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9 Silent Killers That Affect Your Website Speed and How to Avoid Them

Jul 17, 2022

9 Silent Killers That Affect Your Website Speed and How to Avoid Them

Websites are fast-growing, integral parts of our digital lives. That’s why it’s important to take care of them—and their performance—as best you can. Long-standing website speed problems are not easy to fix, and they often require a significant investment in technology and maintenance. While there are many factors that contribute to your website’s performance (like your server software, back-end languages, and the size of your audience), there are certain websites that do more harm than good. They slow down your site without you knowing it. In this article, we discuss some common reasons that slow down your visitors!

What is a website speed test?

A website speed test is a method for testing website performance and optimization. The most common test is using an automated tool like you can run on your computer or mobile device. With these tools, you can send a ping to the server to determine the website’s speed. The test can also send a query to the server to determine the number of pages currently being served and the approximate wait time to serve those pages. The average response time for a page is between 3 and 10 seconds. Since your visitors are depending on your site to deliver the information they’re looking for, having a slow page speed is a clear indication that something is wrong.

How to run a site speed test

Run the speed test tool on your own server to get a true indication of how your visitors are traveling around your site. Be sure to put up your server publicly accessible so other users can also test your speed. (Private tests are hard to set up and will likely only tell you the results you want to see.) If you’re running a local test, you can send a ping to the server to determine the speed. If you’re running a remote test, you can contact the hosting company and let them know who is conducting the test.

What to check before you launch your site speed test

Make sure your server is healthy with the latest patches and updates. Make sure you have all the latest security updates and patches for your operating system. Make sure your web hosting server is up-to-date and secure. Ensure that your domain is up-to-date and secure. Make sure you have the right ports open on your server. Make sure your server’s fan is running at a low speed. Make sure your site is loading slowly. Make sure your link and banner placement is optimized. Make sure your keywords and phrases are relevant to your site’s topic. Make sure you are using the best hosting provider to ensure optimal performance.

5 common reasons why your website is slow

Here are some of the most common reasons why your site may be slowing down:

The server’s filesystem is full. In this case, your server software is swapping in and out multiple files at once. This usually happens when your site has a lot of content and is loading slowly. The server has little free memory. Your server software is keeping track of the contents of your hard drive and using that information to decide which files to swap out. This usually happens when you have a large number of small files on your server such as pictures, videos, and documents. Your server is using too many CPU cycles. This is usually caused by having a lot of images and other large files on your server. Your server software is swapping these files out to make room for other files. Your server is under heavy load. A full website can use as much as 20% of your server’s CPU. Your server software is working hard to serve these requests, but your computer isn’t. Your server software is misconfigured. This includes faulty tuning of your servers’ CPU, memory, and hard drive. A faulty server software configuration can result in slow or failed websites.

Avoiding silent killers on your website

While a few slow sites here and there are to be expected, the majority of issues come from silent killers. Here are some common website speed killers:

Malvertising – Malvertising is when a malicious ad server is used to deliver ads to your visitors. These ads are often linking or installing software viruses. You can avoid this problem by using an ad-blocker like Disconnect, which prevents you from seeing ads that you don’t want to see.

Poorly designed image loading speeds – Your site’s image loading speeds are one of the main contributors to your site’s speed. Make sure the loading speed of images is optimized, and seek the services of a web designer if yours is poor.

Long redirects – Redirects happen when you take a page’s URL and redirect it to a completely different URL. These redirects can be problematic for a few reasons, including traffic loss and confusion for your website’s visitors.

Too many redirects – Your site’s redirects should be few and easy to manage. Make sure the links on your homepage, about page, and footer pages are quick and direct.

Check Your Google PageSpeed

If you’re having issues with your site’s performance, it’s a good idea to check Google’s PageSpeed results. The PageSpeed results are free, and you can use them to check your site’s performance against other sites in your category. If your results aren’t great, Google offers some handy tips for improving your site’s performance. Use the tools in the drop-down menu to select the category of your inspection. From there, you can sort the results by placing a check in front of the relevant category.

Optimize Your Linking and Banners

Optimizing your linking and banners is another vital part of building a fast site. You can speed up your site’s loading speed by using the rel=canonical tag to redirect your links to the canonical URL for your site. You can also remove the rel=shortcut tag from your links so they actually go to your site. This shortens the link and makes your site load much faster. To optimize your banners, place them on an internal/static site. This will help you save on server and bandwidth costs. You can also consider using an image-as-a-banner format where the image is the banner. This will ensure better quality and less bandwidth consumption.

Ensure Your Code is Clear and Relevant

Even if you have the most up-to-date version of your code, your website will probably still contain errors. Your code needs to be clear, straightforward, and easy to understand. If you make an error, anyone looking at your site can easily spot it. If you make a series of errors, your visitors will likely become annoyed and leave before they’ve had a chance to enjoy what you provide. Hire a developer or outsourced code review service to help you with your website. These services will help you peer into your site’s code, identify any issues, and suggest fixes before you make them.

Tips for Better Website Speed

Optimizing your site is the first step to making it run more quickly. Here are a few ways to speed up your site: Use a central location for your documentation. If your documentation is stored in various folders and files or on a cloud-based server, it will take longer to move to a new location and may lead to your site’s speed being affected. Use a caching server. Caching servers are great because they speed up your site by storing the most frequently requested pages in their cache. This way, when you serve the page again, it will load much more quickly since it won’t have to go through the network request again. Use a compression algorithm. When you host your content on a server, compression is done automatically. However, you can force your server to use a specific algorithm by placing the following line in your server.

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