Top Factors that Affect Website Performance & How to Counter Them

Top Factors that Affect Website Performance & How to Counter Them


Nobody has all the time to sit and wait for a web page that takes forever to load when one can easily navigate to a competitor’s website. Page speed obviously plays a crucial role in a website’s user experience. Yet, most website owners place website performance on the backseat to give way for complex website functionality and sophisticated web design.

Whether your customers visit your site for its aesthetic appeal, for a tempting bargain they can’t refuse, or they simply found what they were searching for, it all boils down to landing on your website as quickly as possible. If you can shorten the process by a matter of milliseconds, you can convert potential visits to actual sales.

According to Kissmetrics:

  • 1 second delay in page response will lead to a 7% reduction in conversions.
  • 47% of consumers expect web pages to load in 2 seconds or even less.
  • 40% of them will abandon a website that takes more than 30 seconds to load.
  • 79% of online shoppers who are dissatisfied with a website performance are less likely to buy from the same website again.
  • 52% of the online shoppers stated that fast page load is crucial to their site loyalty.


Does Google Care About Site Speed?

While site speed is one of over 200 general signals used to determine search ranking, In 2010, Google announced that it’s not something you should panic about. You’ll still need to prioritize reputation, relevance and content quality of your website above everything else. 

Regardless if page speed bears any signal or not, you should always optimize your web page speed because:

  1. a faster load time relates to better search ranking; hence, you get more organic traffic and
  2. it provides your visitors with a greater user experience which can translate to an increased conversion rate.


Factors That Slow Down a Website


Factors That Slow Down a Website

Here are some of the common suspects that could be slowing down your website:

  1. Third-party online ad network
  2. Poor choice of web host
  3. Too many widgets and plugins
  4. Not using Gzip compression
  5. External embedded media
  6. Unsuitable browsers and apps
  7. Large image file sizes
  8. Headers


1. Third-party online ad network
Online advertisement is one of the major ways to monetise your site but these ad network codes, mostly based on Javascript, can also slow down a website.


2. Poor choice of web host

When you’re running a resource-intensive website and your web host can’t keep up with the demand, there’s a good chance your site will experience slow and intermittent page load. This is especially true for those on a shared server environment. In this case, consider switching your web host or upgrade your web hosting plan.


3. Too many widgets and plugins

You might not know it, but that shiny-looking plugin or widget that promises more useful features could be the main slow-loading culprit. The more plugins and widgets you install, the more work it requires for it to load. Keep in mind, not all plugins are created equal. Many are no longer updated, which can severely slow down and may compromise your site’s security.


4. Not using Gzip compression

Gzip compresses CSS, Javascript and HTML files by more than 50% of the file size. When you don’t enable Gzip compression, it will take more time to load web pages and use more bandwidth.


5. External embedded media

The fancier the web pages are, the slower it is going to load. Videos, music and image slideshows are great sources of content, but they can also add more codes to the web page, affecting page load speed.


6. Unsuitable browsers and apps

As nice as it looks, Flash is notorious for slowing down a website and it’s not even compatible with most mobile devices. Browsers such as Chrome don’t work well with some plugins. Make sure to always test page speed and if it loads properly on different devices and browsers.


7. Large image file sizes

Uploading large images to your website can slow down the site when these images are loaded on browsers. The solution here is to trim their size (usually measured in pixels) and weight (measured in kb) of each image before they are uploaded.


8. Headers

If Cache-Control or Expire headers are not configured, it would be difficult for the visitors’ browsers to cache the content locally. This would mean additional requests for page components will be more than what is needed.


Ways to Optimize Website Performance

Ways to Optimize Website Performance

There are several tools you can use to ensure that your website speed is operating at its optimum. Before employing any changes to your site, make sure to generate a backup. Here are some ways to speed up your site:

  1. Test website speed
  2. Optimize images
  3. Use Content Delivery Network
  4. Enable Gzip compression
  5. Minimize the number of plugins
  6. Enable browser caching
  7. Choose a reliable web host


1. Test website speed

If you have issues with your site speed or you want to know how your website is performing, there are free tools you can use to test and improve it. Here are just a few that you can try:


2. Optimize images
When uploading images, make sure that they are in small file sizes (preferably in kilobytes), otherwise it may take a longer time to load on your page. Use the suitable file formats as well. JPEG is optimised for photos, while PNG and GIF are recommended for icons and other web graphics. If you’re on WordPress, you can install WP which helps to reduce file sizes without losing the visual quality.


3. Use Content Delivery Network
If your website display huge amount of data, you might want to use CDN (Content Delivery Network). CDN uses a wide network of servers strategically placed in different locations to deliver web content to visitors. The closer the CDN server is to the site visitor, the faster the content will be delivered to the visitor’s computer device.


4. Enable Gzip compression
Another way to speed up page load time is to zip or compress them. Compression cuts down your web page’s bandwidth, hence decreasing the HTTP response. You do this using a tool called Gzip which can reduce download time by up to 70%.


5. Minimize the number of plugins
Too much of a good thing is bad, so installing too many plugins will not only slow down your website, but it can pose some security risks as well. Here’s a tip: Deactivate and remove unnecessary plugins that may cause your site to slow down. First, try to disable the suspected plugin, then measure server performance thereafter. In that way, you can track which plugin slows down your site speed. If it does, delete it completely.


6. Enable browser caching
Whenever a user visits a site, the components of a web page visited are stored in a temporary storage or the user’s cache.  So the next time the same site is visited, a user’s browser can load the page without sending another HTTP request on the server. Configure “Expires” from a minimum of one week up to one year for cacheable resources like JS, CSS files, PDFs, media files, etc.


7. Choose a reliable web host
 Choosing the right web host plan is a smart business move to boost website performance. A cheap host plan may offer you savings at the beginning, but you may end up paying more in the long run in order to serve your website needs. Make sure to choose a trusted web host with a right variety of hosting plans to handle all your website resources.

With Vodien, slow page speeds will be the least of your worries. Our premium web hosting plans are powered by enterprise-grade servers in Singapore, with cutting edge functionality, multi-layered spam control, wide allocation for bandwidth and file storage, and user-friendly control panel.

Our 24×7 SuperSupport will be there to provide you suggestions or solutions if you need an optimised website. To get started, simply get in touch with us via phone: +65 6288 6264, email: 

Vodien 24/7 Managed Hosting Service



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