This week I have been inundated with websites needing tech support because their owners were at their whits end. The sad fact of the matter is the stress could have been avoided.
Most common reasons for slow websites:-
- Way too many plugins!
- Try to keep your plugins to bare essentials, anything over 10 is getting extreme for most websites
- Remember each plugin takes up space on your server
- They use bandwidth
- Can increase your CPU usage
- Cause your website to go not only slow but also some hosts will deactivate your website if you keep using your allocated limits for your account.
- Plugins Outdated
- Always manually double check from the developers page if your plugins are the latest version. Auto updates if you have forgotten to pay your license or if not available will not show in your back end of WordPress so don’t rely on these for a notification.
- Themes Outdated
- Not only can this cause issues but can cause security issues as well
- Too many Themes
- Remember to always delete themes when you no longer need them
- WP outdated
- Backups stored on your server
- Ensure your backups are stored on a remote location NOT your server. If you have issues with your host you can easily move, but also you will free up valuable space on your server.
- Large Email Accounts
- Large email files stored on your server, don’t forget to regularly clean out your emails direct from your server
- Too many images, or images that are large files sizes
- Hosting videos or audio on your website and not a hosting platform
- Hosting large documents like workbooks, PDF’s etc.
- Ad’s !!!
- Always test your website speed with and without ads activated. Most ad networks will advise you that their ads do not slow down a website however when we tested and provided results this week to one particular network we were greeted with a nasty reply “Well do you want to make money or not!!” In this particular case not one speed tester online could pull results due to when ads were activated the site was basically non responsive! (when turned off the speed was around the 10 seconds mark), there had also been a lot of complaints from readers that they could not access blog posts and that pages were not loading.
- Big point to consider:- Is the ads worth losing your audience? And without your audience will you still make the same amount of money?
- Ad’s which auto play videos and flash ads are the worse.
- Your host
- If you have checked everything else on your website check to see if it is your host that is providing slow connection to your website.
- Check you haven’t used your allocated allowances
- Check you haven’t got 10 test websites sitting on your server (you will be surprised how many website installations I find on slow websites troubleshooting! If you don’t need it anymore then remove them)
- Is your host doing backups for your website and saving them on your server space?
- Is your host doing maintenance or currently working on your server?
Testing your website
Below are a few websites you can use to test your website speed and assess areas you need to fix (remember though different tools will give different results so use as a guide to fix commonly flagged areas of your site):-
Website Grader is powered by Hubpot, you need to enter your URL and email address and Website Grader will provide you with a report grading you out of 100.
It assesses the following 4 areas
Performance out of 30
In performance they test:-
- Page Size – The heavier the site the slower it will load
- Page Requests – the more HTTP request the website makes the slower the website will be
- Page Speed – how quick it takes for your website to load
- Browser Caching – speeds up your website
- Page Redirects – limiting page redirects speeds up your website
- Render Blocking
Mobile out of 30
Tests if your website is mobile responsive and your view port width.
SEO out of 30
- Page Titles – Not longer the 70 characters
- Meta Descriptions – Not longer then 155 characters
Security out of 10
Checks if your website has SSL certificate
At the end of the report it goes through what you can do to increase your score.
Provides you with a score for a range of areas from A through to F. Each section has a drop down that allows you to see exact issues and if you are able to fix them.
- Performance Grade out of 100,
- Number of Requests
- Load Time
- Page Size
Page Speed Insights gives you a report for both Mobile and Desktop website versions.
It tests two areas:-
- Speed out of 100
- User Experience out of 100
Each section also provides you with tips to improve your score.
Would love to know in the comments below –
How often do you test your websites speed?