What is slowing down your web page load speed?

How to improve your website load speed

A good web page load speed is an essential factor for a website’s success. Nobody likes to wait, much less to waste time waiting for the information they are looking for to show up on the screen. If you do not want to lose visits or sales in your eCommerce site, it is very important you make sure your web page loads as fast as possible.

A slow load speed can be caused by many factors: from an inefficient web hosting to issues with the images or the platform’s code. Would you like to know how to increase your web page load speed? Keep reading to discover some elements that have an impact on your website’s performance and load speed.

Reasons that may be decreasing your web load speed

Insufficient disk speed

The load speed can decline if the disk speed is insufficient. The volume of data of the website, the files’ size or the number of times the database accesses the disk can reduce the web page load speed.

In order to avoid this, it is important to properly size the IOPS capacity (Input/Output Operations Per Second). For this purpose, at Stackscale we offer different centralized network storage options — from Archive, for backups, to Flash Premium with a guaranteed minimum 6000 IOPS per TB.

Shared hosting or Public Cloud

The type of hosting probably is one of the most important aspects to consider. When hosting a project in a shared server, performance will depend on the load of the rest of the websites hosted in that same server. If the performance provided is not what you expected, you might consider changing to a dedicated server; since in a dedicated server all the machine’s resources will be exclusive to your company. The wisest option is to start using a cloud service of exclusive use.

In the case of Public Cloud solutions, it is sometimes possible to find the issue of oversubscription and “noisy neighbors”, which can make you deploy more computing resources than you really need. That is why it is important to properly analyze your needs before choosing a suitable cloud solution. In many cases, the best option is to guarantee the availability of resources by using a good Private Cloud solution.

Using a server with the wrong size

When a server seems to be overloaded, the easiest thing to do is increasing its resources for achieving a better performance. However, this is not always the best solution as you might come to a point of inflection where performance does not improve. In such case, you should consider an architecture that allows load balancing the different services.

Using images that are not optimized for the web

In addition to aspects related to the server, there are other less technical elements that can also have an impact on a web page load speed. One of the most important aspects is the size of images. If you are using images that are not optimized for the web and are too heavy, they will take a long time to load — apart from taking too much space in the hosting. It is important to optimize all images in order to achieve a better web load speed.

Not using a caching system

Everyone has ever heard about caching systems, but just a few normally use it. Cache can be defined as a direct access to content stored in a way it can be displayed faster than if it had to be requested to the server. CMS such as WordPress, Joomla or Prestashop have cache modules and plugins that can considerably improve the load speed. You can also install cache complements at server level for a better machine performance.

Slow network

Opting for a hosting provider that does not have links to the Internet with enough bandwidth can cause users to be unable to access your service fast. In general, providers use to rely on channels that offer enough bandwidth. Nevertheless, it is something to have into consideration when facing loading issues.

Of course, the connection to your dedicated servers or nodes in the ISP network is also very important. For example, at Stackscale all our nodes are connected to 4×10 G links to the network so that our customers have enough bandwidth.

Lack of optimization in SQL queries

A low optimization of the queries to databases can also worsen the web load speed. Among the numerous reasons that can slow down a query, not implementing MySQL indexes is among the most common ones. Indexes allow developers to localize records in SQL tables immediately. Moreover, they are specially intended to research elements among a big quantity of records. When not using indexes, MySQL takes a lot of time to return results as it has to spend more time to localize the information.

Not investing in a system administrator

Last but not least, we want to comment on the importance of a good system administration. Sysadmin is a key investment that can lead you to grow without limits or to make little progress.

When taking the leap to a more complex infrastructure with VPS, dedicated servers or cloud solutions, you need to think carefully about the system administration. Choosing the right team of system administrators will help you define the best system architecture. If you want your web page or eCommerce site to be the fastest one for your customers — as well as for Google and its SEO, make sure you rely on true system experts.

How to increase your web page load speed?

Combine services for faster answers

When a web page grows and the response time is affected, you can opt for combining services to optimize performance.

If you use Apache as your web server, you can evaluate, change and try Nginx, since it could offer a better performance. You can also try using a cache server with Varnish or even a pool of HAproxy’s servers to distribute loads among different cache or web servers.

As for the databases, in order to considerably improve the performance of your databases, you can use MariaDB or MySQL, or opt for a MySQL Cluster or Percona Cluster structure.

Monitor the server and its services

Relying on monitoring services of your dedicated server parameters, as well as all its services, can help you detect the origin of the loading issues of your web application. There is a great amount of services that can help you with it, such as the 24/7 monitoring we offer at Stackscale. Moreover, there are also some solutions you can deploy ad hoc, from specialized providers such as New Relic. 

These monitoring services are able to send alerts via email, SMS, phone call and even Telegram or WhatsApp, when any anomalous value within the system is detected or when a website goes down.

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