8 Reasons Your Website Is Slow

With today’s high-speed internet connections and advances in web development techniques, there is no reason that your website should be slow. (Not sure if your website is slow? Click here for help on determining website speed.)

Here are 8 possible causes for slow-loading pages.

1. Unoptimized Images

This is usually the most common reason for slow websites; there are lots of images, all of which are full-size and uncropped. For information on optimizing your images, see our article 6 Ways To Optimize An Image.

2. Bad Web Hosting

Believe it or not, your website could be slow through no fault of your own. So, be wary when choosing shared hosting packages.

3. Use of Server-Intensive Dynamic Scripts

Dynamic websites, such as those that generate their pages from data stored in databases, are slower than simple HTML websites. And while the slight delay is not often noticed on small, low-traffic websites, it is often noticeable as a website increases in size and popularity. To remedy this situation, we suggest caching. Caching enables you to store copies of frequently accessed dynamic documents and allows files to be accessed more quickly.

4. No Compression of Web Pages

Another way to speed up your website is to compress your pages. See our article How To Compress Your Pages With GZIP And PHP for more information.

5. Too Much Flash

Flash is a great tool for adding interactivity or animation to a website. However, flash is also very bulky and causes websites to load slowly. So when creating your flash applications, be sure to be conscious of file size. One way to do this is by using XML to load sequences of external data.

6. Bulky Code

Another common culprit is bulky code. The larger the file size of each document, the longer it will take to load. Some ways to make your filesizes smaller is by:

  1. removing unnecessary whitespace
  2. avoiding inline styles
  3. using external CSS & JavaScript documents
  4. opting for a CSS/DIV based layout, instead of a table-based layout
  5. writing efficient code and using CSS shortcuts

7. External Embedded Media

Ever wondered why many MySpace pages load very slowly? Well, this is a good example of why using external media is often a bad idea. If you add external videos, slideshows, etc… to your website, your website will be only as fast as the external website. So if some external website is having a slow day, so will yours. If possible, try to host all content on your own server.

8. SPAM

Last, but not least, excessive spam could be slowing your website down. If you suspect this is the case, try spam proofing all web forms by adding captchas or other deterrents. If email spam is the problem, install and configure a spam blocker.

 

For more information on making your website faster, see our article 32 Ways To Spped Up Your Website.

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6 Responses to “8 Reasons Your Website Is Slow”

  • Randal Oulton February 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Re: removing unnecessary whitespace

    See this page:

    http://nadeausoftware.com/articles/2007/03/don_t_use_html_white_space_removal_speed_web_site

    These people seem to have done detailed analysis of that recommendation, and seem to have concluded it’s really not worth doing.

    Not saying they’re right, just pointing out an opposing statement into which some work seems to have been put.

    • Velvet Blues February 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks for the link. And I agree with that viewpoint. When compared with other methods, the savings are small. That is why there are several methods that I listed, and taken together, you can significantly reduce the overall page size.

      And while on fast connections, you won’t notice any appreciable difference, on slow connections you will. Many visitors to this website come from India, and other countries where the average user is on a dial-up connection.

      But if I were to give someone one suggestion for optimizing their website, I’d tell them to start with their images.

      Thanks for visiting. :-)

  • JohnD April 23, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    I had recent experience with this issue when I noticed consistent feedback from the US that our new site was slow. I tried most the above which made a difference but the big improvement came when I added aptimize to my web server and the difference is amazing

    I guess I had never thought of our website downloading slower in other countries and we were lucky our customers mentioned this when our site was new.

  • sunnybear September 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    There is a tool to do all this automatically – Web Optimizer, http://code.google.com/p/web-optimizator/ . All the bulky code, unnecessary requests and not-gzipped content chunks are removed.

  • Jack July 13, 2011 at 8:04 am

    No wonder one of my TV Streaming website is getting slower to load.

    I had 3,000 + posts already. That’s 3,000+ external embeds.

    No wonder.

    Thanks man.

  • ozibite February 21, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Thank for your article. I agree with SPAM protection such as captcha. My previous website got block by google and I have to request them for a consideration. Now all my online forms got captcha. I’m in peace don’t need to worry with strange bots.

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