are various free online tools or website plugins you can use to compress media files. For compressing videos it’s a little bit trickier, so it’s usually better to host them externally on YouTube or another platform instead. You can do this by easily embedding videos on YouTube on pages or posts.
Plugins are weighing your website down
Speaking of plugins, there is such a thing as having too many plugins. Look, it’s easy to fall in love with website plugins, they’re designed to make website building easier without needing to know to code. It’s like ordering all those cool gadgets off the shopping channel. But you know, too much of anything is usually bad a thing, and this applies to overburdening your website with plugins.
Having too many plugins—or even a few very bulky ones—can weigh your website down and cause poor performance. Apply some spring cleaning to the situation. If you never wear that sweater that gathers dust in your wardrobe, get rid of it. Do the same for your website by completely removing any plugins you’re not using to free up your website.
Excessive flash content
While Flash is useful for boosting the interactivity of a website, it can also slow down website load speeds. Yes, I know you want to show off to your visitors that animated banner on your homepage, but you may need to tone down the lights on them. Flash content tends to be heavier, and more of it will obviously impact the speed of website functions. If possible, reduce the size of the Flash files or eliminate them.
Few things are denser than the code that actually creates your website. Take, for example, Facebook, which is built on approx. 62 million lines of code. Google has 2 billion lines of code. Unless a website has the resources to ship and execute dense, extensive code, it will slow down because of the dense, extensive code. Not every website can be or needed to be a Facebook or a Google. Solution? I am going to give you the same advice my parents told me as a child, “clean up your room”. Well… close enough. Clean up your code. Get rid of excess white spaces, inline stylings, empty new lines, and unnecessary comments.
At this point, you already know that everything mentioned above will have a negative effect on page load speed. The power is in your hands to speed up the hands of time on your website. Still not sure why you’re website is performing slow? Don’t worry, we’ve helped various clients improve the performance of their websites.
Get in touch with our team if you would like to find out how we can help you and your business.
We also run a Digital Marketing Course that teaches you other ways to improve your website’s online presence. Book your place for the upcoming course here ».