On My Own

A Personal Journal
by Davood Denavi

Website Speed Is Very Important For Many Reasons

Having a website that loads fast will keep visitors coming back – especially if your site is an e-commerce site. In this post I will not go into specific service providers and the role they could play in dealing with site speed. However, in future posts I will be discussing specific providers and why I would use them for various things as they relate to website speed.

When a website is slow, it is typically due to many contributing factors, including but not limited to hosting configuration, caching or CDN settings, and images that have big file sizes.

Let’s start by discussing hosting configuration. Over my seventeen years of developing websites, I’ve seen many situations where the hosting configuration was the core reason why a site had slow load speeds. In many of these situations, the website was being hosted on a very low-end shared hosting package. This is usually because the owner of the site wanted to save money by paying $7-$10 a month for hosting instead of the $15-$20 that a good hosting package typically costs.

Here’s the thing folks: If you are running a website that you expect to get much traffic, you need to have it on a hosting package that will support the traffic goals you have. In most cases, a shared hosting package is not the answer, unless you are using a mid-level or high-end one. Those low-end packages have limits that will lead to slowness eventually. For businesses that have a goal of driving traffic on a consistent basis, you are best off getting a virtual private server (VPS) or a cloud hosting package to guarantee that the site has great load speeds at all times.

If you want to save money on hosting, there is always the option of using a host that has server-side caching configured – or even better, one that has a content delivery network (CDN) that they partner with. A CDN is a group of geographically distributed servers that caches content closer to where the user is located, thus reducing the time it takes content to reach them. You could pair a higher-end shared hosting package that costs $25 or less per month with a low-cost or free CDN. That way, as long as the CDN is configured correctly, you will be good to go on site speed.

The second-biggest issue website owners run into on a regular basis when dealing with site speed is image size. I do not mean the dimensions of the image, I mean the file size – how much disc space that image is eating up. Many site owners upload high-resolution images, often because they do not realize that if the image looks small on the screen, the file size is still taking just as long to load as if it were displayed huge. For a website to be as fast as possible, images should not be more than 200KB each, and each page should not have more than ten images (with the exception of a page that has a slider).

Some other common issues that lead to sites being consistently slow, which I will cover in future posts, include poorly optimized CSS, Javascript render delays, too many plugins, redirects, overall hosting/server performance, and database issues. Stay tuned.

One Response

  1. Hi Davood!

    Absolutely, website speed is crucial, and your insights in this post are on point. Slow-loading websites can be a major turn-off for visitors, and it’s fantastic to see you address the importance of hosting configuration and image optimization.

    Your experience over seventeen years in web development is invaluable. The right hosting package is indeed key to ensuring that your site can handle the traffic you expect. Going for a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or Cloud Hosting package for businesses aiming for consistent traffic is a wise move.

    And your tip on pairing a higher-end shared hosting package with a cost-effective CDN is a great way to achieve good site speed without breaking the bank. Image file sizes, as you rightly mentioned, play a huge role, and keeping them under 200KB is a smart practice.

    I’m eagerly looking forward to your future posts covering issues like CSS optimization, Javascript rendering, and more. Keep up the good work! Fast websites not only make for a better user experience but can also boost SEO rankings. Thanks for sharing your expertise!