Speed is so important for your website. More and more search engines are seeing how important it is for a fast reliable web page. Google was the first to give you a higher ranking just for loading your website fast!
Here are some of the top reasons you might have a slow site and get penalized or lose business from your sluggish site.
Oversold web hosting
There is no doubt this is the most obvious way your site can be slow. No matter what you do, if your web host has thousands of accounts on one server it will slow down from time to time. Don’t risk this! Find a host that has about a 3-500 account limit no matter what server they use. Ask them, and they should tell you the truth.
Granted with the faster Broadband speeds, images are not as bad of an issue as they were say in 2005. For example, our front page here at Web Host Pro used to be under 100k now we are comfortable around 500k but stay around 350k just to be safe. Images are by far the biggest part of our front web page. Photoshop is the top program for compressing and editing pictures but if you can’t get a copy then try Photoshop Elements, or Light Room is another one, but we have not tried Light Room.
Clean your site up! Over-stacked tables and CSS on the page rather than a shared CSS file can slow down your page by as much as 15%.
Loops, redirects, and cron jobs.
Be really careful with anything in your htaccess or refresh tags. Double-check everything before adding it to your htaccess or header tags. Cron jobs are a huge risk and the main reason sites overload and have issues. There is almost no reason to run them more than once a day. Like the htaccess and redirect tags, make sure you are double-sure that the code is ready before making it live!
All in one pages
Be careful having the whole page load in one table, it’s better to have at least three so your visitor will have something to read while they wait for the rest of the information to load in case they have a slow ISP.
Redundant high-end hosting networks
Some hosts use really cheap networks, find out which networks have a bad rep and stay away. In our experience Cogent, Verio, ATT, and Sprint have had issues. We have removed them from our blend to only use the best possible connections available. This was years ago and they could be much better now.
Stray from heavy templates and plugins
WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and E-commerce Carts, these are all very convenient ways to manage a website. You need to keep in mind that just using these will slow down your site compared to a static website. If you do use CMS (content management system), be very careful with your plug-ins and even more careful with your image sizes. The best speed improvement possible for a CMS is to add a “cache plug-in” to make your site static!