Keeping track of how well your website performs is not an easy task. There are a lot of variables to track and keep in mind at all times. However, visitors on your site will be able to notice just a few things, mostly its content and its speed. Based on these two elements alone most people will evaluate months and years of your hard work. Evaluating the content is completely subjective category but speed is a thing that can be measured. There are 7 issues that may cause the speed on your website to slow down over time, so always keep your eye out for them.
1. Local Storage Failure
Everyone knows that it is by far the fastest way to load items from a local cache. Still, even this can sometimes create a problem. There are various reasons why your cache can suddenly fail and although this can be fixed there is a disturbing statistics that claims that most sites lose over half of their visitors in the first 4 seconds of not responding. The solutions here are numerous but the simplest and probably the most effective one is to set far-future cache headers for these situations.
2. Too Much Traffic
Now this is by far the most common cause for your site to slow down. Because having too many HTTP requests is such a common issue the solutions for it are quite numerous too. The simplest solution would be to combine multiple scripts into one. Still, seeing as this might not be as easy as it seems it might not be a bad idea for you to consider dedicated server management, as a possible direction. When in need, never be afraid to ask for help!
3. Disregarding the Client-side Processing
The capabilities of the client side are something that you always need to take into consideration. Just think about the validation process where you have to post it from data to server, validate it there and then send the error all the way back. Yes, it is as inefficient as it sounds. Luckily for you, the solution is not at all that difficult to achieve. Just make sure that you enable the validation of users input on the very page where it takes place and you will be just fine.
4. Using Third Party Widgets
Here is a piece of advice for you, if there is any possibility for this avoid third party widgets as much as you can. Sure, some social network widgets are a must but other than that try to minimize or better yet, completely avoid them. Still, not all widgets are of the same performance and speed and if in the end you must use some, try to measure and evaluate their speed. If you absolutely must resort to them at least use the faster ones.
5. Issues with Visuals
Almost every page consists of different elements. Pictures, gif’s, banners or even videos are regular parts of any page. However, because these formats are a bit more complex than the rest of the page, it takes them longer to load. Regardless of how good your script may be until your last item is fully loaded and operational you cannot say that the page is completely up. To improve the loading time of your page there are few simple things you can do. Edit images to optimize their size and shape, whenever possible use .JPEG format and be extra careful not to overuse them.
6. Don’t forget to Compress
When it comes to file sharing, never forget to compress files. This is not even up to debate. Compressed files are smaller in size, easier to transfer and far easier to download. After downloading them, all that one is required to do is unzip them and they are ready to be used. If you are ever forced to upload a large text file, a manual or something similar, just compress it prior and you will significantly improve the general speed of your site.
Sometimes less is more. Although having flash files may seem as a great idea at times (it definitely makes your site seems “flashier”) it has the potential to cause a lot of problems. First of all, it makes your page look overcrowded and it takes a lot of focus from the content. The main problem however is that it also slows your page down. Furthermore, flash files are not always compatible with mobile devices, meaning that it can cause a fair amount of frustration in your visitors.
If you do something, you better do it right and when it comes to the maintenance of your site, slowing down is definitely something that should never be tolerated. Regardless of if you keep your website up as a hobby or if it is your livelihood, you need it to run admirably and following these few tips can save you a lot of stress in the future.