Owning a fast website can be the difference between making a sale and losing one. However, speed itself isn’t straightforward. Many factors can influence your site’s speed, and it’s constantly changing.
Depending on which tool you use to test your website will determine which factors are ranked to provide your site’s score, and this can vary depending on the time of day. In this piece, we explore several factors that kill website speed.
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Things that kill website speed
Your site’s speed is determined by several factors, as explored below. It’s also worth noting that you may have to balance the want for features and functionality with your need for speed.
Widgets and plugins
While widgets and plugins offer extensive functionality to websites, they come with a performance burden that hinders speed. Even the smallest of addons can increase load times by seconds, and those seconds count when it comes to engagement.
Solution: Reduce your reliance on widgets and plugins by determining which are the most important. You can also work with your web designer or agency to produce custom features with less bloat to achieve additional functionality.
With more than 1.8 billion websites online in 2021, the hosting space is massively overcrowded, and the demand for a cost-effective solution is on the rise. But the desire for lower costs can also come with a cost. Hosting companies provide a less than ideal service to meet the demands of consumers, often filling servers to their limit and compromising performance in the process.
Solution: Invest time and money into researching a high-quality hosting company that can provide you with tiered options based on your requirements. Good hosting isn’t cheap, so it’s worth noting that if you’re looking for performance and speed, you’ll need to be willing to pay for it. Find out more about the different hosting options.
Third-party ads and tracking
Third-party tracking tools, such as HotJar, can add additional bloat to your website, which in turn can slow loading times as these systems fire up. If your site allows for ads, these can also negatively impact performance.
Solution: Reduce your reliance on ads for revenue and review your tracking tools to determine which provide the most value.
Additional fonts, high-quality images and videos can often have large files sizes, which means they take longer to load and can further contribute to slower loading times. While impactful, creative design is vital for a good user experience and conversions, if the site is too slow to load, you risk losing users before they even see the good design.
Each redirect generates another request for users and can slow down your site’s load time or prevent the page from being presented altogether.
Solution: Work with an SEO expert to cull your redirects, ensuring there’s only one request per page and removing any that aren’t getting any hits or are no longer relevant.
Website speed is a tricky topic. Work closely with your web partner to determine what steps you can take to optimise your site’s performance and what good looks like for you.
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