What Are the Top 5 Reasons for a Slow Website?


Digital Performance, Web

In today’s market, a slow website can be the difference between a successful website visit and a potential customer who never comes back. Studies have shown that 47% of your customers are expecting your site to load in 2 seconds, and 40% of them will go elsewhere if it exceeds 3 seconds. There’s a small margin of error that businesses need to be aware of, and to make sure that they have supported their site with the right tools to deliver great experiences. 

There are a lot of reasons that a website is slow, but some reasons we see more than others. 

Outdated CMS

Your CMS, whether it’s WordPress, Shopify, Drupal or any of the many possibilities, will need to be running its most updated version to be performing optimally. These updates cover everything from vital security patches to functionality, and without them, your website simply won’t work as well. This is even more necessary when you add in extensions and plugins, which often come from external developers. When these aren’t updated, they can become incompatible with the website. Eventually, they’ll just stop working entirely. Updating your website and its plugins can become complicated, as it’s important to do it in the correct order ensure they remain compatible.  

This is such a common issue that Zinc offers all of our new websites a maintenance package to keep them in prime condition as they go forward. If you’re unsure how to keep your site updated, we’ll be able to help. 

Unoptimized images

We’re huge fans of image-forward websites. They’ve been a part of great website design for years now, but implemented incorrectly, they can become a huge strain on a site. Especially if you’re using big, high-quality imagery (which you should be!), just uploading large files without any optimisation is a quick way to slow your site. This is because large, high-definition files require a lot of bandwidth to load. Luckily, it’s a fix that a person with the right knowledge can do quickly. The best approach is to review the images on the site, resizing them to reasonable dimensions, changing the format if needed, and ensuring they are compressed. Done properly, there won’t be any visible change in the images, but the site will run far more quickly.  

Poor server performance

Put simply, a server is essentially a large, powerful computer where your website is managed. When a user loads up your website, their computer sends a request to your server to deliver the page, which then comes back to their machine to be loaded. Therefore, when the server isn’t able to work quickly enough, your website is what suffers. No matter how much work you do on the website content, if your server can’t handle what’s being asked of it, your site won’t be able to load quickly. 

Your server is determined by your hosting service. At Zinc, this is something that we manage for many of our clients; as part of this, we have to ensure that every site is on a server that can handle the requests that it’s likely to get. If you don’t work with a supplier such as Zinc and think that your server is to blame, you need to speak with your hosting provider to resolve this. 

Lots of elements on a page

In a similar way to the imagery on your site taking up valuable loading resources, if you’ve got lots on your page, it’s going to slow things down. If your page has content, animations, video, imagery, a map function, and a popup, it’s got a lot to get loaded in that two second time limit. It’s going to slow everything down to ensure that the website doesn’t load incorrectly, or without key elements. 

With this problem the only solution is to cut down. Your users probably aren’t able to process all of these elements either, so it’s time to run some Heat and Click maps to see what is and isn’t being interacted with, then move the underused elements to other areas of your website. 

A bloated website

Websites are like houses – without a regular spring clean, you’ll have accumulated a lot of things that you don’t need any more. Dig deep within your site and there will be caches, logs, and other overhead that you didn’t know were slowing things down. Similarly, depending on how your site is built, there’s a chance that it’s being slowed by bulky code and incorrectly implemented Javascript. Without the proper know-how, it’s difficult to know what to delete without breaking the site. Therefore, its a good idea to ask an expert to review your site, if this is a concern. 

At Zinc, a lot of our new customers come to us with the complaint that their site is slow. Sometimes, it’s just time for a new start, but at other points it’s just time for a spring clean. If you’d like a speed analysis and for an expert partner to guide you through the best ways to combat it, we can help.

If you’d like to discuss improvements to your site speed, or a brand new website, speak to the team at Zinc

We’re experienced, passionate, and we can’t wait to hear from you.

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