5 Factors That Affect Website Performance

Written by Ethan He

July 2, 2021

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There is nothing more frustrating for visitors than landing on a website and spending their important time waiting for the page to load.

One of the main causes of page abandonment is slow page load speed. No one wants to wait for your website to load when they can just as easily jump to a competitor’s website and acquire the information they need.

It really doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is or how tempting your product offerings might be; if your website’s performance is not up to the expectation of your visitors, you will lose them.

However, website performance is not all about page load speed. Page errors, broken links, grammatical errors and incorrect images are just a few examples of problems that can cause poor performance for a website.

So, what stops a well-planned website from performing optimally? Below are the 5 factors that can affect your website performance.

1. Poor Choice of Webhost

Inappropriate choice of web hosting is often the first culprit when it comes to poor performance. However, if you avoid the issue right from the very beginning, you won’t have to deal with the issue down in the line. For instance, a web hosting provider that’s not able to keep up with current security trends will put your website at the risk of exposure to viruses, worms and bots.

These intrusions will not only slow down your website speed, but could also jeopardise the security of your visitors by having access to their personal information. When this happens, your website and business will lose credibility, and you might even face legal consequences.

2. Too many add-ons

Add-ons such as plugins, extensions and widgets are great ways to increase the functionality of your website without all the technicalities of coding yourself. However, if it’s not carefully undertaken, this can affect your site’s performance.

The more add-ons you install, the longer it will take your website to load. Even if you get the features they come with it, there’s every chance there will be no visitors waiting to see them.

Don’t forget that page load speed is an essential factor in Google ranking, as Google is starting to focus more on user experience as for ranking factors. This means you will not only lose direct customers that land on your website from other sources, but you’ll also likely lose traffic that comes from organic searches, due to a drop in page ranking.

So, what can be done? Crawl your website to look for add-ons that you’re not using; these files should then be removed to free up space on your website.

3. Large Files

We all want to provide as much information as you can about your brand on your website, but note that uploading large files such as heavy text or images can drastically reduce page load speed.

The main goal of the website is to make sure that visitors can get what they need as fast as possible, with the least possible hassle. Try to trim the size of the images and videos before you upload them to your website, so that it doesn’t compromise on speed.

Additionally, you can upload your visual content to third party websites like YouTube and embed the link on your site instead. This will save you a significant amount of server resources, meaning it won’t affect the speed and user experience.

4. Complex Websites

As beautiful as they are, flash and animated websites are not the sites of today, as they tend to be complex and cumbersome.

As I said earlier, your visitors have to be able to get the information they came for in the shortest time possible and with minimum fuss. You’ll not be able to achieve this if your website is complex.

Today, prominent websites are those designed using a minimalist concept. This means having only the most important elements on your website and doing away with everything else. This design style makes the website more attractive, more accessible, and above all else a better user experience.

5. Ads

Ads are an effective way to generate revenue from your website, but have you stopped asking yourself if it has any negative effects?

For one thing, no visitor likes seeing ads covering the information they are trying to retrieve, which is what most of these third party ad networks do. For instance, they place ads in virtually every available space on your website, resulting in a poor user experience for your visitors. If that isn’t enough, many of these ads are based on codes that can slow your website.

Additionally, some of these ads place tracking cookies on your visitors’ devices, thereby effectively having access to information about their browsing habits and preferences. The publishers of these ads will then use this information to bombard them with unsolicited ads. This can cause a user to never visit your website again.
I hope the above tips will help you boost your website performance. With a strategic approach and some prior organisation, you have the opportunity to significantly boost sales and grow your brand. If you need help implementing any of the above suggestions, please contact me! You know I am always happy to help. 

Ethan He

About Ethan He

Ethan is a Full Stack Web Developer and SEO Specialist based in Pittsburgh, PA. In his free time, Ethan enjoys working on various projects involving Ruby, Vue and AWS applications.

Ethan graduated from The Firehose Project coding bootcamp in 2016 with a focus on Ruby on Rail and Computer Software engineering.