The website is at the core of your online marketing efforts. You most likely don’t need to be told that, of course. However, there are some problems that might be affecting your site that could have multiple sources, and figuring out the cause of the problem in an individual case may seem difficult. A slow-loading website is one such problem.

Online marketing efforts expanded

Page load speed on your website is a serious issue. If a user has to spend more than three seconds waiting for any page to load, they are exponentially more likely to close the page the further and further they get into the website. Here, we’re going to look at some of the causes of a slow website and what you can do about it.

Check how your server is performing

Everything that your website loads up for your visitors comes from the server first and foremost. The user opens the website on their browser, the browser pings the server, and the server sends over the data that the browser converts into a presentable website form. However, if a server is not performing properly, then this process is going to become slower. Check your server performance and, if it is consistently poor, then it may be time to look at switching your web host, or moving from a shared website server to a server specific to your needs.

The server is too far away

Even if a server is performing a-okay, there’s a chance that it’s still not delivering data fast enough to the user. When this happens, it’s usually because of the geographic location of the server. Switching web hosts could help you make sure that your server is close to your primary user base. However, if you want your website to be available internationally, then it may be worth looking into a content delivery network, which uses other servers to copy your website and make the closest one available to those who ping them for the site.

Your images aren’t optimized

A good website will make use of media to help it pop, including video and images. However, these assets often take longer to load than text and may slow down the page by some degree if they are not implemented correctly. Image file sizes can be big if they’re in certain formats such as HEIC. What is an HEIC file? It’s essentially the fault filetype for any photos taken on an iOS device, much higher quality but also comes with much larger file size. Ensure that you’re converting any overly large photos or media into more compressed options so that they don’t affect site load speeds too much.

Your JavaScript isn’t optimized

Just like images, JavaScript and jQuery plugins can take time to load if they are not implemented properly. If you want to optimize your site then you also need to ensure that you are optimizing your JavaScript to prevent bloat. This may mean removing some applications, but it may also mean working with someone who takes a look inside those applications and sees where they might offer the opportunity to reduce their code some.

Too many HTTP requests are being sent

For each different JavaScript script, CSS file, or image, an HTTP ping is getting sent to the server. As such, a page with many of these elements may not require only one ping, but several pings, and too many of these requests, especially in conjunction with high traffic numbers, can really reduce the load speed for the page. You can reduce the number of JavaScript, CSS, and image files on the page, or make use of CSS Sprites to reduce the overall number of requests and lessen the load on the server.

Out-of-date website builders

If your website has been built on any kind of content management system, such as WordSpace, WIx, or SquareSpace, then it is important to make sure that it is kept up to date as best as possible. Updates tend to address the little issues that slow a page down over time, so you should pay attention to any calls to update the CMS software that you are using. These updates can also be vital for closing any security loopholes, so they’re worth installing for more reasons than the page speed alone.

Aside from affecting the user experience of your site, slow page load also affects your SEO efforts. There are plenty of good reasons to troubleshoot a slow loading site and hopefully, these tips have given you somewhere to start.