How often have you heard someone say they don’t want their site to load slowly? You probably cringe at having slow-loading pages if you’re anything like me.
Nowadays, it is common knowledge that websites should load within 2 seconds or less. Even Google has said that page speed matters. In fact, according to Google, a slow web page can cost you money per visitor.
So why does poor performance matter? Well, it affects your bottom line. The average time spent on a page is now about three seconds. Visitors will leave before seeing your content if your site takes longer than three seconds to load.
Like some business owners, you probably don’t realise that poor website performance is a real problem.
I’ve heard from clients and potential customers who have had their websites downgraded because they ignored their site speed.
Website performance refers to how well your website loads (loading time) or performs. This means whether it takes too long to load, crashes, or looks good enough to attract visitors. Poor website performance can cause lost sales, lower conversions, and lousy SEO rankings.
There are several reasons why your website might perform poorly. The main culprits include slow loading times, broken links, and outdated code. These issues can be caused by various things, such as server overload, malware, and lack of maintenance.
Why Is My Site Slow?
Building a website that can boast excellent web performance is not simple. That’s why customer experience and digital experience are not things you should take lightly.
A good user experience also involves your web developers implementing performance monitoring solutions to your site. They should perform various tests often to ensure that your website is quick to load and responsive to mobile user interaction. We call this web performance. Strive to eliminate any bad experiences on your website.
Web performance optimisation, aka website optimisation, is the practice of improving web performance.
Does your website suffer from a poor performance? Is your website experiencing prolonged loading, taking 20 seconds or longer to load? Are visitors leaving your site without taking the desired action? Does your website rank low on the search engines, even for your brand and business name?
Don’t lose hope if you answered yes to any of these questions.
You want to investigate and remedy that poor performance to rectify the situation. You need to pay attention to anything that can influence the performance improvement of your website.
The Main Reasons Websites Are Slow
The following are some of the main reasons why websites are slow.
1. Poorly Written Code
The first thing that comes to mind when we think about websites being slow is the code. If your website has poorly written code, it will take longer to load than well-written code. This is because poorly written code can cause the browser to do extra work interpreting what it needs to display.
Therefore, you need to speed up the load time of your website by fixing poorly written code. You may increase sales by tweaking settings, optimising your existing content, and cleaning up your code. Though broadband is now standard, it does not mean all your website visitors have this kind of internet speed. Even if they do, various factors can affect their connection speed.
2. Too Many Images
Another reason websites are slow is due to too many photos. Pictures are great, but they add weight to a page. When loading a page, the browser has to go through each image and determine whether or not it should be displayed. This takes time.
Show consideration for your visitors, especially your mobile phone users. Do not waste their data on random images, audio or video.
3. Not Optimised for Mobile Devices
In 2018, Google made page speed a ranking factor for mobile searches. Since then, they say that sites have become faster, and abandonment rates have reduced.
If you’re designing a website that isn’t optimised for mobile devices, it will take longer to load. Mobile device users don’t want to wait around while their site loads. They want to get where they’re going as fast as possible.
According to this Wikipedia article, faster website download speeds have helped increase visitor retention, loyalty and user satisfaction, especially for internet users with slow internet connections and mobile devices.
Fixing Common Problems That Cause Poor Website Performance
Here are some ways to fix common problems that cause poor website performance.
1. Your Website Speed
Web performance optimisation also leads to lower bounce rates and fewer data travelling across the web, lowering a website’s power consumption and environmental impact.Web performance optimisation, aka website optimisation, is the practice of improving web performance. Click To Tweet
Some factors that can affect the page load speed of your site include the following:
- browser caching/server cache
- image optimisation
Google encourages website owners and developers to put their target audience or users’ needs before anything else. Studies by Google show that users abandon a website that doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
2. Your Hosting Server
After you fine-tune your website, do you still get poor user experience issues? The cause could be your web host’s server load time. Choosing a hosting provider is a decision that you shouldn’t make carelessly.
A poor web host can ruin your performance, no matter how good your website is. Your web hosting provider and hosting plan can significantly impact your website’s slow performance.
This is because the speed, security, SEO and other aspects of your site are all affected by your web host!
It would help if you researched adequately to choose the right web hosting service provider for your needs and budget.
Ask around and get referrals before selecting your hosting provider. There are several kinds of hosting plans to consider. For example, shared hosting is a standard low-cost option where one server’s resources are shared among multiple users. To increase your website’s speed, look at hosting plans that provide SSDs.
Going for the cheapest hosting provider might be the costliest mistake you make. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine.
Please speak to your web host and let them enlighten you on their performance optimisation technique. Ask them about content delivery networks, HTTP 2, synthetic monitoring, etc. Request that they show you how to perform speed tests and access any online tools and reports that can help you improve your site’s performance.
Note: We no longer provide a website hosting service.
3. Creating Fresh Content
Before putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard, establish concrete objectives for your proposed content. Do your keyword research. This is vital, so don’t skip or overlook minor details like file sizes. Establish a schedule for your content. Ensure you establish your content’s role in your overall marketing strategy and constantly monitor your progress through your web analytics.
The saying that time is money is very true in your website performance. A slow load time on your website should be frowned upon. It would help if you used tools like Google Analytics to monitor your loading speed. Remember that even a 1-second delay in your website’s load time can lower your business’s revenue and traffic.
According to an article in Yottaa, an extra second of page load time reduces per-user revenue by 1.8%; two seconds reduces it by 4.3%, and 79% of shoppers dissatisfied with your website’s performance are less likely to buy; from your e-commerce website again!
The number one thing that visitors look for is new and valuable information. They are coming to your website to learn about your brand and its benefits. Thus, it is vital for the information on your website to be accurate, complete and up-to-date. The best way to achieve this is through your company blog posts.A poor web host can ruin your performance no matter how good your website is. Click To Tweet
4. Conversion Optimisation
Have you tweaked your website to receive the best download speeds? Are you hosting your website on fast and secure servers? Do you see any significant improvement in getting the desired results? If not, what then?
Then it would help if you focused on Search Engine Optimization and Conversion Optimization. SEO combined with Conversion Rate Optimization will help increase website leads and sales. It will help reduce your visitor “bounce rate”. All this without spending money on attracting more visitors.
According to this article, for every 1 second of improvement, they experienced a 2% increase in conversions. For every 100ms of progress, they grew incremental revenue by up to 1% Giants like Amazon, Shopzilla, Yahoo, AoI and Mozilla all did the same and made their results available. Amazon increased revenue by 1% for every 100ms of improvement (same as Walmart).
Avoiding Common Mistakes That Cause Poor Website Performance
They say prevention is better than cure. So it is better to avoid the common mistakes that cause poor website performance. The best way to avoid these mistakes is by focusing on your Core Web Vitals.
What are Core Web Vitals? According to this article, Core Web Vitals are three metrics that score a user’s experience loading a webpage. These metrics score how quickly page content loads, how quickly a browser loading a webpage can respond to a user’s input, and how unstable the content is as it loads in the browser.
Core Web Vitals comprises three specific page speed and user interaction measurements:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
According to this article, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is one of the three Core Web Vitals metrics, representing how quickly a web page’s primary content is loaded. LCP measures the time from when the user initiates loading the page until the largest image or text block is rendered within the viewport.
What is a good LCP Score? According to this article, a good score means that LCP should be less or equal to 2.5 seconds. The page will get a green score and pass the assessment.
If LCP is between 2.5 and 4.0 s, the score “needs improvements” will get an orange grade.
Suppose the LCP is more than 4 seconds. Then the score is “poor”, and you need to fix it as soon as possible.
How can you increase your LCP score? The same article mentioned above says that you need to do the following:
- Improve the Time to First Byte and Reduce Server Response Time
- Use a CDN
- Defer non-critical CSS, inline critical CSS, and remove unused internal or external CSS
- Minify CSS and JS files
- Optimize your image file
- Compress text files
- Use preload for critical assets
- Establish third-party connections early.
First Input Delay (FID)
What is a good FID score? According to web.dev, to provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have a First Input Delay of 100 milliseconds or less.
How can you improve your FID score? You need to implement the following to enhance your first input delay score: Source: https://blockthrough.com/blog/understanding-and-improving-first-input-delay-fid/
- Review any third-party code. Instruct your web developer to consider the on-demand loading of third-party code and prioritise the loading based on what users are likely to value most.
- Reduce JS execution time by reducing the time the browser will spend executing said code.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
According to this article, CLS measures a website’s instability. This measure determines whether a website behaves as the user expects it to. One of the most frustrating aspects of an unstable webpage is that the page’s content shifts as the user view it.
How can you improve your CLS score? Experts recommend always including width and height size attributes on your images and video elements to prevent cumulative layout shifts from images. UA stylesheets from the browser will then add a default aspect ratio based on the element’s width and height attributes.
According to this article, width and height attributes are your best friends when avoiding CLS issues. Using these attributes in the HTML markup helps the browser allocate enough space for the content in advance. This reduces layout shifts when that content appears on the page.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are quick answers to frequently asked questions on this topic.
What Can Affect Website Performance?
As mentioned above, some things that can affect your website performance are poorly written code, too many images/videos and not optimising for mobile devices.
What Causes Website Slowness?
According to this article, slow site speeds can result from network congestion, bandwidth throttling and restrictions, data discrimination and filtering, or content filtering. If you notice slow speeds when visiting your site, you can run a traceroute between your computer and your website to test the connection.
How Do You Fix Website Performance Issues?
How can you improve the performance of a website? Doing the following can help to fix website performance issues:
- Enable caching.
- Remove resource-hogging plugins and add-ons.
- Optimise and reduce the file size of your images.
- Minimise your code.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
In conclusion, optimising your website for speed is essential because it helps users navigate your site faster and increases conversion rates. Slow loading times can hurt your business by making it harder for visitors to find what they need. And while fixing these issues may seem daunting, there are plenty of ways to improve site speed without hiring a developer.
Focusing on these issues will eventually get your website working at optimum performance and bring in more sales.
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