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Slow Website / Website Down : Causes & Solutions Summed Up In 3 Vital Points

 5 min

Are you dealing with a slow loading website? This can get really frustrating at times! While you might have read a lot of information about why your website might be slow and what can you do about it, here are 3 most important and basic points that will help you to ascertain the cause of your slow website and enhance its speed.

#1 Common Reasons For A Slow Loading Website

Firstly, let us have an insight on why your website is slow; below mentioned are some common reasons because of which your website might be slow:

  • The loading time of a website largely depends on these factors:
  • The number or the size of external resources added in the website
  • If the images are appropriately adjusted so that they are properly visible
  • The number of database queries executed while the website loads

On the basis of the above mentioned factors, consider the points mentioned below:

  • Your website pages comprise of RSS feeds and for displaying these RSS feeds, your website needs to fetch them from the remote servers. It takes time to establish a connection with the remote servers; therefore, more number of RSS feeds can make your website slow.
  • You have a large image on your website, for example the dimension of this image is 1034×800 and the size of this image is 1 MB, and you have used this image as a thumbnail. This is a common mistake that most of the website owners make. Instead of using a large image as thumbnail, it is ideal to resize the image to a shorter dimension.
  • You are working on database driven applications for your website and you have added many modules for enhanced functionality. There are chances that some of these applications might not be properly optimized. You also might be having applications that you no longer use. The additional application modules will create new database queries with every visit to your website. Too many queries will slow down the speed of your website.

With reference to the factors mentioned above, here are some easy solutions to speed up your website:

  • Reduce the number of external resources to your website
  • Optimize the size of the website images to the one that is appropriate
  • Reduce the number of additionally installed application modules
  • Reduce the additional features in your website that might not be required, example – search, statistics
  • Research about how you can optimize the applications you are using on your website

#2 Speed Up Your Website By Remote Caching Static Content

Although most of the websites are dynamic now a days, they still comprise of and serve a lot of static content. Static content is the content that is generated on the go and there are no frequent changes to this content. For example, videos, graphics, website css and java scripts.

If you have frequent visitors to your website, you might consider instructing their browsers to store the static content locally for sometime and re-use it. In order to do this, you can use – Apache mod_expires code. This code can be enabled in the .htaccess file and you can determine all the rules as well.

For example:

<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType text/html “access plus 1 days”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access plus 1 weeks”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access plus 1 weeks”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 1 weeks”
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access plus 1 years”
ExpiresByType text/css “access plus 1 weeks”
ExpiresByType text/javascript “access plus 1 weeks”
ExpiresByType application/x-javascript “access plus 1 weeks”
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash “access plus 1 weeks”

The rules mentioned in the code given above provide specific expiration periods for every type of content like images, text, css etc. the count starts when the content is accessed once and then a pre-defined expiration period is assigned to it. Only after this expiration date is crossed, the browser is supposed to download the website content again. The browser will also start downloading the website content again if the user clears his/her website cache manually.
If you start using this method for caching the static content at the visitor’s end with the mod_expires code, your website speed will be increased significantly and the server load will also be reduced. Static content is usually the largest and it is also the slowest to download, so this little trick can work wonders for you! Using the mod_expires code can be especially helpful if you have forums or regular chats on your website.

#3 File Downloads From Your Website Are Not Completed Successfully

There might be various factors responsible if the file downloads from your website are not completed successfully. If you search the net for ‘corrupted downloads’, you will come across a lot of information.

If you are dealing with the issue of unsuccessful file downloads, then consider the points mentioned below:

  • Network issues, connectivity issues or interruptions.
  • Web scripts / Apache settings : The standard web protocol (HTTP) is not crafted for managing large data transfers. This means that every web server is designed for faster page rendering rather than reliable file transfer. Moreover, there are many configuration timeouts and limitations that prevent heavy and long web server operations as they might overload the web server causing a slow down.
  • Browser issues – Some web browsers also have issues in handling large data transfers, especially Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

The best and the most effective way of reliable and fast web downloads is to use a download manager. MilesWeb recommends FileZilla for effective website file downloads.

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