Looking for how to fix a slow loading website page?
Wondering what are the top reasons for slow website loading?
If you answered yes to any of the above, read on.
In this guide, you will unconventional and honest answers as to why the speed of your website is an important factor to pay attention to. And the top reasons for slow loading websites and how to fix them with a good hosting provider, tweaks, better themes, plugins, and more.
These are some of the steps we have used to get this website and others total load time to under 1 second and TTFB(first to byte) of < 100 ms ( you can use Pingdom to see that this website loads under one(<1) second) and score between 98 & 10o on Google PageSpeed Insight for both mobile and desktop.
- 1 Why A Slow Loading Website Page is Bad
Why Is My Website Slow: 7+ Reasons for Slow Website Loading
- 6 Reason #1 is “You”
- 7 Reason #2 is Bad Theme
- 8 Reason #3 is Bad Web Hosting or The Wrong Plan
- 9 Reason #4 is Bad Plugins or Extensions
- 10 Reason #5 is Wrong Theme, Plugin, & .Htaccess Settings
- 11 Reason #6 is Using The Wrong Content Management Version
- 12 Reason #7 is Oversized and Un-Optimized Images
- 13 Reason #8 is Security Issues like DoS & DDoS Attack
How to Fix a Slow Loading Website: Do These Now!
- 15 Change Your Mindset When It Comes To Starting or Building A Site ( Start With Speed in Mind)
- 17 Get a Better Hosting Company Like SiteGround
- 18 Set the Order of .htaccess Directives Correctly
- 19 The Wrong Theme, Plugin, Tool Settings
- 20 Optimize Your Images
- 21 Enable gZIP Compression
- 22 Remove Useless Bloated Plugins & Extensions
- 23 Reduce HTTP Requests
- 25 Enable CDN
- 26 Enable Caching with The Right Tweaks
- 27 Eliminate Flash Contents
- 28 Keep the Code Clean
- 29 Disable Hotlinking
- 30 Fix 404 Error
- 31 Update PHP Version To The Latest In Accordance With Your Host Server Setting
- 32 Fast DNS
- 33 More Tools & Plugins For Fixing Slow Loading Websites
- 34 Final Thought
This post is packed with brutal truths based on many site testings. Some of the things you on this post will rattle you and unconventional.
However, if you stay openminded and willing not to follow the hoard, you will appreciate the information and save yourself thousands financially and frustration.
if you that 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. And this doesn’t prevent us from being brutally honest with You can read more…
Why A Slow Loading Website Page is Bad
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.
Search Engine Ranking
Site speed also plays an 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.
Save You A lot of Money With Web Hosting
Contrary to popular belief, most websites, including medium business do not need expensive hosting plans.
If you optimize your website for speed and security properly there will be no need for so-called faster web hosting plans.
Get ride of CPU guzzling garbages in your database such as:
- Leftover tables from deleted plugins
- Autoloading every _options tables
- Avoiding plugins that create a lot of tables on the database( we once used Clearfy – WordPress optimization plugin and disable ultimate tweaker by Webcraftic, and it created over 30 tables which all autoloaded. Even when the plugin was deleted, the tables were still left in the database)
So instead of always upgrading to the next hosting plans as a lot of web hosting companies will tell you to do when your website loads slowly and your CPU is high, optimize your database thoroughly.
The challenge is that this can take time and requires expertise in website database performance optimization.
So hire a professional speed optimization expert who can manually optimize and remove junks from your database.
Don’t just use plugins, doing it manually is better.
Why Is My Website Slow: 7+ Reasons for Slow Website Loading
Now that we have discussed why a fast loading website is important, let’s talk about the top reasons for slow loading websites.
Reason #1 is “You”
Yes, the biggest problem is you. So why is that? Because most people follow the herd mentality.
They do things because everyone is doing it or some “guru” said so.
Often times, people will start with an already optimized theme, but then go on to start adding bloats because everyone is saying using this plugin or tools.
You really don’t need all the extra things you are adding to your website(s).
And you need to have speed in mind before even starting your website.
Reason #2 is Bad Theme
A theme is really the foundation of your website performance. If you are serious about a fast website, start with or switch to a theme that is super fast.
Fast means less bloat and small overall size.
Free themes like Astra and Generatepress are great options.
Reason #3 is Bad Web Hosting or The Wrong Plan
The reasons for your slower-than-average website may not be entirely your fault but rather the fault of the web hosting provider or the plan for the amount of traffic have.
Your current 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.
Another cause is just being with a bad host with constant performance issues ( no web host will really be fast 100 percent all the time but the good ones have less of this speed issues).
Part of choosing the right website hosting service company is avoiding the hosting service providers that stack a lot of websites on the same server.
Focus on finding a web hosting company that provides top quality hosting solutions.
If you are interested in getting a new web host, you can get a high value one at a cheap price through our Siteground link.
We use SiteGround because:
- They are rated and come as the #1 preferred web host in a lot of Facebook polls from real people.
- Used by Yoast (the popular makers of the number SEO plugin Yoast SEO)
- Recommended by WordPress
- If you switch to them they will make migrate your website for free
- Real people sharing their fast load time improvement when they switched on social media like Twitter
- Refund – 30-day money-back guarantee
- 24-hour customer support via chat, ticking or phone
Reason #4 is 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.
A lot of the plugin’s popular and premium plugins are resource hogs.
Reason #5 is Wrong Theme, Plugin, & .Htaccess Settings
One of the biggest reasons for a slow website is not setting things correctly.
The wrong directive in your htaccess will slow down your website.
The wrong order of directives will also slow down your website.
Not setting your plugins, theme, and CDN correctly will also slow down your website.
Reason #6 is Using The Wrong Content Management Version
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.
Reason #7 is 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.
Reason #8 is Security Issues like DoS & DDoS Attack
A DoS stands for denial of service.
It is a web security attack where one computer is used to attack a server to bring it down.
The idea is to shut down your website or slow it down.
While DDoS means distributed denial of service. It is an attack where multiple computers are used to bring down a server.
Both of them typically slow down websites as the servers are flooded with bad traffic.
Now that you have learned some of the reasons that cause a web page to render slowly, it is time to look at how to resolve those issues.
So continue reading below to learn how to fix a slow loading website.
How to Fix a Slow Loading Website: Do These Now!
So how do you fix slow loading websites?
Here are how:
Change Your Mindset When It Comes To Starting or Building A Site ( Start With Speed in Mind)
Your philosophy needs to change when it comes to building a website and speed.
If you are serious about website performance( security & speed) you need to keep things simple and do the below:
Start the optimization during development:
What this means is that you have to focus on picking the fastest themes and plugins if you are using WordPress.
These two are usually the biggest culprit when it comes to slow loading websites.
2. Stop buying and adding things to your website just because:
Some people will add all kinds of plugins or themes just because.
Get a Better Hosting Company Like SiteGround
Why did we put choosing the right hosting service as the number one thing to fix?
Web hosting is one of the top factors of 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. Their server has helped us get our websites to load <1 second on GT Metrix and on Pingdom.
You can start with them for 65% lower than the typical monthly price through this special link for our readers(this saving is for multiple year signup).
Being with a hosting company that optimizes our website for the best performance allows us to just focus on providing readers with great guides like this one.
Set the Order of .htaccess Directives Correctly
We have tested this countless times and are here to tell you that the order of directives in your .htaccess affects your website speed.
All the good things that may help with a website performance that you add to your .htaccess will slow down your TTFB and overall speed if you don’t add them correctly in the order of importance.
For example, when adding Gzip compression and Browser Cache directives in the .htaccess, the order matter a lot.
Gzip compression directives should always be before Browser Cache. This is because you want to compress resources before sending them to a browser.
If I’m you, I will hire a good website speed professional( not a developer or web designer because a lot are horrible when it comes to speed optimization) to help you set up your .htaccess directives to help with improving your website loading faster.
The Wrong Theme, Plugin, Tool Settings
Another way to increase your website speed is to make sure that your theme, performance plugins, and tools settings are set correctly.
Most people will just go with the default settings or use settings that some “guru” recommended.
The problem with that is every website is not the same because of the theme, plugins, host provider server settings, etc.
It takes a lot of tweaking to find out the best setting of theme, a plugin, and CDN that works best
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. However, before you do make sure that it is set up in your server to support them. It is not, it may increase your speed slightly instead of reducing it. This is why it is important to not just enable something without testing to see if it helping you meet your website speed goal(s) or not.
For Joomla users, the ImageRecycle Image Optimizer is a great extension option for optimizing images.
Enable gZIP Compression
How can a 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.
Remove Useless Bloated Plugins & Extensions
Want to fix your website slow loading? Remove unnecessary bloated plugins and extensions
It is a myth that more plugins slow down a website. The problem is bloated
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 database tables even though you already deleted it.
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.
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.
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 a global audience and 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 once you enable it.
Most of the time, just enabling a CDN without spending time to tweak it will cause more harm than help.
So either spend hours of your time tweaking it( there are so many settings on CDNs like Cloudflare to play with) or hire a CDN performance expert to do it for you.
Enable Caching with The Right Tweaks
Enabling caching and setting it up correctly for that particular website is one of the top ways 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.
With all of the above said, it takes time to tweak cache properly for optimal performance of a particular website.
There are many tweaks to be done like the “right” expiry time for different assets, enabling or disabling certain caches( page cache, Memcache, OPcache etc), and where you put Browser cache rules in the .htaccess, etc.
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.
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.
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 our host for doing this for us in less than 5 minutes of chatting with a live rep.
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.
Update PHP Version To The Latest In Accordance With Your Host Server Setting
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.
Just make sure that the version is in accordance with your server setting.
What do we mean by this? Well, if your host is recommending PHP 7.1 and you upgrade to 7.4 that might slow down your website.
So don’t always upgrade because an upgrade is available. Make sure your host has enabled that version to work with your server setting.
Use a domain registrar like Cloudflare( they provide domain registration services with a fast DNS) that provides a fast DNS. Please note that as of June 2020, you can only transfer an existing domain to Cloudflare.
Using a fast DNS will also contribute to your website’s overall speed. This is because DNS lookup speed is part of your website speed.
You can use SolveDNS to test your DNS speed.
The impact may not be a lot but when it comes to fixing a slow loading website, every small win counts.
- Avoid Redundancy
Enabling the same setting on different speed optimization plugins doesn’t help a website. It causes more problems and slows down your website. Adding the same rules in your .htaccess twice doesn’t help you.
To avoid redundancy. If your web hosting is taking care of it on the server-side and have a must-have plugin auto-installed already, do not install a similar plugin.
More Tools & Plugins 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.
2). Helpful plugins for fixing a slow loading WordPress or Woocommerce website
These plugin tools will help you fix some of 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 Fastest 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.
3). 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.
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.
If you are interested in a new web host that can help you speed up your site speed checkout SiTeGround( as we mentioned earlier, we use them for this website and their server have been instrumental in helping this website load under <1 second and get 100% score on Pingdom, GT Matrix and Google page speed insight).
Once you make sure that you have a good hosting plan and provider in place, then avoiding bulking of any kind – be it code or plugins that will keep your site slow.
Really following the guidelines listed here will increase the speed of your site and have a positive impact on your website.