Is My Website Slow?

We often hear that websites should be fast-loading. But how fast is fast, and how slow is slow? And if your website is slow, how can it be sped up?

Determining Website Speed

The first step in this process is to determine how long your website takes to load. Of course, websites load at different speeds depending on the type of internet connection. So, what you can do is take note of file sizes. However, this can be quite difficult to do if you have a webpage which has lots of embedded images and dynamic content.

Fortunately, there is a free tool which will do all of the calculations for you and give you load times on different connections. Click here to assess your website’s load time. (This tool is located at Simply input your url and press submit.

 When the analysis is complete, you will see a page which give you a full assessment of your website, as well as tips on how you can improve it.

Improving Website Speed

Now that you know the size of your website, and which elements are causing the greatest delay when loading the pages, you can start to optimize your website. Below are a list of tips which can help reduce load time.

  • Minimize Whitespace -Take a look at the source code of your pages. Do not neglect CSS, JavaScript or dynamic pages. Without modifying any of the code, just delete excess space between the lines. You can also do a simple Google search to find free scripts which will reduce the whitespace for you.
  • Optimize Images – For most websites, images represent the biggest contribution to load time. As a result, optimizing images can dramatically improve the speed of a website. A few ways to optimize images include: reducing image quality, resizing images, using CSS instead of graphics where appropriate, or tiling repetitive backgrounds.
  • Use External CSS FilesCSS, aka Cascading Style Sheets – should be used to help avoid repeating style information. Often, most editing programs, will place any style information within the head of a page. And in a website, where most pages might share the same style information, it is a good idea to keep all style information in an external file. This way, the style information is loaded once and then all subsequent pages will load more quickly.
  • Use External Scripts – Similar to the above case, it is a good idea to avoid including any JavaScript or dynamic coding within a file, especially if this same information will be included in another file. Instead, the code can be put in an external document and then referenced by all pages which need it.


Of course, if your website needs to contain lots of high quality images, or if you plan on doing some resource intensive database query, then it is not realistic for you to achieve the recommended load times. In that case, you should compare your website with other sites in your industry to get an idea of the typical load speeds that you can and need to achieve.

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