Top Reasons Why Your Website May Be Slow

Scalable and reliable enterprise Web-based systems entail smart systems design, database architecture, modern hardware and software, and experienced coding. This is the reason a software architect's job is one of the most well-paid jobs in the industry. A software architect (solutions architect, systems architect or an Application architect) ensures that the foundation of the system (or software or Application) is strong enough to support its scalability, reliability, integrity and security.

Several studies suggest that the Website users expect a Website to load within three seconds. The ideal page load time of a Webpage is 1.5 seconds or less. The speed and performance of a Website means the page load time, function execution time, and how quickly the content of a Webpage is available to the users.

Depending on the complexity and architecture of the Website, the following factors may affect the speed and performance of a Website:

  1. Hosting Environment (Hardware)
    Do you have the latest hosting environment, including the Servers, network switches, high-speed Internet, high-speed hard-disk and other hardware configurations? For example, fast speed network switches and SSD disks may drastically improve the processing performance.

  2. Web Server
    Old or obsolete or inefficient operating systems and Web Servers may be the reason for the slow Website performance.

  3. Inefficient File Storage and CDN
    An inefficient file storage Server and CDN may be the reason for a Website's performance.

  4. Database Server
    In the heavy data-driven Websites, a database system and Server usually are the culprits. Some of the key areas may include the database architecture, slow queries, missing indexes and non-optimized resources.

  5. Backend Services and APIs
    If the backend services and APIs are not designed property, it may be a cause of slow performance of a Website.

  6. Bad Code
    In my 20 years of software development, bad code is one of the prime suspects of the slow speed and bad performance of a Website.

  7. Non-Optimized Web Design
    Poor design of a Website, heavy use of graphics, Browser and device compatibility, un-optimized CSS and images may cause performance issues.

  8. File types and content size
    Large non-optimized content pages and file types may cause the performance issues.

  9. Third-party libraries
    Use of inefficient third-party libraries and components.

  10. Non-Scalable Platform
    All the above factors get worse as traffic increases on a Website. You may have a great high-speed Website, when few users access the Website but it may not respond at all when you have thousands of users using the Website simultaneously. This usually is a result of a bad system, Website architecture, and design.

More resources

The Daily Egg blog suggests the following 10 points:

  • Minimize HTTP requests.
  • Reduce Server response time.
  • Enable compression.
  • Enable Browser caching.
  • Minify resources.
  • Optimize images.
  • Optimize CSS delivery.
  • Prioritize above-the-fold content.
  • Reduce the number of plugins you use on your Website.
  • Reduce redirects.

Montis blog recommends the following eight points to improve your Website performance.

  1. Code your site for the mobile-first quality and speed.
  2. Reduce the image size.
  3. Try a CDN.
  4. Cache as much as possible.
  5. Combine images into sprites.
  6. Load JavaScript asynchronously.
  7. Review your hosting service plan.
  8. Adopt cloud-based Website monitoring.

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