Having a slow website is like having B.O. No-one will ever tell you.
You need to test it yourself. You can do that in 17 seconds by using simulators that tell you how fast your site loads in different browsers in different locations. Test sites even tell you why your site is slow and how to fix the issues they find.
It might be time to test now before you lose any more prospects.
Is Your Site Letting You Down?
Most websites are like people. When sites are new, they are young and sprightly with no fat, so they start offloading quickly. As get older they get fatter as the owner installs more plugins and the hosting computer can no longer cope with the load.
You can fix most issues yourself in a day.
1. Bad Hosting
One of the reasons your site is slow is lousy hosting.
Perhaps you clicked on one of the affiliate ads that so many bloggers litter their sites. Some of the best known hosting providers have low customer retention figures because their service is so poor.
You might have taken out a heavily discounted 36-month hosting contract and think you are stuck with it for another two years.
You can’t get your money back, but you can make your online assets perform better by moving them to a decent web host such as LCN.
If you have a WordPress site, LCN is an even better option, as shown in the screenshot below.
LCN is based in a small town in rural England, rather than the back-end of nowhere in the middle of a desert.
The company’s servers are fast, you can have a free SSL cert, and support staff are exceptional; and the price is similar to the less than satisfactory hosting you have currently.
2. Too Many Plugins
Plugins are like chips. Every one slows you down.
Test your site speed in its current conformation, then deactivate every plugin and retest.
Each plugin you activate adds more code to the server to process, so each page takes longer to load.
Can you do without any of your favorites? Look for a theme that includes the plugin’s features; that way your site will be faster because your code is cleaner.
Social and related post plugins are the worst offenders. Social, because they make many calls to external sites, and related posts because they need to search your internal databases so much.
Test different social media plugins and dispense with the related posts altogether; add links to similar posts manually.
If you want to do things the lazy way, then install Plugin Performance Profiler.
3. Slow Connections
Slow connections are a fact of life. Most people don’t have optical fiber connections.
You can make users’ lives easier in two ways; Use a content delivery network (CDN) and reduce the code on your page (See below.)
When you use a CDN, your site is copied onto that company’s servers, which are located around the world. The shorter distances between servers and users mean fewer connections, so pages appear faster on users’ screens.
4 & 5. Too Much Code
You can’t have too much clean code, but much website code is bloated. Free WordPress plugins and themes are especially bad in this regard, and this alone is a reason to choose premium over free.
Images are essential, but the extra data increases page loading time unless you compress them. Use Smush Image Compression and Optimization or EWWW Image Optimizer. Try both and test your website from a user’s perspective because these two plugins have entirely different compression techniques.
Long Story Short
Most websites are slower than they could be, but the issues are quickly addressed, and without any cost except for finding a better host.
Even the hosting cost is minimal compared to the traffic you are losing by staying with a poor host.
- Uninstall a few plugins
- Optimize your site
- Install a CDN, because that lets you leverage whatever hosting plan you have
- Change hosting company
- If you have done all that, consider a VPS from your new host