The Influencing Factors of Website Speed
We see a LOT of wordpress ‘experts’ installing plugins to speed up websites. But the process of adding more plugins only slows websites down.
Here is a list of the top influencing factors that will slow your website down.
- Server Performance
- It is common for business owners to opt for an entry-level ‘shared’ server without considering what it means. Shared can mean 1000s of websites on a single server chewing up resources that you need to serve your pages to your customers. Finding a more responsive hosting solution can solve many speed issues.
- Server Location
- If the majority of your customers are in a single country, why host your website in another country? Remember it takes time for data to travel around the world. The shorter the distance the quicker your site will be. This can be 1-2 seconds, particuarly for Australia.
- Platform (CMS)
- We love the mainstream CMS and eCommerce platforms (like WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and BigCommerce). But, in the wrong hands these platforms can be badly configured. They can become bloated with too much code and more features than you need.
- This is an oldie, but a common cause of slow websites. Optimise your images for their use on the site – don’t just upload from your phone or camera without addressing size and weight. Reduce your images to under 2000px as a starting point. Size them exactly if you can. And, use compression to further reduce file size.
- Your website shouldn’t need a complex set of plugins to run efficiently. More plugins = more code = more load time. Remove unnecessary plugins and extensions to significantly increase website speed.
- Most websites today use a database to deliver content. However, in high traffic or high-load situations your database can suffer load stress and stop delivering content as quickly as it should. There are ways to address this and it usually comes done to server configuration and scaleabilty.
- Websites can be coded in an infinite number of ways – some efficient, some not so much. Find good developers, not plugeriners. Here’s a clue – bad coders use off-the-shelf themes and lots of plugins.
- Traffic volume can play a significant role in site speed. For example, if you are launching an advertising campaign to increase traffic, don’t ignore the impact can have on your website. Sudden peaks in traffic, commonly caused by television coverage, can bring down your site. Be prepared and tell your hosting guys early.
- If you are redirecting from old to new pages, old-to-new domains or from SSL to non-SSL or vice-versa, this can add to your load time.