We’re here today to discuss the factors affecting the loading speed of the website. No one loves sluggish websites right? If a site loads slower, people will move on to another one. Apparently, it increases the bounce rate and thereby decreases the revenue.
That’s why it is crucial to know the reasons behind the slow loading nature and the factors affecting it. There are a lot of factors affecting the website loading speed I can come up with. Still, 9 of them stand out as the most significant ones.
Factors Affecting Website Loading Time
Here are the nine factors that affect the loading speed of a website with the problem description and possible solution.
1. Web Hosting
Web hosting the main culprit which makes your site slow. People go with cheap shared hosting plan at the beginning. Every hosting provider throttles your website in a shared server if it overuses the resources. So, you have to keep an eye on the traffic. As the daily page hits increase, you need to move your site to a better server. And, don’t forget to analyze the specs like bandwidth limit when you any web hosting.
2. Size of the Files
The size of files getting displayed on a webpage has a significant role in the loading speed. The higher the size, the slower the page loads. Hence, the best practice is compressing the image before uploading it to your server (you can use compressnow). In order to improve the loading speed, even more, you can enable lazy loading for images. Always try to embed videos on your site after uploading them to sites like YouTube.
3. Number of HTTP Requests
We make HTTP or HTTPS requests to call external resources like scripts and styles. As the number of http(s) requests increase, your loading time also suffers. You can combine multiple scripts to make one. The same can be done for styles as well. In case you can’t combine them, try to use inline scripts. Another way is combining multiple images into one and calling those separately using CSS sprites. But make sure your combined file is less in size, else again if will show the huge effect on website loading speed.
4. Absence of a Content Delivery Network
CDN is one of the factors that affects website loading speed. Let’s say your website server is located in India. Then visitors from America find the site to load slower than those who visit from India. The importance of CDN kicks in here. A Content Delivery Network aka CDN has data centers all over the world. If your site uses CDN, it stores all the information locally in every data center. As a result, visitors see content from a nearer location, not from the original one.
5. Mediocre Coding
6. No Caching
Caching is the process of storing files locally for retrieving them faster in the future. If a browser has the cache of a website, it doesn’t make many requests to load it. We use cache for least modified content like images, external scripts, etc. And, the expiration header determines how long they should be available locally.
You can implement cache with a plugin given that your CMS is WordPress. From my experience, I found out WP Fastest Cache is the best.
7. Number of Redirections
Redirection is requesting a file which in return get rerouted to somewhere else rather than the requested location. Apparently, redirections negatively affect loading time. But you have to be careful about it because redirections like non-www to www are necessary. Go to Redirect Mapper. Find the number of redirections on your website. Find the purpose of each of them. Then remove if you find any non-essential ones.
8. Lack of Keep-Alive
Keep-Alive is the feature using which we can maintain the connection between server and web browser for an extended period of time to enable the latter for grabbing as much data as it can at a time. If you don’t use Keep-Alive, the connection goes on and off. Not to mention, it increases the loading time. Got a WordPress site? Adding the following to .htaccess does the trick.
<ifModule mod_headers.c> Header set Connection keep-alive </ifModule>
Hotlinking is showing an image from another server on your website without uploading it When we copy the URL from another page and paste the same on our site, it exhausts the bandwidth of the third-party site. That’s what we call it hotlinking. Now, imagine this happening to your site. If anyone shows images from your site, your bandwidth quota will be burnt.
How can you disable hotlinking? Some hosting providers have hotlink protection option on cPanel. You can enable it. Or, install All in One WP Security and Firewall if your site is on WordPress.
Wrapping up the factors affecting website loading speed
So, you have got nine factors affecting the slow loading speed of your site. What are you waiting for? Just get yourself out there and apply these fixes. As you make delays, many visitors may bounce back to other sites.
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