If you own a business in 2022, and you are wondering why customers are not flying by the dozen into the door, you might be a victim of a poorly performing website, and people are not finding you on searches because of that. But, not all is lost, and that's why you're here. To figure out why your website is slow and how to fix it. So, let's get to it.
Google has been warning about website performance, and how they would rank sites part based on its speed. Why? Because of user experience. As put by their developers, "When real users have a slow experience on mobile, they're much less likely to find what they are looking for or purchase from you in the future."
Ok, no big news there. Speed is a landing page factor for Google Search and Ad since 2018, with mandatory features like Parallel Tracking to measure users' actions on your site while improving load speed. The first-world problem you should know about is this: users' expectations increase as they are given a better choice by so many other sites. It becomes the new standard. You either keep up with it or be left for oblivion somewhere on the 10th page of search results. Have you ever been beyond the first? Most people don't.
If you are not familiar with such a topic, this post will help you learn about the 6 main factors why your website is getting poor metric audits on GTMetrix.
There is a lot more to it than the eyes can see, all contingent on your website CMS of choice and the structure of your pages. Learn a few common tricks, implement yourself or hire a professional to do the job for you. Either way, if you are ranking nothing but an A and at the least 90% to 98% performance on your speed audits, it's time to do something about it, pal! You won't have a second chance.
Your hosting is the most crucial factor that influences how fast things get to your users. We have sites on high-frequency servers that don't use a caching plugin at all, only an image compressor and a nice server-level caching and CDN rules.
What we recommend to all our clients is to upgrade to a high-frequency VPS cloud server, with at least 2 cores CPU, and over 2GB of RAM. Or, go with a managed cloud service, which will provide peace of mind while delivering enterprise-level speeds for affordable prices.
2) HTTP Requests
That has to do with how your website was built, which foundation was used to create your pages, and what current tools or plugins are possibly draining your resources.
If you use too many images on one page, you will run into server requests issues. But don't start deleting and messing with your design just yet. There are options for every single scenario. Again, you just have to consider your CMS of choice.
3) Large Images
This goes without saying, but a site with properly compressed images is a must! Also, some websites (with high-traffics) require images to be delivered by a third-party service for smaller devices.
There are plugins for WordPress like ShortPixel that can run in the background and do bulk image compression for you. You have to know how to set it up, but once you figure it out, it's pretty seamless. They even have a web version if you want to use their service manually.
Serving images optimized for device sizes is the next big step. There are many tools that handle that well. But, if we were to pick just one (and save headache and money), Cloudflare's Pro plan is an all-in-one solution and fits most sites' needs.
There are 2 basic types, cookies, and applications. Cookies are all the marketing tools you need in order to attract and delight your customers. Everything should be managed in Google Tag Manager, and that also needs optimization in order to not block the rendering of your pages. Applications scripts are tools inside your website that should be tackled on a case-by-case scenario, in some cases removed and/or substituted for better ones.
If you use too many font types, you are doomed to have a slow site. Fonts require server requests for each font-weight. We need to make some decisions and go with the ones that suit better your needs. Sometimes, avoiding Google Fonts and hosting only necessary ones yourself saves you a lot of resources. Even better, use a service that will store that at the edge for you.
Again, another must-have. There are free and paid CDN (Content Delivery Network) services. We will assess your website and advise you if you should invest further in it. All packages come with a basic FREE CDN setup via Cloudflare.
So there it is!
You now know why your website may suck (resources I mean) from your server too much. There's definitely a ton more we didn't cover, which will be coming soon to this blog.
If you need any help optimizing your pages, check our performing packages.
About the author
Antonio Guedes is a Lead Product Designer with a knack for making tech approachable and fun. He's seasoned in guiding tech teams through the maze of bridging the gap between design and development, crafting user-centric designs that not only look good but work smartly. At PHRUTOS, his approach is all about blending creativity with practicality, making the complex world of tech a little more relatable.
CEO and Lead Product Designer