Does your website take more than 4-5 seconds to load, or is it more like 10+ seconds? Have slow page load times left you wondering what’s wrong?
Slow page load times can be due to a number of reasons. But does page load time really matter?
Usability is the #1 reason your page load time matters. If you don’t fix it, you may start losing people. If it takes 5 seconds, 7 seconds, or even 10 seconds to load a page, your customer probably already jumped ship. One bad impression can make a user think the whole website is slow and they’ll leave.
The second reason page load time is so important is because Google is watching. That’s right, they consider your page load time when ranking you in search results. Slow page load speeds could kill your rankings.
So, what causes poor page load speeds? It may be one or a few of the following reasons.
- Bandwidth – Many larger companies host their site internally. If you do, do you have enough bandwidth on your server? Small internet connection can create a bottleneck on the server and result in slower page load times.
- CSS and HTTP Requests – Pages with lots of images, backgrounds, tables, and icons often run at slower speeds. Consider using CSS Sprite to reduce the number of HTTP and CSS requests.
- Hosted Third Party Applications – Does your site use third party services or apps? With hosted web fonts as an example, website pages could load up to a half to a full second slower. Results may vary depending on the third party service you’re using.
- Image Sizes – High-res image files will take forever to load. Make sure your images are optimized for the web.
- Server Resources – Similar to bandwidth issues, you should look at upgrading your resources such as CPU, RAM, etc. This can be remedied with cloud computing and virtual resources.
- SSL – Is your site only supported when browsing in HTTPS? This could affect your load times. SSL doesn’t necessarily take longer, the browsers just can’t cache everything from page to page without increasing the page sizes.
- Tracking Pixels and Tags – If you’re tracking pixels and tags for performance on multiple campaigns, you could be slowing your page load times. You could use one universal tracking pixel which eliminates your need for multiple tracking pixels or use asynchronous tagging which allows a browser to load multiple tags at once.
- Web Hosting – Is your site on a dedicated server or a shared server? If you have a shared server, your site is competing with other sites for resources. You’re also susceptible to other sites getting hacked and taking the majority of your resources.
- 301 Redirects – Does your site have 301 redirects? Each time your browser is redirected to a new page, the page load time increases.
These are just a few reasons for slow page load times, but a deeper analysis could be helpful to make sure your site’s performance isn’t suffering. If you’re interested in improving usability, SEO, or slow page load times, give us a call. We help clients find solutions to page load speeds so their users are happy.