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The internet is now far more advanced than when the technology first became available. In the beginning, users would have to wait minutes for basic pages with just a little text to load. Nowadays, the internet allows us to open complex web pages packed with information and other features, while we can also share large files easily.
However, while internet speeds have improved considerably overall, that is not to say some websites will load slowly by today’s standards. There are numerous potential reasons which could be down to the website itself or other internet-related factors.
This article takes a closer look at website speeds and how to fix some issues, whether you’re a website owner or a browser.
How important is my website speed?
Slow website speeds aren’t good for anybody. Slow loading is frustrating for the user and can also have a negative impact on a website’s performance in the short and long term.
Here are a few reasons why it’s important to have good website speed.
- Positive user experience
Faster website speeds not only maintain the customer’s interest but can also influence user experience positively. Slow website speeds, on the other hand, will never boost user experience, making visitors less likely to return.
- Affects SEO Performance
High-speed websites are ranked higher than slow websites. This is because Google wants its users to have the best possible experience, so fast websites are given priority over slower sites. Higher rankings on Google mean lots of good-quality traffic coming your way.
- Increases profit
Faster loading websites means more people will stick around and browse your website. The longer people stay, the more likely they are to buy, helping to boost your online profits.
- Boosts brand loyalty
When people continue to get good service from a company, they become loyal to that brand. Brand loyalty means long-term customers that will help your business prosper.
How to Test Your Website Speed?
If you think a website is running slowly, you can analyze the website to see how well it is performing. Not only can such tools reveal a website has speed problems, but some can also suggest ways to fix issues.
Here’s a selection of some of the most popular.
- Pingdom: This tool tests a website’s page size, performance grade, load time, and location.
- Google Pagespeed Insight: This tool will not only measure the speed of a website, but it will also offer suggestions to make the site faster.
- GTMetrix: A popular tool that will analyze a website’s performance and reveals opportunities to make it faster.
- Uptrends: This tool offers an in-depth look into website performance that helps you keep everything running as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Above is just a small selection of the tools you can use to check how faster your website is loading. While these tools are ideal for monitoring website performance, there are other tools that will help you measure how fast your internet connection is. Perhaps even better, most of these online tools are free to use, including –
What Affects Website speed?
Websites can be slow for numerous reasons, some of which are beyond your control, while others are easier to address. Understanding what causes a slow website can help you get to the root of the problem, letting you fix it.
- Web hosting
Fast web hosting plans are necessary for fast loading speeds. It’s a good idea to research a potential host before choosing one to ensure your website loads quickly.
- File image and video size
Large images and other media will take a long time to load. Having many images on a web page will also cause it to load slower.
Outdated browsers may not have the functionality to handle fast internet speeds, potentially resulting in slow loading times.
Hotlinking involves linking to sources like images on other websites. If a site you link to is slow, it can cause your pages to load slower. Instead, using your own images for faster loading speeds is better.
Your cache is a storage area containing details of previous websites you’ve visited. While the cache will usually help websites load faster, it can cause the opposite if it becomes full.
Redirections on a website usually slow down the DNS load-up time. With that in mind, you should avoid using redirections unless necessary.
Loading webpages will be slow if you do not have a content delivery/ distribution network server.
How to Improve Your Website Speed?
While slow websites can be frustrating and potentially affect your company’s fortunes, the problem can often be fixed or even avoided altogether. Here are some of the most common solutions that will help ensure your website loads quickly.
- Compress images, files, and video size
Compressing files will make them smaller, meaning it takes less time for them to load. A variety of file compression tools are available to help.
- Use CDN
The network server ensures website pages load faster. So, make sure you enable CDN to handle all the online traffic.
- Optimize database
Optimizing your database improves efficient web hosting. Website pages load faster for a small database, for instance, and vice versa.
- Remove redirects
Any redirect will delay website page requests. Therefore, it’s best not to have any redirects unless absolutely necessary.
- Cache webpages
Emptying your cache will often help you reach fast internet speeds. It’s also very easy to do and takes just a few moments.
- Update browser
Most outdated browsers might not match advanced web pages. So, use advanced and updated web browsers to boost performance.
A web page should ideally load within a second or two. Otherwise, the owner risks their website losing visibility and many visitors giving up and leaving.
In many cases, an issue can be resolved easily and in just a few moments. However, at other times the solution can be more complex, or even out of your control. Regardless, if your website is running slow, the first thing you need to do is diagnose the problem. Once you know what the problem is, you can set about fixing it.
If you are having issues improving your website speed, get in touch with the team at Phoenix Media for a quotation today.