2 Negative Affects Of A Slow Website And How To Fix It.
Building a website can be an exercise in frustration.
It’s a bit like keeping a bunch of plates spinning all at once – if you miss just one, everything’s going to fall apart.
While you’re probably good at managing your keywords and keeping your content up to date, you might feel a little less secure with what’s going on with the technology behind your site.
One simple tech problem that many sites encounter is slow loading. You may ask yourself, though, what the real problem is with a slow site.
Negative Affect #1
Users hate slow websites!
While you might’ve felt fine waiting a minute or two for a site to load back in the old 14.4kbps days, most users will leave a site if it takes more than two seconds to load.
This is called bounce rate, and it’s something that you need to be aware of.
In addition to bounce, you also need to realize that slow sites make for an awful user experience.
This means less repeat business, and less of a chance for your site to climb in the search rankings.
Negative Affect #2
Beyond the human factor, there’s also the fact that a slow site will destroy your internet search rankings.
While Google usually plays most things close to the chest, they’ve been very clear about the fact that they remove slow sites from the top of their search rankings.
Google’s been quickly moving towards making user experience one of their most important metrics, and a slow site is one thing they know users hate.
Your SEO goals will be tanked if you have a slow site.
Where Do You Start?
The good news is that your slowdown might not have anything to do with your site.
You might not have a great local internet connection – and that’s going to make your experience terrible no matter how you optimize your site.
A great way to determine whether or not your connection is a problem is to visit www.Pingdom.com to test your site.
Use the location option to test your ping and determine whether your internet connection is to blame.
Once you’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to start problem solving.
In reality, there are a whole host of issues that can plague your website – and if you can’t rule them out one by one, you’ll be in for a bad time.
The easiest way to deal with a slow site is to look at the most common problems first.
We can start with the most common problems, and work our way up.
For most, these three issues will end up being the cost of most likely culprits for slowdown:
Big Images, Big Problems
So, you’ve got images on your site. That’s great!
Images help to make your site pop, they keep visitors around and they’re amazing for your search rankings.
Unfortunately, they can also slow down your site significantly.
This usually has less to do with the image you choose, and more to do with the size of the image.
As awful as the metaphor is, you can think of the internet as a series of pipes for just this situation.
If you’re trying to shove something big down the pipe – in this case, a sizable image – things are going to move more slowly.
Fortunately, you can speed things up a bit by reducing the size of your image.
Simply change your .png files to a .gif or .jpg files in order to save some size and reduce your loading times.
Heavy Code, Heavy Load
How’s your website coded?
If you’re an average website owner, you might be giving the screen a blank look right now – and that’s fine.
This is a question for the most tech-savvy among website administrators, and one that your gurus should be able to answer.
If your website loads slowly, it might be the fault of particularly heavy code.
Unfortunately, this probably isn’t a problem that could be fixed with just a few clicks – you’re looking at (possibly serious) code optimization to fix your problem here.
The good news is that better code is never a problem, so you’ll probably be saving yourself some trouble down the road.
Another unfortunate truth is that your website’s loading speed really might be out of your hands.
If you’re using shared or virtual hosting, a major determining factor of your loading speed will be on the host’s end.
If your website bounce times are bringing your ratings down, you’ll need to find a better solution.
Dedicated hosting is the best way to get more out of your website’s speed, and a great solution that will provide you with a whole host of other benefits.