Few things are worse for a website than downloads that are slower than a sloth. Having a sluggish website can have a dramatically negative impact on your business by decreasing your sales as well as lowering your search engine optimization (SEO) and Google rankings.
Simply put, it’s not a good look when you connect your website links to your social media accounts if the former is slow to download. According to Relevance, a leading expert digital marketing and PR firm, 2/3 of adults in the United States scroll through their social media feeds at least once a day.
When a new follower comes across your page and wants to find out more information about you, he or she will not likely wait for a slow-loading page. Say goodbye to those new followers.
If you haven’t done a proper analysis of your website, and it might be moving slowly onto visitors’ screens, now’s the time to find out what could be causing that. Run your website through Google’s PageSpeed Insights to learn your overall score.
They’ll list some of the main issues that are causing your site to run slowly, and can even provide specifics on what you should do to improve your score. Here are five things we can tell you are probably slowing down your page, even before you run a page speed audit.
1. Your Photos Are Far Too Big
High-resolution photos will make your business stand out from your competitors. However, uploading them directly to your site will not necessarily do you any favors. Every photo needs to be optimized for the web.
This means minimizing the size of the files and ensuring you use the appropriate file types. For example, a PNG file is much larger than a JPEG, although a JPEG loses some of its resolution during compression.
Your photos should be no larger than 300 KB. To be clear, we are referring to the image file size, not the actual dimensions of the image. There are also plugins you can install that will help to compress your images.
This can be especially helpful if your website is already packed with hundreds of photos that are too large. A plugin can take care of all of it with the click of a button.
2. You Might Have Poorly Executed CSS
When you created your website, you might have inserted custom coding, or CSS, otherwise known as the code that governs the style of your web pages. This is primarily the case with website newbies when they try to embed certain details like social media feeds, a video from YouTube, or perhaps their podcast player.
If not executed properly, embedded codes can slow down a website considerably. Try to avoid adding excess coding or remove any you already have, especially if you don’t possess the know-how to implement it properly.
3. Your Website Is Too Big Overall
The size of your website doesn’t just involve the graphics, although they are often one of the biggest reasons a website can be too big in general. But several other factors can add to its size, including the website themes or plugins.
Too many bulky plugins, for example, not only weigh down your site and cause it to slow down, but they can actually cost you more money in the long run due to bandwidth overages.
4. You Might Want to Talk to Your Website Host
A fair amount of the time, the root cause that a website runs slow is attributable to the hosting service provider. Think of it as the place where your website lives.
The company that hosts your site should be working to optimize it on their end as well. If you’ve run a speed test on your website and have done everything possible to make it run faster but nothing is working, you should give your host provider a call.
As we said initially, nothing good can come from a slow website. If you don’t know what you’re doing and feel as if you are in way over your head, make an effort to talk with a professional to see how they can help.