10 reasons for a slow running website.

Written by Tarun
Posted on - 5 min read

The speed of your Slow running website plays an important role in the success of your slow running website. It affects a variety of factors, including your site’s visibility and conversion rate. A slow running website is the last thing anyone would want.

Why does your website speed matter?

These days, users expect the website to be fast. When the website takes longer to load it drastically affects the user experience.

Even fractions of a second make a huge difference, so optimizing your site’s performance is very crucial.

With your slow-running website’s success on the line, speed can’t be ignored. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, a smart place to start is by testing to determine where your site stands now. You can run a load of time tests to see how long your users are waiting and then get to work on decreasing those numbers.

10 Reasons causing your website to run slower

1. There’s excessive overhead in your database

“Overhead” refers to extraneous items In your website’s database — things like logs, transients, and other entries from plugins or themes that build over time. Too much of this “overhead” can cause database queries to take longer than required. In some cases, it can even cause your webserver to time out while waiting for a response from your database.

Optimizing your data by removing overhead will help prevent this. Most web hosts allow you to access the database management platform phpMyAdmin via your hosting account. If you aren’t able to optimize your tables in phpMyAdmin, you can use the WordPress command-line interface (WP-CLI).

2. Your site CSS is not optimized

Like JavaScript, your site’s CSS — the code responsible for styling its pages can delay loading if left unoptimized. Here are a few solutions you can implement to get your CSS into shape:

  1. If you have several external CSS files, combine them into one or a few files.
  2. Remove external CSS and use inline CSS instead.
  3. Use “media types” to specify when certain CSS files should be loaded.

Like inline JavaScript, inline CSS is only useful for small portions of code. If you have several large CSS files, you shouldn’t try to add all of them to your HTML file. Specifying media types and combining your external CSS files should make a more significant impact.

3. Render blocking Javascript is delaying page loads

JavaScript is the code that makes your website functional and interactive for users. Without it, your site would be dull. However, if left unoptimized, JavaScript can delay your pages when they try to load in users’ browsers.

When a browser tries to display a webpage, it has to stop and fully load any JavaScript files it encounters first. This results in what’s called “render-blocking JavaScript” or JavaScript that prevents the page from loading quickly.

There are three solutions for dealing with render-blocking JavaScript:

  1. Remove external JavaScript files, and use inline JavaScript instead.
  2. Use asynchronous loading so JavaScript can load separately from the rest of the page.
  3. Defer JavaScript loading until the rest of the page is visible to the user.

Each method has its pros and cons. Generally speaking, inline JavaScript will only improve page speed when used sparingly. Asynchronous loading can cause issues as files are not loaded in any particular order. Therefore, deferring JavaScript is usually the recommended method.

4. You’re not using a content delivery network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) consists of several servers that are placed in strategic geographic locations. You can store copies of your website on them so its pages can be quickly loaded by users who are located far away from your main server. 

There are several CDN options for your WordPress site. Cloudflare is one of the most popular solutions, as is the Jetpack CDN for images and videos. For customers on our DreamPress Plus and Pro plans, you’ll get unlimited CDN usage powered by Jetpack.

Additionally, if your slow running website uses jQuery, you can load it from a CDN instead of your web server. Since jQuery uses far fewer lines of code than JavaScript to accomplish the same outcomes, it can be especially useful for boosting your site’s speed. Google and Microsoft are the two most popular jQuery CDN options.

5. Large media are increasing the load time

Media files, such as images and videos, tend to be quite large. Optimizing them through compression can help to decrease their size and, therefore, improve your loading times.

TinyPNG is a free online tool that compresses images. There are also several plugins you can use to compress media files within WordPress, including Smush Image Compression and Optimization.

6. Your Website code is too bulky

The more code your user’s web browser has to load, the longer it will take for your website to become visible. If your code is too “bulky” or contains unimportant characters and line breaks, your site may get slower. In response, you can “minify” that code by removing the elements that ain’t needed.

There are two popular plugins for carrying out this task. Autoptimize minifies code, in addition to inlining CSS and optimizing JavaScript files. It also integrates well with WP Super Cache.

7. Missing files are causing errors

In some cases, your WordPress installation may be missing files. If this happens, users will experience longer loading times as additional requests are made in an attempt to find the files. This process will eventually result in a 404 error if the files can’t be found.

The causes behind this issue are numerous and varied. Instead of trying to track down the source of the problem, the fastest solution is to restore your site from your most recent backup. This should replace the missing files with the versions saved in your backup.

8. Internet issues are stopping specific user’s smooth performance

Finally, poor website performance can also be due to an issue with a user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP), rather than with your site itself. Slow site speeds can result from network congestion, bandwidth throttling, and restrictions, data discrimination, and filtering, or content filtering.If you notice slow speeds when visiting your site, you can run a traceroute between your computer and your website to test the connection. This should give you an idea of whether or not the problem is related to your ISP or is a more significant site-wide concern.

9. Opcache isn’t enabled

OPcache is a built-in caching engine for the coding language PHP. If you’re using PHP on your site, having OPcache enabled can speed up its loading and the loading of your pages as a result.

10. Poorly written scripts are conflicting with other website’s elements

Poorly-written JavaScript can sometimes cause compatibility issues with other parts of your site, resulting in longer loading times. Running a speed test using tools such as Pingdom, Web Page Test, and GTmetrix can often point out scripts that are taking a long time to load.

You can then investigate these files more closely to understand how you can improve them. It may also be useful to turn potentially problematic scripts off temporarily, to see how your performance scores change without them enabled.