So, you’ve built a beautiful website. Everything seems to be working, but whenever you navigate to the site or click on a page, it takes more than a few seconds to load. Why is this a problem? Well, Google sees a slow loading speed as a poor user experience (UX), and this negatively affects your SEO ranking. It also doesn’t do your conversion rates any good.
Here are the top 3 culprits of slow site speed and how to fix them:
- Files too large.
If your images are too large, use TinyPNG to compress any them.
CSS sprites are also really nifty tools when it comes to image optimisation, because you can use them to combine images together so that they load at the same time. This means fewer HTTP requests and less loading time.
- Grumpy Database
As websites age and accumulate data, they begin to degrade and slow down. This is especially true of complex websites, like ecommerce sites, where missing or shoddy data can really cause a lag.
Make sure that your databases are optimised for the site you are running. Use scripts and statistics to see if there are any missing indexes, as this can hamper SQL queries and affect the performance of the whole site.
It’s also important to monitor and manage the growth of the data on the site over time, and fix as you go along, so that issues don’t overwhelm it and cause bigger problems.
- Bad Code
Sometimes bad code happens, but it really can trash your site’s performance and affect the UX. Keep it neat and clean, this will go a long way in eliminating problems.
Comb through the code and fix any syntax, tag or doc-type errors. Check that your elements are nested properly, and that your styling has been correctly applied.
Tidy it up and remove any comments, whitespace, unnecessary characters or code that isn’t being used. Some great DIY tools are YUI YUI Compressor, CSS minifier or Refresh SF.
Having a site that performs well really is pivotal to a great UX. If you’ve tried all of the above and still have problems, get a second opinion. It really is worth it.
Not sure whether your site is too slow? Take this free site speed test