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In July 2018, Google announced that page speed would be added to the ranking factors for mobile searches. Are you a site owner? How long does your website take to load? If it takes too long, the chances are that people have tried opening it but gave up along the way because it was taking too long to load. If your site takes more than three seconds to load, most people will leave and will affect your conversion rate.

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Is your site loading awfully slow? Here are some of the reasons why.

1. The server performance

When somebody clicks your site, your browser will send a ping to your server to ask for every information it needs to load your site. What naturally happens is that if the server performance is weak, it will take longer to respond.

The server performance traces back to your hosting service provider. If you go for cheap hosting, it only means that you are most likely sharing space with many other websites. Choose a hosting service that is worth the money, and you are not sharing space with any other site owners.

2.Having unoptimized images

The most common reason why websites take forever to load is images which are not optimized for your site. Most high-resolution photos will consume a lot of bandwidth when loading. Scaling down the images could help in improving the site speed.

What format is your image? GIF, JPEG, or PNG? In most cases, JPEG and GIF formats will always be bigger in file size than the JPEG ones. You should avoid any photo that is more than 1MB.

Try to upload JPEG images with a file size of less than 1MB and see your site load faster. You can also compress the one that is above that.

3. Your CSS may not be optimized

CSS stands for cascading style sheets. It is the technical language used as a description of reusable styles used to present documents. CSS is what helps you change the appearance and layout of your site. It can be used to change the hyperlink color or the font.

A CSS not optimized will affect the site loading speed.

A solution to this is combining all external CSS files into one file. The other option is using inline CSS instead of the external ones. 

4. Presence of excess flash content

Flash is a multimedia technology that enables you to incorporate animations on the website. Most times, site developers are the ones who do this. In most cases, you have to download a flash plugin to view any flash content.

Some flash content may be bulky in size, which makes the site pages load slowly. An alternative for flash content is looking into HTML5 options. You can then replace the flash content with this. Gone are the days when flash used to be cool; in most cases, it’s only taking up too much space and affecting your site’s performance.

As a site owner, you want your site to perform well to help you in sales; this is the case when your Windows 10 taskbar is not working, you need to find solutions which you can try this method and see if you rectify the issue. Problem solution should be a priority to keeping your site performing at its maximum speed.

5. Excess HTTP requests

There is usually a huge amount of code going through your website. Having a lot of JavaScript, image files and CSS is a major cause of many HTTP requests. If the backend of your website is full of clogged up code, it will ultimately make the loading speed even slower.

To rectify this, try reducing the number of pages on your site. You can also minimize the JavaScript and CSS files to reduce the amount of files users will have to download.

6. Plugins

Plugins are there to make our work easier in customizing our websites to how we want them to look. However, as much as these plugins are meant to help us, they may be the reason the site loads slowly. Each plugin sends its own file request; if you have many plugins, this means more requests which end up slowing everything down.

Try only to install the necessary plugins.

7. Not using caching for web performance optimization

Caching is a way of storing web page contents in a location near the user. There are two types of caching: browser and server-side caching. Some of the site items cached frequently are images, brand assets, database queries, and JavaScript that doesn’t change, for example, Google tracking.

Caching reduces network congestion and helps your page load faster.

Determining the root cause of your site’s loading speed is almost impossible. However, what you can do is performing all the above to rule out any of the possibilities. Put your website as a priority as this is what communicates with your potential clients before they make a purchasing decision.

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