Small Business Brief

Marketing, Technology & Software

The Need for Speed: 10 Reasons Why Your Business Webpages Load Slowly

Did you know the average shopper will leave your website within 10-20 seconds? And what’s even more shocking: they’ll leave your website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. A slow website can be the ultimate deathblow to your business—whether it be online or offline.

Do your webpages load slowly? Not sure why this happens, or what you can do about it?  Here are 10 reasons why your business webpages load slowly, and what you can do to fight back and convince your customers to keep coming back.

You Haven’t Optimized Your Images

Did you know that unoptimized images can be one of the biggest contributors to slow webpage loading? That’s because high-resolution images consume a ton of bandwidth while loading. Scaling down large images often increases the size of your webpage, which will cause the overall site to load at a slower speed.

File type and image format is another big contributor to webpage loading. PNG and GIF are larger image types, so they’ll slow down your website. JPEGs, on the other hand, are much smaller so they’ll make your webpage load faster.

To optimize your website, check all the file sizes of your images. If you have files bigger than 1MB, get rid of them. Aim to use JPEG over PNG, and make sure any images you include on your site are optimized.

You’ve Got the JavaScript Issues

Javascript, when used correctly, can add a lot of cool dynamic content to your website. But it can and will wreck your website’s page loading speed if implemented incorrectly. That’s because JavaScript takes a while to be loaded, interpreted and executed.

If you’ve got multiple API calls to render that JavaScript data, chances are you’ll run into delay issues. So, if you’ve got a lot of JavaScript plugins going on, make sure to do a quick audit of them. Determine what you need and don’t need and remove any unnecessary plugins.

Also, try to make sure they’re loading asynchronously, and consider any tools that will let you run a single script for your JavaScript plugins.

You’ve Got Too Much Flash Content

Are you a fan of flash content? While it’s a great way to make your website more interactive, it’s also a big detractor to overall website page loading. That’s because flash content files are big and bulky, which slows down the overall speed of your site.

If you do have flash content, you should try to remove as much of it as possible, or at the very least, reduce the size of those files. Alternatively, HTML5 alternatives to flash are a great way to make your website interactive without compromising on page loading.

Your Code Is Messy

An unclean code can greatly harm the speed of your website. Simple issues like inline styling, white space, and empty lines can cause your website stylesheet to grow in size, and then tank page loading.  By cleaning up these messy issues and removing any unnecessary components, you can compress your code and reduce the size of the website stylesheet.

What’s great about cleaning your code is that it can also improve your website’s SEO performance.  And if you’re not comfortable with coding yourself, there are many tools you can use to clean up and reduce your CSS stylesheets.

You Have Too Many Social Media Scripts

Social media sharing is a great thing when it doesn’t impact your website’s performance. But if you have too many social media scripts on your website, you can kill your website’s performance. So it’s best to limit your use of social media scripts for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or whenever you want readers to share your content.

Instead, try to cut back on when and where you include these scripts. Chances are you don’t need them on every page. By taking a focused approach to your social scripts, you can empower readers to share without killing your website’s speed.

You Have a Bad Web Hosting Service

Your web host service provider can make or break your website’s overall performance. So, if you’re experiencing issues and are unable to fix them on your own, you should look into your provider. Chances are your current hosting provider doesn’t offer the performance optimization services you need.

Confused about web hosting services? Find out more about shared hosting and what options you have.

Webpages Load Slowly Because You’ve Got Too Much Traffic

Have you experienced an influx of visitors to your website? Well, it’s possible your poor web performance is because your website doesn’t know how to handle that kind of traffic. Your server, unsure what to do, is unable to handle all the requests and slows down as a result.

The last thing you want is to lose new customers because your website can’t handle everyone visiting your site. By optimizing your content delivery, streamlining your site design, and accounting for higher traffic, you can better prepare your site for these scenarios.

You’re Far from Your Server

Are most of your site visitors from another country? If no, you may be experiencing loading issues because of the location of your server. That’s because when someone clicks on your website from far away, the information has to travel across the server to load the content.

To see if your server is in a prime location, determine where most of your traffic comes. And then consider moving your server based on that so you can accommodate your website’s traffic.  By doing this, you can greatly improve your website’s performance.

You’re Using Outdated CMS

Your CMS can greatly impact the overall loading speed of your website. So, if you’ve yet to update your software, chances are your website’s not operating at its fullest capacity.

So, if you see there’s an update available, update it immediately. Having the latest and greatest of your software and plugins will make your website load much faster.

You’re Not Caching

Caching is an important part of website loading. In basic terms, it lets you store frequently used data points, so you can speed up the data retrieval process. This keeps your server from having to do extra work and can drastically improve your website’s performance.

Final Thoughts on Improving Your Website Performance

When it comes to your business, time is money. If your webpages load slowly, you’ll drive customers away, and irreparably damage your business. But by catching these 10 issues and quickly addressing them, you can fix these problems and build a better website.

Did you find the information in this article helpful? Need more tips and tricks? Check out our business advice blog for greater insights!