Common mistakes that can affect your website’s performance

When it comes to internet users, one thing’s for sure – their patience is wearing thin. It’s a well-known fact that most users will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. And the worst part is they’ll probably never come back to that website again if they’ve already had an unpleasant experience. So, it only takes one second for people to lose their interest and search for a better option. 

In all honesty, there is something deeply annoying about having to wait for a web page to load or dealing with a sluggish website. People are not becoming overly demanding; they just want what everyone else living in the age of the internet wants – great speed and performance. Because we’re busier than ever and we’ll avoid anything that makes us waste our precious time. That can only mean one thing: website performance is of the utmost importance if you want to attract and retain visitors, and improve conversion rates.  

It sounds quite simple, yet ensuring a website runs smoothly and provides a great user experience is not as easy as some imagine. A lot of websites still put intricate design and aesthetics before functionality. This leads to a lot of rookie mistakes that have a significant negative impact on website performance and ultimately on the way people perceive your company. So, if you don’t want to scare visitors away and lose money, you should be aware of these common mistakes that can affect website performance and harm your brand. 

Not checking website speed

Some business owners are not even aware that their website is performing poorly. They simply assume there’s nothing wrong with it since it looks nice, it provides the necessary information to their customers and it has no obvious issues. But as we mentioned before, a one-second delay can make a huge difference. 

There’s no way to know if your website is running as expected if you don’t take the time to check its speed. The good news is it’s fairly easy to do it since there are plenty of tools that can help you test your website’s speed, identify issues and come up with solutions. WebPageTest, Google PageSpeed Insights, Web Page Analyzer, Load Impact are just some of them, so choose the one that you find suitable and test away. 

Bad hosting service

Your hosting provider and the server it uses to store your website’s files can also have a direct impact on website speed and performance. If your website has a massive database, it will definitely require a hosting service with enough resources to support its needs. To offset common issues, many hosting providers employ solutions for Windows based cloud servers that can help with resources and hosting infrastructure management. 

Choosing the wrong hosting service will inevitably lead to slow page load time and poor performance. For example, shared hosting is less expensive, but it’s a viable option for small websites only, as it lacks the resources to meet the requirements of larger websites. Virtual private servers are a much better choice for larger websites, being both affordable and efficient.  

File types and size

Some websites simply suffocate in a sea of videos, images and background music. Providing visitors with engaging content is a great way to catch their attention, but there can be too much of a good thing. If you fill every page on your website with different types of content, not only it will overwhelm visitors, but it will also affect page speed and performance. 

As a rule of thumb, the larger images or videos you upload on your website and the more files you try to squeeze in, the longer you’ll have to wait for a web page load. That’s why it’s best to optimize your files before you load them and maybe reduce their number while you’re at it. 

Widgets and plugins

Widgets and plugins can surely help improve the functionality of a website, but not if you go overboard with it. When you add to many of them, they can have the exact opposite effect and harm your site’s performance. The lesson here is to choose your widgets and plugins wisely. For example, if you want to monitor the number of visitors on your website, you should use an analytics tool with low impact on website performance. Refrain from customizing your website with widgets and plugins that don’t bring major benefits and only use tools from reputable providers to make sure they won’t affect website performance in any way. 

Ignoring browser compatibility

Website compatibility is an aspect that often gets ignored by most websites. A browser decodes the data that is sent by the servers, but in order to do that, it has to understand the language. If the browser is not able to translate the information it receives, it will take longer for a web page to load and when it does, it might not display properly. 

This problem has a simple and quick fix: make sure your website is tested and optimized for the most popular browsers. You can’t tell visitors which browser to use, so the only thing you can do is make sure your website is compatible with all of them. 

Online ads 

Online ads are the heart and soul of online marketing and there’s no way to get rid of them. Some might say that ads are a necessary evil since that’s where the money comes from. We all know that online ads are a great way to monetize a website, so it’s no surprise we see them on every page we click. But you should proceed with caution when you choose to display ads on your website. First of all, too many ads crowding the space of a web page can irritate users and negatively affect their experience. Secondly, they can seriously slow down your pages, so the money you earn by displaying them can easily be lost if they hamper access to your site.