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How to fix a slow loading website - 17+ ways to improve the speed

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Knowing how to fix slow loading websites properly is important web performance knowledge.

Improve and Speed Up Your Website
This page score on Google Pagespeed insights on a shared server.

This is because to make your website loading time faster which improves users' experience and SEO, you need to know some fixes & speed-up techniques for websites that work.

We will show you some of the best ways to fix a slow website page and make it faster by doing these:

  • Having hosting plans from one of the best web hosting service providers like GreenGeeks, BlueHost, and WPENGINE (fully managed WP hosting).
  • Optimizing images properly before uploading
  • Avoiding & deleting plugins that reduce speed ( If with a CMS that uses plugins)
  • Using an updated PHP version
  • Clean and optimized database
  • Using cleans codes
  • Refraining from using jQuery on your website
  • Replacing Javascript with CSS
  • Fixing 404 error pages
  • Use browser caching
  • Removing Google Fonts and using system fonts instead
  • etc.

The tips on this page are the website speed up techniques we used to get this website and others to load time under 1 second (see on Pingdom) and a TTFB of < 200ms (courtesy of Bytecheck), 100 score on Google PageSpeed Ingsights.

All these on a shared hosting server. So this guide is a no-fluff guide to making slow loading sites rocket fast ;).

Seriously, this post is packed with brutal honest truths that are based on many website tests( we recommend that you do tests before and after implementing any web performance technique).

However, if you stay open-minded and are willing to not follow the hoard, you will appreciate the information, and save yourself thousands financially and from frustration.

By the time you are done reading this action-packed guide, we hope that you gained more knowledge on the top techniques that will fix and make your slow website speed load faster.

How to fix a slow loading website( the 17+ ways detailed)

17+ Ways To Fix a Slow Website Loading Detailed

So how do you exactly fix sites with slow loading time?

Well let's here are details of the techniques that improves website speed.

1. Check your site speed with testing tools

Knowing exactly why your website speed is slow is important because this will help you to know exactly what issues it has and what to do to make it load faster.

To do this you need to use some testing tools to find issues.

Use the below tools to test your website speed to find issues causing it to be slow.

  • GTmetrix.com. Under Summary see where it says Page Details to get an idea of which resources( CSS, Images, JS, etc) on your site page is using what Use the Waterfall chart to see more details too.
  • PageSpeed Insights. Google's PageSpeed Insight is a great testing tool for website speed. Pay attention to the parts where it says Opportunities and Passed Audit.
  • Pingdom. Another testing tool worth checking out.
  • WebPageTest.org. This is actually owned by Google. It has more details and could be complicated for beginners to use.

2. Compress & resize images

Optimizing website images correctly before uploading to a site is extremely important for site speed.

The good news is that it is one of the easiest optimization actions to take that improves a slow website speed.

Reducing a webpage image size is one of the easiest wins in performance optimization. 

Resizing and compressing images is extremely important.

Image can be compressed by 40-80% without significant loss in quality.

So do it.

3. Enable GZIP compression

This guide won't be complete without mentioning the importance of Gzip compression.

This is so important that Yahoo says that Gzip is the most popular and effective compression method currently available and generally reduces the response size by about 70%.

Enabling GZIP compression wraps up all the web objects (CSS, JavaScript, Images, etc.) into a single container that can be sent to the requesting browser.

It reduces the size of the data being transferred from the server to the user.

This compression lowers response time and provides an easy performance win.

If you are not implementing gZip compression on your website already then this is the first thing you must consider doing.

4. Get a faster web hosting provider or plan

Web hosting is one of the top factors for that affects a website page speed.

By choosing the right website hosting company and plan you can improve speed.

This is really one of the best ways to improve website speed loading issues.

Even though we recommend changing to a fast web host, make sure that you apply some of the fixes mentioned before switching to a new host or upgrading the server.

With that said, even after doing all the fixes, your site might still be loading slowly because of a bad server or being on the wrong plan( sometimes you have just outgrown your plan so it is time to upgrade).

If you want to consider other providers we recommend NameHero, GreenGeeks, or BlueHost.

But for a fully managed WordPress site hosting go with WPEngine.

5. Correct site tools settings

Another method you can apply in other to speed up your site is to make sure that your website settings are done correctly., especially for those using CMS.

Every website is different because of the type of CMS being used, web hosting provider server settings, how it is coded, etc.

Sometimes the basic default setting is enough for a website tool. Enabling all the features on a site or its tools can slow it down.

For example, it might take a lot of tweaking to find out the best CDN setting that works best for your website as opposed to others. And sometimes the basic setting is enough and won't cause speed issues.

6. Limit .htaccess file use

We have tested this countless times and have noticed that the order of directives and having a lot of code in the .htaccess file affect site performance.

All the good things that may help with website performance and functionality that you add to your .htaccess will slow down your TTFB and overall speed if you don't add them correctly in the order of importance and have too many codes in it.

For example, when adding Gzip compression and Browser Cache codes in the .htaccess, the order matter.

Gzip compression directives should always be before Browser Cache.

This is because you want to compress resources before sending them to a browser.

Better yet do that compression on the server level and avoid putting things in your website .htaccess.

Most modern web hosts are moving away from using the .htaccess file.

They are applying functionalities in the server.

Specialized and fully managed WP hosts like WPengine & Kinsta don't use it and will apply any functionality you need on the server which is better for security and loading time.

7. Reduce HTTP requests

Having excessive JavaScript, CSS, and image files can lead to too many HTTP requests which may reduce your web page loading speed.

Reducing the total number of such files and minifying your CSS and JavaScript files can improve speed.

Your server can only handle a certain number of HTTP requests per second and you should be mindful of it.

8. Try using a CDN

Enabling CDN may help with fixing and making a slow website faster. Especially, for websites with a lot of traffic and/or global audience.

Content Delivery Network service is a collection of distributed servers that are responsible for serving up web content to users with high availability and performance.

CDN serves up data to the customer from the node located at the nearest geographical location.

As mentioned above, it is particularly useful for sites that have a global audience and big traffic spikes as it can help alleviate it.

Also, CDN frequently caches accessed data which leads to reduced time in the loading of pages.

Be cautious of CDNs. Some people have complained about how having a CDN didn't help.

Some people experienced their website loading slower or constant downtime.

So make sure that any CDN you use is configured properly and you pay attention to your website performance once you enable it.

Sometimes, just enabling a CDN without spending time to tweak it will cause more harm than help.

So either spend hours of your time tweaking it( there are so many settings on CDNs like Cloudflare to play with) or hire a CDN performance expert to do it for you.

9. Enable browser caching with correct setting

A how to fix a slow website guide won't be complete without touching on this.

Caching your website can make a huge difference in how fast it loads, especially for repeat visitors.

Enabling caching like browser caching and setting it correctly is one of the top ways to fix slow loading websites.

Caching stores frequently accessed data as cached memory.

This helps pre-build the page even before a request for the page is served.

Any subsequent request for the same data gets served from the cache memory, thereby increasing the loading speed of your pages.

With caching like browser cache, you can reduce TTFB by almost 80% and loading time by 20% to 60% on some sites.

Almost anything can be cached from HTTP and database queries to images, videos, and documents among other things.

With all of the above said, it takes time and experience to tweak the cache properly for optimal performance for some websites.

There are many tweaks to be done like the "right" expiry time for different assets, enabling or disabling certain caches( page cache, Memcache, OPcache, etc), where you put Browser cache rules in the .htaccess, etc.

If you need help with the proper caching settings for your website OnlineBusinessConsulting provides expert website caching setup services.

10. Eliminate flash contents

Although flash contents are a great way to add animations and interactivity to your site, it comes with an enormous performance overhead.

If you want to make your website faster, search for flash replacements like HTML5.

Flash is very bulky and you should consider reducing its size or replacing it altogether with HTML5 if you want your website speed to improve and load faster.

11. Clean codes

Cleaning up whitespaces, unnecessary comments, and inlining some elements can help with a site fasting loading.

Minify your code and try to use one single stylesheet when possible.

You might not see any speed increase but it helps to keep them clean.

 12. Disable hot-linking

This is one thing that is responsible for a website loading slowly that most people are not aware of.

The good news is that it is easy to fix.

But first what is hot-linking?

This is basically when people copy and paste an image from a website.

So how does that slow down your website?

The problem is that every time people visit the website of those that copied and pasted images from your website it adds server resource consumption because those copied and pasted images are loading from your server.

To stop this from happening just contact your web hosting provider and asked them to disable hot-linking on your website.

13. Fix 404 errors

This is another cause of a web page lagging in speed.

Periodically run a broken link check on your website to find broken internal and external links to fix.

Fixing this will not only speed up your website but also help with link juice which in turn helps with your website search engine ranking.

14. Update PHP version

One of the easiest ways to improve a site for optimal performance is to make sure that the PHP version is always updated to the latest version.

You do not need technical skills to do this.

Simply go to your website Panel or hosting dashboard and look for PHP Manager or contact your host and they should be able to update it for you.

So if your site is slow one of the ways to fix it is to update PHP to the latest version.

Important: Just make sure that the PHP version you upgrade to is what's recommended by your host. If your host is recommending PHP 7.1 and you upgrade to 7.4 that might slow down your website.

So don't always upgrade because an upgrade is available. Make sure your host has enabled that version to work with your server settings.

15. Consider a fast DNS

Using a fast DNS will also contribute to your website's overall speed. This is because DNS lookup speed is part of your website speed.

You can use SolveDNS to test your DNS speed.

The impact may not be a lot but when it comes to improving slow loading web pages, every small win counts.

16. Avoid redundancy

People often ignore this part but it is extremely important.

For example, if your hosting provider has GZIP and Browser Cache enabled on the server, do not add the same codes or plugins to your website.

If you want to make changes to the browser cache ask your web host to make the change in the server.

17. Disable Google fonts & use system fonts instead

This technique can shave off 200 ms to 1 800 ms from your site loading time. When we removed Google fonts and started using system fonts on this website, the loading time went from 1.2 seconds to about 650 ms(the test was from GTmetrix and using the default Canada location).

Systems fonts are just as nice as some Google Fonts but way faster.

18. Delete extensions & plugins that impact speed

If you are using a CMS like WP, Joomla, or any site that uses extensions or plugins, delete the ones that are slow and impacting your site speed.

And proactive stay away from such plugins and extensions.

Why you should implement the speed changes asap

You should take your website speed seriously and apply the above changes as soon as possible

Here are why fixing and making a website load faster is important.

SEO

A fast-loading website may help in improving SERP ranking with Google and other search engines. How big of an impact this helps is up to debate.

The belief is that it helps your search engine ranking indirectly by improving users' experience which leads to people spending more time on your site which reduces the bounce rate.

Save money on website hosting

By improving a website's loading time and keeping the site lightweight, fewer storage spaces are used on the server. This will save one money on web hosting fees.

User's experience

Creating a great website experience starts with a fast-loading website. This will lead to better conversion.

Main Article: https://www.onlinebusinessconsultants.net/why-slow-web-pages-are-bad/

Online Business Consulting website speed support

If you need help implanting some of the techniques mentioned properly on your website, OnlineBusinessConsulting experts can help you.

We provide professional speed optimization services to help with user experience, conversion, and SEO.

REFERENCES:https://www.onlinebusinessconsultants.net/wp-speed-optimization-services/

https://www.onlinebusinessconsultants.net/national-and-local-seo-services/

Contact us to discuss what you need and how we might be able to implement a solution.

Final Thoughts On How to Fix a Slow Website for Faster Loading Time

We hope that following the techniques listed here will help fix and speed up your slow loading website.

If you are looking for some web hosting companies to consider too, look into WPengine( fully managed WP hosting) or GreenGeek, NameHero, or Rocket.Net.

Emmanuel Okeke

A Los Angeles resident who loves to write awesome guides on SEO, WordPress speed/security, content strategies, business and personal finance, digital and growth hack tools, legal stuff, etc, that are helpful to businesses, solopreneurs, bloggers, and consumers.

What I write about is based on tests, extensive research, and 11+ experience as a former Senior digital & content marketing consultant with a division of Thomson Reuters and running a successful digital marketing agency...[Read full bio]