Have you ever visited a website and had to spend some time waiting for the website to load? If so, what did you do? Did you want however long for the site to finish loading, or did you simply click back and go and try another website?
The chances are, that you gave up waiting, and if so, you are not alone. Slow loading websites are a major problem and if your own site is not loading up in less than 2-3 seconds, then the chances are, you visitors are also leaving and heading over to a competitor. Visitors to E-commerce websites are notorious for demanding fast loading pages, and if they are left waiting for more than 2 seconds, then you’ll most likely have lost them as a site visitor and also as a potential client.
There are many things that can cause websites to take an age to load such as the web host, the media being used on the website such as images and video, the quality of the sites code and much more.
In the age where everything is about being mobile, if your website takes more than a couple of seconds to load on a mobile device, then you are in trouble. People simply won’t hang around waiting for pages to load while they are out and on the go. They want information instantly, and aren’t going to wait for it.
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There are a number of reasons why you may have a slow loading website. It could be related to your current web host, your website platform, or whether or not any speed optimization has been carried out on your website.
If you want to test your web speed there are a number of free tools available online, such as GTMetrix, where you can enter the URL of your website and get it tested. Upon completion of the automatic testing, you’ll be presented with the results in an easy to understand way, and also be given a list of possible fixes that can help with certain aspects of your website.
One of the major factors that can influence the loading speed of a website is your host. If you are using a host with servers that offer a poor performance, then it is obvious that your loading time and general website performance will be affected by this.
There are hundreds of different web hosts available, so if you are aware that the most likely problem for your website’s sluggish performance is down to your host, then you need to consider moving the website somewhere else. FortuneLords is a great place to read about the best web hosts if you are on the lookout for a new one to host your site.
If you are planning to move to a different web host, then consider working with one that has servers based in your country. For example, if you were living in Australia, then it would be a good idea to find a host that has their servers physically based in Australia, and not somewhere halfway around the world.
This small detail of having the servers based in the same country as your website audience is one that can be very beneficial in terms of loading speeds. Though only a fraction of a second may not sound like a large amount of time, anything that can improve a websites performance in terms of loading speeds is vital, and that fraction of a second could be the difference between a potential client visiting and ordering from your website, or them leaving and going to one of your competitors.
Are you loading lots of huge images or videos on your website? If your media is not properly optimized, then this can add seconds to your loading times.
You will want to make sure that your images have been resized and then saved at optimal settings. What you want to avoid is using images that measure thousands of pixels in height and width and using these on your website. Using multiple images in sizes like this is going to cause a huge delay to your loading time, and you’ll see your visitors quickly disappear one after the other.
It is vital that the multi-media you are using on your website is properly optimized. Images need to be reduced in file size, as do videos. There is no point forcing your site visitors to load up a 4K video of your product that is 20 seconds long. They don’t need that quality, and certainly not the waiting time that it will bring. Video optimization is just as important and image optimization.
Another major factor in the speed of a website is how it was coded. There are lots of content management systems (CMS) that are very popular with users all over the world such as WordPress or Joomla. A lot of the time, people who use these will often install lots of plugins that can add various elements to the pages such as a contact form, or a gallery for images.
Many of these plugins are unnecessary and do nothing but bloat your code, and create longer loading times. Though plugins for WordPress are very useful, it’s important to limit how many, and which you install and use. There are some people who will install and use 20 or more of them. This is going to significantly increase the loading time of any website, regardless of the server or web host that you use.
This is why it’s important to run a number of tests on your website first to determine the main culprits. If the issues are poor coding or image optimization, then you’ll know that these are what need fixing, and not moving from one web host to another.
You’ll want your website to load as quickly as possible, on desktop and mobile devices, so you will need to spend some time fixing this. Though some of the things are easy to fix yourself, for the more technical aspects such as settings on the server, you might need to employ the help of a speed specialist, who can make the necessary adjustments and get your website loading in less than 2 seconds.