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My Website Is Slow

Overview

Having a slow-loading website can be frustrating and can lead to less traffic visiting your site. If your site relies heavily on e-commerce or advertisements, this could result in substantially less revenue being generated by your website.

There are many reasons a website may be slow:

  • A huge spike in Additional Traffic.
  • A Dynamic Site without caching.
  • Extremely Large or non-optimized graphics.
  • Extremely Large or non-optimized database.
  • A large number of calls to external websites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.)
  • Connectivity issues

Those issues fall into four categories: traffic issues, Connectivity, Site Optimization, and Configuration Issues. But you don't have to worry, and we still have different ways to improve and fix it. This article will surely help you!



Traffic Issues

website-traffic-data

Traffic Density:

One common issue with websites suddenly becoming slow is traffic density. Traffic density is often the desired result of a well-created website. However, depending on the hosting plan you have, the type of scripts on your site and how optimized your site is can have an adverse effect.

There are several ways to handle a high traffic density:

  • Upgrade your hosting plan
  • Use a caching service like Cloudflare to reduce the load cost of your commonly accessed pages.
  • Use the tools on this page to locate the contributing factors and manage them rather than the traffic density itself.

Connectivity Issues

Solar-Charge-Controller-Troubleshooting

Another common cause for websites to unexpectedly become slow is connectivity issues. Connectivity issues often cause sites to appear slow when they may not be running slow at all. Connectivity issues are typically a local issue, which means that your site may only be loading slowly for you.

There are several ways in which you can diagnose connectivity issues:

  • InternetSupervision - web-based software that tests your website's connection from several locations around the world to locate problems.
  • Traceroute - Many websites offer traceroute services and several ways to run a traceroute with a desktop application. One reliable service which also supports other connectivity tests is Network-tools.com.

Site Optimization

site optimization

A large portion of the reason sites become slow is because they need to be optimized. Most websites today are dynamic sites. This means that the website's content is at least partially generated when a visitor requests the page. Many times, the generated content is dependent on a database. If either the database or the code that interfaces with the database and generates the page for your visitors is not optimized, it can lead to a slowdown in page load times.

Several tools can be used to pinpoint where a site could be better optimized:

  • Page Speed Grader - Performs speed analysis and provides a breakdown of how long it takes to load your page, as well as a detailed breakdown of potential issues.
  • WebPageTest - Like Page Speed Grader, it provides output analysis in a different format that may be more readable for some.
  • YSlow plugin - A plugin for your web browser that can analyze your speed locally
  • Google page speed - both an online service and a browser plugin that will analyze your page similar to the methods used by Page Speed Grader and WebPageTest

In addition to these tools, There are some guides that you can use to optimize your website without necessarily having to perform analysis. For a WordPress website, see WordPress Optimization. If you find that your site is still experiencing load time issues, it may be time to contact a developer to optimize your scripting. Alternatively, you may wish to upgrade your hosting account to or dedicated server to handle the extra load.

Configuration Issues

configuration

The third possibility for site load times being slow is the least common. There may be a configuration issue with the domain—the ISP your visitor is using to request the site or the server. Any issue with one of these three can cause your site to load slowly, or in some cases, the site will not load at all or only some of the time. These issues can often be confused with connectivity issues. If you believe you are experiencing a configuration issue with your site, please give us a call or visit us in live chat.

Domain Configuration Issues

Domain configuration issues are primarily issues with your DNS. These can cause site load times to be slow because the server does not have proper routing information to serve your website to the visitor requesting it.

You can diagnose and repair this kind of issue by following these steps:

  1. Diagnose DNS issues using an online tool. Some reliable tools are listed below:
    • LeafDNS - Provides detailed information on potential DNS configuration issues in a user-friendly graphical format
    • Network-tools.com - Can help you locate DNS issues by showing you your DNS configuration file or DNS zone
    • intoDNS - Another tool similar to LeafDNS that provides information on your DNS configuration in a different format
  2. Address any configuration issues reported by the above tools in your cPanel using the DNS zone editor.

ISP Configuration Issues

It is also possible that a visitor to your site may be experiencing issues with their ISP's configuration. In this rare scenario, you will want to have your visitor run a traceroute as directed above and then contact the ISP. You will want to provide the traceroute information to the ISP to resolve the configuration issue.

Server Issues

Server issues are the rarest cause for a site to experience slow load times. All servers at Bluehost are constantly monitored and tuned to ensure that they perform at optimal speeds. However, in certain rare instances, the server can become overloaded, and this can cause a slow down in site load times. These issues are often temporary and will resolve themselves in time. If you feel that there may be an ongoing server issue causing your site to load slowly, please perform a traceroute and contact us at 888-401-4678 with this information to locate and resolve the issue.

Ways To Fix Your Slow-Loading Site

website-speed-blog

Improving your website speed doesn't have to take a lot of additional work. In addition, the benefits you’ll receive from improving your site’s loading speed are well worth the time spent. Here are the different ways you can do to improve the speed of your website.

Enable Caching

enable caching

At whatever point you visit a website, certain elements are stored in a cache, so the next time you visit the site, it can easily access those parts and load much faster. With caching, instead of your browser having to download every single resource, it only has to download a few of them.

By turning on caching, you'll be able to improve your site’s stacking for return visitors significantly. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, you can install a plugin like W3 Total Cache or W3 Super Cache, either of which will let you enable sitewide caching, or caching of certain site elements.

If you aren’t using a CMS, at that point, there are extra steps you’ll have to be taken in arrange to use browser caching.

Remove Resource-Hogging Plugins and Add-ons

remove

If your website is currently running too many plugins, it may slow down your website. You may need some plugins to make your website work might and to function the way you want, but chances are, there are some you can live without, especially if they’re resource hogs.

The best way is to perform a basic loading speed test through tools like GTMetrix or Google Pagespeed Insights. Then check your list of plugins and disable one plugin at a time. After doing that, run the speed test with the plugin deactivated.

This might be time-consuming, but it will help you find the plugins that are harming or having the biggest impact on the loading speed of your website. At that point, you can search or look for a less resource-heavy plugin and find another workaround.

Optimize and Reduce the Size of Your Images

image-optimization

If your site has tons of images that aren’t optimized, then this will negatively impact your site’s loading speed. By having oversized images, you’ll be requiring the browser to load larger files. There are a few different ways you can optimize your images to load faster.

  • Ensure that your images are unnecessarily large. For example, if the width of your blog page is 900px, then make sure that’s how wide your images are.
  • If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, you can install a plugin like WPSmush that will automatically reduce the file size of the images.
  • Before you upload images, first run them through a tool called Tiny PNG to reduce the file size of your image without sacrificing the quality.

 

Minimize Your Code

Minimize code

Sometimes your website’s code can become a little messy. In this case, your website will take much longer to load. When you do many customizations, use a CMS, or even use a website builder to build your website, there will be unnecessary line breaks, spaces, and other unwanted elements.

If you are using WordPress, plugins like Better WordPress Minify will minimize your code. Or, if you are using one of the caching plugins highlighted above, there should also be a minify option.

If you are not using a CMS, you can use the Pagespeed Insights Chrome Extension to magnify the code. This extension will create a minimized version of your code, so you can see which version is faster.

Minification of CSS and Javascript files is also a good idea. Even putting all of your CSS and Javascript files in one place, instead of several different files, can help to speed things up.

Use a CDN

CDN

The loading speed of your website is affected by the distance or proximity of the user to the server where your site’s files are stored. The further you are from this physical location, the slower your site will load. Using a CDN can solve this problem.

A CDN distributes your site's files through a global server network so that your users can access your site through the server closest to them.

Some reliable options for a CDN are CloudFlare and KeyCDN. In some cases, your existing hosting provider may even have the option to utilize a CDN for your site. (Bluehost does!)

If you need further assistance, you may contact our Chat Support or Phone Support via 888-401-4678. You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.