Why is my site slow?

Why is my site slow?

Courtesy of GoDaddy!
http://support.godaddy.com/help/article/7324/why-is-my-site-slow

Date Submitted: 8/7/14

Your site can feel slow for two reasons. It can take a long time to generate a given page on the server side or it can take a long time to load the site in your browser. It can also feel slow for both reasons combined! For more information, see Top 5 Website Performance Problems.

If you’re using WordPress®, you can try Troubleshooting Common Issues in WordPress. W3 Total Cache is a performance optimization framework for WordPress, that is designed to work in any type of site or web hosting account.

You can also use free third-party tools to troubleshoot the cause of your site’s slowness and to make a plan for your next moves.

Using Pingdom Tools to Determine Site Slowness

OUR FAVORITE TOOL
Using Pingdom, you might be able to determine the cause of your site’s slowness.

To Use Pingdom to Determine Site Slowness

  1. Go to Pingdom Tools.
  2. Enter your website URL.
  3. Click Test Now.

Things to look for:

  • If you see a large page size (more than 1 MB), then your site requires the browser to download a lot of files before it can display your site’s content.
  • If you see a high number of Requests (more than 100), then your site requires the browser to make a lot of connections to display your site’s content. Try to display less content from third-party sites, combine JavaScript and CSS files, use CSS sprites, and enable caching headers to make the browser do less work.
  • If you see any 4xx or 5xx errors on the Page Analysis tab, that means your site is referencing a URL that doesn’t exist (cannot be found), or otherwise is generating an error. You should investigate to see which URL is causing the error and fix it.
  • If you see any 3xx statuses on the Page Analysis tab, that means you’re referencing a URL that is causing a redirect (an additional request). You should investigate to see which URL is causing the redirect and fix it.
  • Under the Page Analysis tab, if you see a large amount of time spent on another domain under Time Spent per Domain, this means another site’s content could be slowing down your site in the customer’s browser. You should investigate this further.

If you’re still stumped, please try to find patterns in slowness before you contact help or tech support so we can handle your case quickly. Patterns to look for:

  • Is your site slow only during certain hours of the day?
  • Is your site slow only from certain geographic locations?
  • Are only certain pages of your site slow?
  • Do you host multiple alias domains on your account? If so, are they all slow, or just one?
  • Do you run multiple Web applications on your account? If so, are they all slow, or just one?
  • Do you run multiple plugins, modules, or themes for your Web application? If you disable them, does your site speed up?
  • Is your connection to other websites slow?

Any additional information you can provide will help our tech support track down the issues quickly.

Top 5 Website Performance Problems

Courtesy of GoDaddy!

Knowing how to improve your website’s performance is important. We use tools like P3 Profiler, Yslow, Pagespeed, andWebPageTest.org to diagnose poor Web page performance. For more information on using tools to determine site slowness, see Why is my site slow?

It’s quite possible that your website is slow because of one of the five issues below. Check them out, and see how they relate to your site.

  1. Page Size — The bigger your page, the longer it takes to download, especially over slower connections.Big images are probably the number one cause of slow loading pages. Most image creation software has image compression options. There are also online tools, such as Smushit by Yahoo®! that can help you compress large images. You should make sure that each image on your website is optimized for the Web. Also, resize images to fit the width and height you want them to display on your page. We often see people upload giant 2000-plus pixels-wide images they snapped with their digital cameras and then use the width and height parameters to shrink them, like this <img width=”500″ height=”300″>. Don’t do that. If you say width=”500″ height=”300″ in your img tag, the image should be optimized and 500×300 pixels.
  2. Time to 1st Byte — An increased time to 1st byte means there are too many SQL queries or non optimized SQL queries. This can also include server-side calls to third-party API. If you’re running WordPress, get the WordPress Plugin P3 Profiler to discover what plugins are running what queries and how long each one takes.If you’re a WordPress user, there are a number of plugins you can check out. We’ve seen caching plugins affect performance both positively and negatively on customer sites and it’s largely dependent upon the traffic, and how dynamic the site is. Popular choices for WordPress are WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, Batcache and Tribe Object Cache. These plugins offer various page, database and browser cache features. Try each one out (one at a time, not all at once) and see what works best for you.
  3. Total Objects and Third-Party Objects — Too many objects on your page will require visitors’ browsers to perform the request and receive pattern too many times and slow down your page. Try combining JavaScript and CSS. Use sprites for your images. You could use mod_pagespeed to help automate this for your site. For more information, see Which mod_pagespeed functions do you support? Also be wary of how many third-party domains you’re using. Too many social buttons cause problems. If you use WordPress, you might want to check out the WordPress plugin Lazy Social Buttons.
  4. Cached Objects — You want browsers caching your site. You need to instruct the Web server to enable expires headers on your static objects. This tells browsers to cache the site. This is not currently enabled by default on our Windows hosting plans, but is available for Linux plans. For more information, see Enabling mod_expires with Your Hosting Account.
  5. Text Compression — If you don’t have text compression turned on, your page is going to be slow. We turn this on by default on our Web Hosting plans, so your if your page is suffering from this, it’s either because of third-party objects, or it somehow got disabled on your hosting account. See Enabling mod_deflate with Your Hosting Account for more information.

And finally, use Website Accelerator to speed up your site. See Why should I use Website Accelerator? for more information.

About Jeremy Broekman

BROEKMAN communications has an 15+ year track record of providing marketing, brand management and PR. We serve our clients as a Marketing Director + Social Media Director + Creative Director + Consultant in ONE. With niches including Real Estate, Corporate, Non-profits, Entertainment and Start-up clientele, BROEKMAN communications has DEEP experience in helping companies navigate re-branding and/or re-packaging themselves for success in a 2013 future-facing mindset.

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