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How to Fix a Slow Loading Website: 15+ Techniques

This guide to fixing slow loading websites shows the techniques that really works.

A No Fluff Guide On The Different Ways We Uses To Fix Websites That Load Slowly ( < 1 sec Load Time, < 200 TTFB, 100 Google PageSpeed Score on Shared Hosting)

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To improve website users experience one need to know and stay updated on web speed techniques.

And one of those important techniques to know are the one’s for slow website fixes.

Knowing why your website is slow and how to fix it is important for many reasons which we will discuss in this how to article.

This guide provides readers with the best ways to fix slow loading websites like:

  • having hosting plans from one of the best web hosting service providers like Dreamhost, GreenGeeks, and BlueHost.
  • optimizing images properly before uploading
  • using updated PHP version
  • clean and optimized database
  • using cleans codes
  • refraining from using jQuery
  • replacing Javascript with CSS
  • fixing 404 error pages
  • use browser caching
  • removing google fonts and using system fonts instead
  • and many more

The tips on this page are the speed techniques we used to get this website and others 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.

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

However, if you stay open-minded and is willing to not follow the hoard, you will appreciate the information, 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 your website’s slow loading speed.

Shall we begin!

Why is Fixing a Slow Website Is Important?

Before we dive into the actual fixes, let’s briefly revisit why fixing a slow loading website 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 is is up to debate.

Save Money On Hosting

By improving a website loading time and keeping the site lightweight, less 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.

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

What Causes Slow Websites?

Part of knowing how to improve and speed up web pages is also learning what caused or causes them to be slow.

There are many things that causes websites to load slowly that you want to know about.

They are:

  • Too much traffic
  • Being in the wrong hosting server plan
  • Too much ad
  • Flashy contents
  • Unoptimized images
  • No cache or bad cache setup
  • Bloated codes
  • and many more

READ MORE: https://www.onlinebusinessconsultants.net/reasons-for-slow-loading-websites/

How to Fix Slow Loading Websites: The Breakdown

Now that we have touched on the importance of having a fast loading website and what causes them to be slow, let’s look at the techniques that improves the speed.

So what are these different ways to fix slow loading websites?

1. Compress & Resize Images

A how to fix a slow loading website guide won’t be complete without touching on the importance of optimizing website images.

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

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

Resizing and compressing images is extremely important.

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

So do it.

2. Enable GZIP Compression

How can a how to fix slow loading website guide 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.

3. Get a Faster Hosting Provider or Plan

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

It is usually one of the top reason for slow loading websites.

This is one of the best ways to improve websites 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 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 DreamHost, GreenGeeks, or BlueHost.

4. Correct Site Tools Setting

Another way to fix your website speed 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 apposed to others. And sometimes the basic setting is enough and won’t cause speed issues.

5. Set .htaccess Directives Correctly or Don’t Use It

We have tested this countless times and have noticed that the order of directives in your .htaccess might affect your website speed.

All the good things that may help with a website performance 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.

For example, when adding Gzip compression and Browser Cache directives 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 those compression on the server level and avoid putting things in your website .htaccess.

6. 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.

7. Try Using CDN

Enabling CDN may help with fixing a slow website. 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.

Note: 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.

8. Enable Browser Caching with The Right Tweaks

Caching your slow website can make a huge difference on how fast it loads.

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 reduced 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 provide expert website caching setup services.

9. 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 and slows down your website by a significant margin.

If you want to make your website faster then, 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.

10. Keep the Code Clean

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

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.

11. Disable Hot-linking

This is one thing that is responsible for a slow website 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 hotlinking on your website.

We thank our host for doing this for us in less than 5 minutes of chatting with a live rep.

12. Fix 404 Error

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.

13. Update PHP Version

One of the easiest ways to fix a slow website page loading and for optimal performance is to make sure that a site’s 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 to update PHP to the latest version.

NOTE: 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

Another way to improve slow loading websites speed that people often ignore is to simply avoid redundant speed optimization.

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

17. Disable Google Fonts & Use System Fonts

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 websites, the loading time went from 1.2 seconds to about 650 ms.

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

Final Thoughts On How To Fix a Slow Website

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

Consider Getting Professional Help

If you need help implanting some of the fixes on your website, OnlineBusinessConsulting speed experts can help you.

We provide professional speed optimization services to help with users experience 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.

If you are looking for some web hosting companies to consider as one of the ways to fix your slow loading web pages we recommend that you checkout and consider WPENGINE or BlueHost.

Emmanuel Okeke

I write awesome tech guides such as SEO, WordPress speed, content strategies, digital marketing tools and growth that’s helpful to businesses.

What I write about is from my experience as a former Senior digital & content marketing consultant with a division(FindLaw) of Thomson Reuters and running my own digital publishing & marketing agency for years.

Most of what I write about I have also done some testing and extensive research on..[Read full bio]