I love learning and researching, so I started reading one blog after another in order to find a solution for this; I also discovered that there are some online tools that can help you to determine if your site needs help or not and it was there where I decided that I had to do something about the fact that my site had a very high loading time. I am happy to say that within two days I found something that really made a difference, and if you want to know more about it I invite you to keep reading and learn this simple and practical idea to increase your website’s performance.
As I just mentioned, I ran several tests on some of the free online tools that you can find just by typing the words “website speed test”. The average time that took my site to fully load was about 17 seconds and something inside me said that this was not good. Some of these free tools can be pretty helpful as they give you specific details about what could be holding down your site, they also give you recommendations in order to fix each issue, but even when I implemented every recommendation I still couldn’t see any significant difference.
The last idea that I had was to make a call to my WordPress hosting service provider and see if they could give me an idea of what was going on, the fact is that the guy who took my call suggested me a simple and practical idea to help me narrow down the problem. I asked him about any potential issue that this could cause and he said that there was no problem at all, but that in any case they had a backup of my site so restoring it wouldn’t be hard at all. After doing some research about this guy’s idea I decided to take action, and the good news is that it actually worked, and in less than a minute I was finding the causes of my low speed website. This is exactly what I want to talk to you about, but first I will tell you some interesting details about what I found during my research.
The research about the speed of websites:
I wanted to know the most common causes for low speed websites as I thought that there was a good chance that I could do something around those ideas. After reading some posts about the topic I confirmed that one of the main causes for slow websites is the amount of objects like widgets and plugin functionalities that they have to load; I learned that the written content loads fast but that images can take a while with a low speed connection, and that in order to avoid slow loading images a good idea is to optimize each file.
After reading the same causes for the third time I found that there was a correlation between those and what the hosting service technical support suggested me to do, so I felt more confident to proceed and find what was holding my site.
Give A Glance at: How to Optimize Images on WordPress and Why It Is Important
The idea implementation – How I finally discovered why my site was slow:
The idea that I got from the technical support team at my hosting service provider was to simply deactivate all the plugins that I had installed on my site and see if that made a difference; this way I could easily narrow down the root cause of the issue and determine what was happening.
I’m writing this post base on my own experience, I am not an internet expert and that is why I made sure to create a backup of my site before proceeding, if you want to use this idea I recommend you to do the same first.
Here is the process that I followed in order to make it happen:
- Create a backup of the site: Before doing anything I recommend you to create a backup of your website; it is a good idea to call your hosting service provider and ask them if they have one created already. If there is no backup then creating one must be something easy for them.
- Deactivate all the plugins: After the site is covered the second step would be to deactivate all the plugins of your site. Simply select them all and apply a bulk deactivation.
- Test if the site loads faster: If the issue was caused by a plugin or a plugin interaction this should solve it, and it is a good idea to open your browser and see if your site loads faster, if so then you are closer to find the root cause and can proceed with the following steps.
- Activate each plugin one by one: Each time a plugin is reactivated test the site to see if there is any difference.
- Determine which plugin slows down your site: As you reactivate plugins it is very easy to determine which plugin or plugins are bringing down your site, this can be easily done using the stopwatch on your phone and making a list of the times.
- Look for an alternative plugin: After determining which plugin(s) were slowing down the site you can look for alternatives to replace those.
- Test the site again: Make sure that the alternative plugins are functional without slowing down your site.
- Ensure all works fine: Check a few posts and pages to make sure that everything works well, it is important to make sure that the user experience is improved as a result of doing this.
After removing and replacing plugins, I also noticed that optimizing the images was a good idea since it helped to improve the loading time of the individual pages of my site.
Test your site’s speed and determine if there is any room for improvement:
One of the big things that I learned about the importance of having a high speed site is that these are perceived as more responsive, this has a direct impact on the impression that people have about the person managing the site.
Another interesting article mentioned that a site that loads after 1 second is great as people don’t lose interest right away. Below the 5 seconds mark the visitor will still be willing to navigate the site, and after waiting 10 or more seconds to see the content the visitor will easily close our window.
What do you think about low speed websites? Do you think that your site loads fast? Test your website’s speed and let us know your comments.
To your success!
About the author:
Jose Lozano is a passionate online entrepreneur who is learning more and more about the online world. He found that the time that takes a site to load has an important impact on the visitor’s experience and this can determine if people stay or leave the site. Jose as well enjoys having fun with other gadgets such as RC flying toys and you can learn more about Jose and his site following him on Twitter @RCHobbiesonAir.