Updates and Plugins – Outdated updates and discontinued plugins can cause issues to the functionality of the website. Often, a simple update, followed by a cache clear and reboot, will resolve issues when the website is lagging.
Extraneous Code – Ideally, you want a clean website. The code on the backend should not be convoluted. Not only can this decrease the load speed of your page, but it can also cost you quality score points with Google.
Incompatibility Issues – Formatting on various browsers can be problematic. If the browsers are outdated or incompatible with the website, it may not work at all or run slow. For the same reasons, avoid using outdated features, such as Adobe's Flash plug-in. In June 2016, Adobe issued a warning to run updates in order to avoid potential slow loading times that can lead to crashes and hacks. Apple forced users to reinstall the newest version of Flash in their Safari browser. Sometimes updates are not available or it is just time to find a different program to replace your nearly defunct application.
ISP or Cell Provider – Your Internet service provider is the biggest factor in determining the speed at which a page can load. Of course, other things come into play, but if you do not have a strong and consistent Internet connection, all websites will load slowly. Does yours website load slower than other websites that are connecting on the same network? If it is your network that is running slow, you still might want to make changes to your website. Consider the area you are in and the audience you are targeting to decide whether your website requires more bandwidth than your audience can get.
For example, if you were targeting remote areas, you wouldn’t want a page that has a mound of files to upload. Consider this when you are thinking of adding video or anything that can throttle data.
Hosting/Server – If your website is down or slow, but other websites on the same network are not, there might be an issue with your server or hosting company. They can provide a lot of valuable data as to what is really going on with your website.
Domain – If you are redirecting traffic from landing pages or high authority domain names to your domain, it is possible that something has occurred to disrupt this path. Sometimes a domain expires or an updated credit card is required to lift a service suspension.
Ancient Artifacts - Old computers, tablets, iPods and smartphones all date very fast these days. If you are viewing a website on an ancient device that hasn’t seen an update in decades, don’t expect much. Different dimensions, clarity, hardware and software can influence the look, feel and functionality of your website. If it is running slow on a very old device, more than five years, don’t be concerned.
Opposing Issues – There might be apps that are running furiously in the background of your device or programs with 20 windows left open. You might be streaming Netflix, while uploading vacation slideshows. There may be 30 people connected to the same network or a power outage. Outside forces can cause your website to run slowly. Try to eliminate all the possibilities before concluding there is a fundamental problem with your website structure.
Security Settings – Outdated or poor security settings can invite hackers right into your home. That’s why Apple forced those Flash updates and Adobe issued a security warning. Make sure the website url is legitimate and that your website is secure. It should indicate that is secure with an “s” or lock showing in the browser. Websites that are not secure are flagged by browsers and people have to override security recommendations to go to the website. It indicates a big risk most users aren’t willing to take. Slow websites can lead to hacks or be caused by hacks. Make sure that your website is protected with current antivirus software.
Before you can determine how to improve the speed and performance of your website, gather some information to pinpoint the root of the issue. If you need help with any website services from website maintenance to security updates, contact us for a free consultation.