Is your website speed slow? Looking for how to fix a slow loading website page?
- 1 Why A Slow Loading Website is Bad & Speed Is Important
- 2 What’re The Top Reasons for Slow Loading Websites (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc)?
- 3 How to Fix a Slow Loading Website – 10+ Things You Need To Do Now!
- 4 Tools For Fixing Slow Loading Websites
- 5 Final Thought On Reasons For & How To Fix Slow Loading Websites
Wondering what are the top reasons for a slow loading website page? why is my website slow?
Answered yes to any of the above? Read on.
In this guide, you will learn why the speed of your site is an important factor to pay attention to.
We will also provide top reasons for slow loading websites(WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc) and give you 10+ fixes to help you speed up your site.
These are some of the steps we have used to get this website and others to load under 1 second ( you can use Pingdom to see that this website loads under one(<1) second) and score between 96%(mobile) and 100%(desktop) on Google Page Speed Insight.
By the time you are done we hope to have made you more knowledgeable and informed regarding slow websites and how to deal with them to improve your business or personal blog website performance and bottom line.
So sit back and enjoy reading our detailed article on how to fix a slow loading website.
Disclosure: We are supported by our readers, so when you decide to purchase a service through some links on this post, we may earn a commission, at no cost to you. You can read more…
Why A Slow Loading Website is Bad & Speed Is Important
Before diving into the reasons for a slow loading website and how to fix it, let’s look at why great website speed is important.
So why is a slow loading website bad and fast one good?
The speed of your website is very important as it has a direct effect on the user experience.
Most users do not have the patience to tolerate a slow loading website and as a result, will switch to another website leading to higher conversion and lower bounce rates for that website.
According to Think With Google, when the popular auto review website Edmunds took their website load times from nine seconds to 1.4 seconds, their revenue increased by 3% and page views-per-session went up to 17%.
Also, when Shopzilla dropped latency from 7 to 2 seconds, they increased their revenue by 12% and page views to their website jumped to 25%.
All of the above shows that speed is extremely important for the conversion rate of a website.
Site speed also plays a major impact on that website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) performance.
It is actually a ranking factor confirmed by Google.
The reason why site speed is a ranking factor on Google, especially on mobile searches is that the site speed is a sign of quality website with good user experience.
The user will stay on a site for longer if the site is fast.
Also, the ranking on Google now favors mobile-friendly sites which means that you need to ensure that the site is fast on mobile phones.
The speed of your site has an impact on paid search and can affect your cost per click (CPC).
This is because Google finds your website’s landing page to a search term and examines your user experience and assign a score to your website.
This score determines your CPC and your average position on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Facebook too favors high-speed sites when it comes to showing ads on their website.
What’re The Top Reasons for Slow Loading Websites (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc)?
Now that we have discussed why a fast loading website is important, let’s talk about the top reasons for a slow loading website.
1). Bad Web Hosting:
The reasons for your slower-than-average website may not be entirely your fault but rather the fault of the web hosting provider that you currently have.
They simply might not be capable of handling the traffic on your site.
This could be due to the servers running commodity hardware and processors which may not be able to provide the required bandwidth and as a result may be leading to high latency issues.
Part of choosing the right website hosting service company is avoiding the extremely cheap( the .50 cents to 1 dollar providers), free and hosting service providers that stack every site on the same server.
Focus on finding a web hosting company that provides top quality hosting services and solutions.
2). Too Many & Bad Plugins or Extensions:
Just because platforms like WordPress and Joomla presents you with a plethora of plugins and extensions, you do not need to use every single one of them.
Some plugins are not efficient in shared resources and memory management and can lead to a serious slowdown of the website.
Also, be mindful of certain plugins that collect and share data from your website as this too can slow down your site.
3). Wrong Content Management:
Popular content managers like WordPress & Joomla regularly fix some of their bugs and problems and send periodic updates to install them.
These updates can lead to more efficient and faster functioning of the CMS.
Not installing or ignoring these updates will likely prevent your site from running faster and smoother than ever before and utilizing the improved infrastructure.
4). Oversized and Un-Optimized Images:
Another top reason for slow loading websites is un-optimized high-resolution images that consume a lot of bandwidth.
The truth is that more often than not, these high-resolution images are not required.
Uploading high-resolution images and then scaling them down to the need of your website can unnecessarily increase the size of your web page, causing your website to load slowly.
As a result, these un-optimized images will take their own time to load whereas the text on the website will load first resulting in bad user experience.
Continue reading below to learn how to fix a slow loading website.
How to Fix a Slow Loading Website – 10+ Things You Need To Do Now!
So how do you fix slow loading websites?
- 1. Get a Better Hosting Service
Why did we put choosing the right hosting service as the number one thing to fix?
Web hosting is one of the top factors for website speed.
It is usually the top reason for slow loading WordPress or Joomla websites and other types of sites.
The reality is that you can do most of the below recommendations, but without a great and one of the best web hosting services all you are doing is putting a bandage to your website slow loading issues.
Without the right web hosting services in place, it will be like building a house without the right foundation.
Starting with or switching to a better hosting service provider that uses faster, more powerful servers, and processors that support higher bandwidth is very important.
When choosing a new host, investigate the service provider to find out whether they have sufficient data centers across the world to deal with traffic issues and provide lower latency by distributing traffic to the data center closer to the user’s location.
If having an affordable and reliable web host that is rated the #1 in multiple Facebook polls, provides 99.9-100% uptime, top-rated customer service, recommended by WordPress, used by Yoast (the developers of number one SEO plugin Yoast), 6 data centers across the globe( 3 in Europe – UK(1 here) & Amsterdam(2 here), 2 in North America – U.S, and 1 in Asia – Singapore), 24/7 chat, email, & phone support, 30-day money-back guarantee then choosing Siteground for your hosting needs may be what you need.
Siteground is a great value and one of the best web hosts out there. We have had great experiences with them for years now.
Siteground has helped us get our websites to load under one second on GT Metrix and on Pingdom.
Being with them allows us to just focus on providing readers with great guides like this one.
2. Optimize Your Images
Not optimizing images is another top reason for slow loading websites that we have noticed time and time again.
The good news is that it also one of the easiest to fix.
As many website performance experts will tell you reducing a webpage image size will go a long way in improving your website speed.
Scaling down an image before uploading it is very important so have images compressed down to a lower size before uploading it.
Often images used on your site can be compressed by 20-50% without significant loss in quality.
So always opt for lossless compression.
The image format should also be considered and pick JPG as JPG images are smaller than PNG and GIF.
Tips: Save your image to next-gen formats like JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP for better quality and less usage of resources.
For Joomla users, the ImageRecycle image optimizer is a great extension option for optimizing images.
If you are using WordPress we recommend Smush plugin by WPMU DEV (free and a paid version. The free one is mostly enough) or the all in one website optimizer called SG Optimizer by Siteground( you have to have a Siteground account to use this).
One of the great things about SG Optimizer is that it will be compatible with your hosting server if you are hosting your website with Siteground.
And it does more than just optimize an image.
It basically will do almost all the things you need for a website to load fast.
You can use SG Optimizer to:
- Enable super caching: enable dynamic and browser caching
- Automatically resize, compress, and optimize your existing images and new images when uploaded
- Enable HTTPS on your site ( it also finds those pages that https is not working on and fix it)
- Compress Gzip
- Manually or automatically turn on newer versions of PHP once they come out
- Defer render-blocking JS
- Minify HTML Output
- Minify and combine CSS files
- Remove jquery strings
- Optimize the loading of google fonts
- Disable website emojis
- Lazyload images( will lazy load Gravatars, Thumbnails, Widgets, Responsive Images, and Mobile requests)
- and more
This is really a powerful plugin that will speed up your site because it is all in one cache solution.
Instead of downloading multiple plugins to do each job that you need for your website to stop loading slowly you will just need one ( one of the reasons for a slow loading website is too many plugins which we will discuss further below).
3. Enable gZIP Compression
How can any how to fix a slow loading website guide be complete without mentioning the importance of Gzip compression?
This is so important that Yahoo says that Gzip is the most popular and effective compression method currently available and generally reduces the response size by about 70%.
It reduces the size of the data being transferred from the server to the user.
This compression lowers response time and provides an easy performance win.
If you are not implementing gZip compression on your website already then this is the first thing you must consider doing.
4. Remove Useless Plugins & Extensions
Want to fix your website slow loading? Remove unnecessary plugins and extensions
The more the number of plugins on a website, the more weight there is to carry.
Decide on the important and useful plugins and remove the other unwanted ones.
A lot of plugins load data from third-party vendors which is hard to detect and can cause performance overhead.
Also, remove inefficient resource-hungry plugins that are slowing down the website.
Tips: Whenever you remove a plugin run a file and database clean because sometimes WordPress plugins and Joomla extensions will still leave their junk(codes) on your website even though you already deleted them.
We recommend using Plugins Garbage Collector By Vladimir Garagulya for WordPress websites.
Very easy to use and free.
Also, whenever you use certain plugins delete them until you need them again.
Such plugins are plugins like the ones you used for cleaning and optimizing your database.
Just upload them again when you want to optimize your files and database.
By the way, not cleaning your website database every month or two is another reason for a slow loading website.
For Joomla users, since there are not many extensions that do the same cleanup as they have in WordPress.
You can do it manually by going to your Cpanel then to the phpMyAdmin service tab under the Database section.
Then select the database you want to clean, when it open then select Check all.
You will then see a drop-down box on your right select Optimize Table and that’s it.
5. Reduce HTTP Requests
Your server can only handle a certain number of requests per second and you should be mindful about it.
Most of these features exist only for increasing UI appeal and are not functional and practical.
7. Enable CDN
Content Delivery Network service is a collection of distributed servers that are responsible for serving up web content to users with high availability and performance.
CDN serves up data to the customer from the node located at the nearest geographical location.
It is particularly useful for sites that have big traffic spikes as CDN can help alleviate it.
Also, CDN frequently caches accessed data which leads to reduced time in the loading of pages.
Note: Be cautious of CDNs some people have complained about how having a CDN didn’t help.
Some people experienced their website loading slower. So make sure that any CDN you use is configured properly and you pay attention to your website performance on you enable it.
8. Enable Caching
Enabling caching is a top way to fix slow loading websites.
Caching can bring a world of difference to the responsiveness of your pages.
It lets you store frequently accessed data as cached memory. This helps prebuild the page even before a request for the page is served.
Any subsequent request for the same data gets served from the cache memory, thereby increasing the loading speed of your pages.
Almost anything can be cached from HTTP and database queries to images, videos, and documents among other things.
9. Eliminate Flash Contents
Although flash contents are a great way to add animations and interactivity to your site, it comes with an enormous performance overhead and slows down your website by a significant margin.
If you want to make your website faster then, search for flash replacements like HTML5.
Flash is very bulky and you should consider reducing its size or replacing it altogether with HTML5 if you want your website to load faster.
10. Keep the Code Clean
A how-to fix a slow loading website won’t be complete without mentioning how important it is to keep codes cleans
A common cause for website slowness is bulky and unclean code.
If your backend is clogged up with large and dense code elements then it will slow down the site.
Excessive inline styles, whitespaces, empty new lines, and unnecessary comments add to the size of the stylesheet.
Minify your code and try to use one single stylesheet. It is also important to have adequate knowledge of programming paradigm to write better logic and make better coding choices.
11. Disable Hotlinking
This is one thing that is responsible for a slow website that most people are not aware of.
The good news is that it is easy to fix.
But first what is hotlinking?
This is basically when people copy and paste an image from a website.
So how does that slow down my website platform?
The problem is that every time people visit the website of those that copied and pasted images from your website it adds server resource consumption because those copied and pasted images are loading from your server.
To stop this from happening just contact your web hosting provider and asked them to disable hotlinking on your website.
We thank Siteground for doing this for us in less than 5 minutes of chatting with a live rep.
12. Fix 404 Error
This is another cause of a web page lagging in speed.
Periodically run a broken link check on your website to find broken internal and external links to fix.
13. Update PHP Version
To avoid slow page loading on a website and for the optimal performance, it is important that one constantly update their site PHP version to the latest version.
You do not need technical skills to do this.
Simply go to your website Cpanel and look for PHP Manager or contact your host and they will update it for you.
So if your site is slow, one of the ways to determine the reason for it is to check to make sure the PHP version is updated to the latest version.
Tools For Fixing Slow Loading Websites
Below is a quick overview of some tools and plugins you can use it to detect and fix a slow loading website.
The following tools will help to improve the performance of your website if you already have a good web hosting service in place.
The right website hosting service is the foundation of your website’s speed and security.
Once you have that in place you can then use these tools to maximize the performance of your website.
We have to mention the above because often times people will use the tools below and their website performance is still not as fast as they want or should be.
So make sure that you have the best web host in place first in other to maximize the below tools efficiency in improving your website speed.
Below are the tools you can use to diagnose the issues.
These tools will point the reasons for a site loading slowly and what you should do to fix the problem.
- GT Metrix
- Google Pagespeed Insight
Helpful plugins for fixing a slow loading WordPress or Woocommerce website
These plugin tools will help you fix the issues mentioned above on your WordPress and optimize your website speed.
Some of the below will help clean your database while others help with caching your scripts.
- Plugins Garbage Collector
- Short Code Cleaner Lite
- WP Hosting Performance Check
- WP Total Cache
- Asset CleanUp
SG Optimizer: All around website speed and cache optimizer as mentioned above. Remember that you need to have a Siteground host( highly recommended to have it as the value for the price is amazing) to use this.
Helpful plugins for fixing a slow loading Joomla website
You can find some of the following extensions on Joomla extension directory
- JCH Optimize
Here are the ones you can turn on on your Joomla cms.
Turn on Global Configuration > Server click yes for gzip compressions.
Enable Joomla caching on the global configuration.
Final Thought On Reasons For & How To Fix Slow Loading Websites
Did you enjoy reading our guide “reasons for your slow loading website page and how to fix (10+ ways)”?
We hope that now that you are done reading this guide on how to fix a slow loading website you will be more enlightened than ever before about the various causes of website speed slowness and how-to-fix them.
As mentioned earlier the speeds of a website not only help with the user experience but it is also responsible for the ranking of the website.
Having the right web host is the first foundation for any website speed and performance.
Once that is in place then avoiding bulking of any kind – be it code or plugins will help in keeping your site from being slow.
Really following the guidelines listed here will increase the speed of your site and have a positive impact on your website.
If you enjoyed reading our how to fix a slow website guide we recommend the below-related guides:
- Web Hosting Companies: The Best Hosting Services Guide
- The Different Types Of Web Hosting Services – Detailed Guide
- How To Choose A Web Hosting Package: Picking The Right(Best) Hosting Service Provider Guide
- What is VPS Web Hosting: The Types & Best Virtual Private Server Hosting Service Providers