In the age of instant access to information and shorter attention spans, slow-to-load websites are a serious lead deterrent for many businesses online. From the user’s standpoint, one can only wait so long before jumping ship and visiting a competitor’s website. If your website takes more than a couple of seconds to load, you should consider diagnosing the problem and look into possible solutions. Slow load times are especially disappointing if you’ve climbed to the top of search results for valuable keywords, or have otherwise built a large following online, but users are too impatient to wait for your site to load. Furthermore, Google has been testing “Slow to Load” labels next to websites in search results — not a good look for you or your business.
Fortunately, there are a few solutions to a slow website:
One of the most likely culprits is a poor hosting provider or package. If your website is taking forever to load, connect with your provider to see what can be done. There is always the possibility that your slow load time is temporary or is a common problem for other websites using the same provider. Your provider may suggest upgrading your hosting package to accommodate a larger bandwidth. If you try this and still seem to experience slow load times, consider investigating further or switching providers altogether (a last resort).
Examine Website Content
Very often, the cause of a slow website is an excess amount of photos, videos, or other site components that generally take longer to load. If this is the case with your website, you may want to compress the photos or videos to reduce file sizes. In more severe cases, you may need to get rid of larger photos and videos completely.
If you’re dealing with a WordPress website, there are plugins available that can help you with slow load times. WP Super Cache is a great example and has been found to improve the load times for many websites.
Your load time issue could simply be an issue with your Internet connection. Test your website at home and in the office, and have friends and colleagues do the same to be sure. If others don’t encounter the issue, the culprit may be your ISP. Websites like Pindom can time your website load.