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Website Load Time

Why is my website loading slowly?

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Now that you’ve determined your website is loading slowly, it’s critical that you fix the problem as soon as possible. When your website load time is not up to scratch, your search rankings and conversion rate are effected and as a results of this your bottom line will probably take a hit. It seems crazy, but it has been proven time and time again that a tiny improvement in load time can make a huge difference to revenue. Most of the business websites suffering due to load time have a lot in common. Here are 4 probable reasons why your website is loading slowly.

1. Too many files are required to load your website

Every file on your website to enhance design or add custom functionality is going to be detrimental to load time. As they say on The Biggest Loser, “It’s time to cut the fat.” You need to go through your website and delete anything which is not adding value to the experience of the user. If it doesn’t help them do what they came to do on your website, it doesn’t stay. WordPress users are going to find yourselves deleting all of the plugins which seemed like a good idea at the time but were never actually used constructively. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

2. Your images aren’t optimised for web

Not everyone knows this but there is actually a whole bunch of information sitting inside of your image files which doesn’t have to be there for users on your website. Let’s cut this fat too. Open your image in Photoshop and use the “Save for Web & Devices” feature under File.

Now, the other mistake people make with images on their website that results in crappy load time is uploading an image larger than it needs to be and then resizing it on the page. All that does is waste your resources, your visitor’s time and there is literally no excuse I can think of that justifies it. Why do it? You need to figure out the size the image should be on the page and then use Photoshop to make sure your file is the right size before you save and upload it. Simple.

3. You need to ‘Minify’ your code

Most web developers chuck all sorts of unnecessary spacing into their code to makes it easier to read as a human. Thing is, browsers don’t give a shit about your spacing when they display the website. All it does is give them more to load without benefiting the user. Before you upload HTML, CSS or Javascript files, take out anything that you did to make your life easier while coding that won’t help the user. Plus, when there are no spaces in your code it will look more like The Matrix when you scroll really fast.

4. You’re not using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

You need to be using a CDN like CloudFlare. I’m not going to get into the details of how this works, I’ll just give you a little overview. When you’re using a CDN and a user loads your page, the static files on your website will be loaded from the closest server in the network of that particular CDN, while dynamic content is loaded from your web server as per usual. There are countless case studies out there about how businesses have increased their conversion rates and revenue by using a CDN to supercharge their load time. So if you’re not using one, start.

What am I meant to take from this?

Firstly, congratulations for being so keen on fixing the issue that you read this entire post – you’re on your way. Secondly, what you should understand is that it all comes back to user experience with load time. If you’re reading this post you are probably giving users things they don’t need, or you are not not using a logical system to give them what they do need. If you were to go through this post again and roll out these changes to your website, you would be sure to see a dramatic improvement in load time. This should equal more traffic (due to SEO benefits of fast load time), conversions and money in your pocket simply because you took the time to do a bit of research. Give yourself a pat on the back.

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