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Feb 7, 2018

5 Reasons Your Website is Loading So Slowly


What’s Wrong with My Site?

One of the most frustrating internet experiences is a website failing to load promptly. The only thing worse is when that slow website is your own.

Kissmetrics reports that 40 percent of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. In addition, nearly half (47 percent) of users expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.

When your site is loading slowly, it’s important to diagnose the right issue. You wouldn’t take random medicine without visiting the doctor in the hopes of getting better. Similarly, you’ll want to narrow down the exact issue affecting your site.

There are a variety of different issues that could be causing your site to load slowly. Here are five common reasons you may be experiencing a slowdown.

1. Unoptimized Images

The first common reason for a slow-loading website is unoptimized images. Every image or file on a website needs to be loaded bit by bit. When images are unnecessarily large, they can be a significant drain on your load speed.

Luckily, the solution for unoptimized images is fast and easily managed. This is especially true for what is referred to as lossless images. These are images that can be shrunk down without any perceived loss of picture quality. Bringing your image file sizes down can boost your site speed and performance.

2. Too Many Plugins

Our second offender for slowness can come from too many plugins or addons that you may use in the backend to build your page. Many sites rely on plugins to improve their functionality. Plugins have their place and can bring necessary features to your site. However, using them excessively can slow down your load times and create a poor experience for your users.

If you suspect your plugins are slowing down your site, remove anything non-essential. Curating your site of unnecessary plugins and addons can bring increased speed and performance. Remember, even the most functional site will be ignored if users can’t load it in time!

3. Code Density

Another issue that could be slowing down your site is overly complicated or dense code. If the underlying developmental infrastructure of your site is dense, the harder it is for browsers to process and load. Thus, the heavier your code, the longer it will take for your users to load.

The solution to dense code may involve a little more expertise but is still manageable. Reducing the HTML markup of your site can bring major improvements and can be accomplished by using HTML tags sparingly and only when necessary.

A few simple fixes include removing HTML comments in scripts and any CDATA blocks in script elements. Another suggestion is to remove or collapse any white space within the code.

4. Shared Servers

If you’re on a shared server, your performance may be impacted by other users on your server. No matter how fast the rest of your site is, being in a queue with other users might drag down your speed.

Solving a server issue is simple and straightforward. If you’re on a shared server, you’ll experience immediate improvements in performance by moving to a dedicated server, which means you’re the only user running off that space (Shameless plug: HorizonIQ offers managed services and bare metal solutions on dedicated servers).

Finding the right service for your needs might take some research on your part, but will bring immediate results in terms of performance and speed.

5. High Traffic

Hold the phone.

Don’t websites want to receive high traffic?

The short answer is “Yes,” but sometimes overwhelming site visits can be too much of a good thing. In this instance, the traffic might be more than your server can handle, causing your site to crash.

When this happens, you may need to look at increasing your bandwidth and improving your underlying infrastructure. If it’s simply a case of outgrowing your previous site build up, you’re going to need to move to a hosting service better suited to the number of visitors that you’re receiving.

A Quick Fix for Your Slow Site

A slow site will drain your users and reduce subscribers. Luckily, a few quick fixes can go a long way towards getting you back up to speed.

HorizonIQ’s data center services can help address the infrastructure problems you might be suffering from crowded servers or bandwidth issues. Our unique solutions allow you the flexibility and scalability to keep your website running at top speed, giving your end users an optimal online experience.

Contact us today to speak with an HorizonIQ representative about how we can help your website move as fast as your business.

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Jul 23, 2013

Amazon price cuts still no match for bare-metal cloud economics and performance


Bare Metal CloudAt first glance, the recent 80% price cut announced by Amazon Web Services seems like a huge savings. But in reality, Amazon has simply reduced a cost that customers shouldn’t be paying in the first place.

The 80% reduction refers to a privilege fee that has been changed from $10 per hour to $2 per hour. As a result, the monthly cost to gain access to any dedicated instances has dropped from $7200 to $1440. In addition, this fee is per region, which means companies that require cloud instances in more than one region will pay the fee in each.

In order for Amazon’s privilege fee to be effectively amortized, customers would need to purchase 100 or more instances. This cost is beyond the budget of most small- and medium-sized businesses, and doesn’t make sense even for enterprises that can afford it. A true bare-metal cloud offers better performance, more customization and dedicated servers (including storage) for less money than Amazon’s dedicated instances.

Price performance

With fully dedicated hardware and no pre-enforced virtualization layer, bare-metal servers can focus all their computing power on the needs of your workload. This is especially important for smaller-sized use cases that need to get the most out of their investment – bare-metal cloud offers better performance at a lower price. Amazon’s privilege fee alone can buy at least four bare-metal servers with comparable compute specs to Amazon’s second-generation extra-large instances. Regardless of the fee, bare-metal servers offer better performance and still cost 40% less than comparable specs of Amazon on-demand dedicated instances. With bare-metal cloud, customers save upfront and on an ongoing basis.

More: See bare-metal pricing information.


Bare-metal servers don’t run a hypervisor and are not virtualized out of the gate. This gives the customer more freedom for customization – a “blank slate” – as opposed to the take-what-you-get approach when provisioning an Amazon EC2 instance. When you spin up a bare-metal server, you can provision dedicated hardware in minutes, customize as required (even additional virtualization) and then decommission once your workload is complete.

Dedicated instances

For customers that require dedicated resources with hardware separation for compliance or performance reasons, bare-metal cloud is hands-down the best choice. Bare-metal servers are fully dedicated to the customer, and any additional storage is directly attached and dedicated as well. Amazon’s dedicated instances offer a physical hardware-level separation, but only at the compute layer – everything beyond this is shared.

It’s also important to note that dedicated servers in a managed hosting model are not the same as bare-metal servers offered in a cloud model. A true bare-metal cloud server is a non-virtualized, physical resource with the service delivery and automation capabilities of the cloud. Rackspace, for example, touted their managed hosting offering as an alternative to Amazon’s dedicated instances, but this isn’t a valid comparison. Choosing managed hosting to get dedicated servers is a false choice. There is a better answer between expensive Amazon dedicated instances and managed hosting. Bare-metal cloud fills this gap well by providing better price/performance with all the agility of cloud.

At Internap, we don’t force customers into false choices. We allow them to self-select into virtual public cloud, bare-metal cloud and managed hosting based on their workload needs. As for the issue at hand, if you’re paying for or considering Amazon’s dedicated instances, contact Internap today to find out how far your $1440 privilege fee can really go with our bare-metal cloud.

Not convinced? See the performance benefits of Internap’s bare metal compared with Amazon Web Services EC2.

Learn more about Internap’s bare-metal cloud and bare-metal AgileSERVERs.

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Jun 19, 2013

Hasta la vista, CAPEX: Bare metal servers offer high performance, lower costs


Bare metal servers offer high performance, lower costsWhat in the world is a bare-metal server? Sounds like something out of Terminator II, right? Well, good news for all of us, it’s not a movie prop or character, but rather a real-world fit to a new age problem.

What if you want to avoid CAPEX (purchasing, maintaining, servicing, depreciating, etc.) and you need a dedicated computing resource for your project? Let’s say it’s a big data type of project, and your client (or boss) demands it’s in a secure environment to protect their valuable information. Not only that, you need really fast disk access and consistent IOPS. Well, those requirements can rule out public cloud infrastructure for some buyers.

Colocation for a temporary project doesn’t make sense, and clearly we would incur significant CAPEX and turnaround time, which precludes this option anyway. Long term custom hosting is a good fit, but in some situations it can be a little like killing a mosquito with a cannonball. Not exactly the best use of our money and a much longer-term commitment than we would need.

The bare-metal option
Enter bare-metal servers. Bare-metal servers are dedicated, provisioned on demand physical hardware. A technician is going to physically connect a server to the network at their MTDC for you. The “bare metal” portion really speaks to the “bare bones” that comes along with the server. By design, it comes to you as a clean slate. Most vendors will allow you to select different core sizes, memory, processing speeds and OS—but that’s it. It’s yours to do with what you like. They’re also easily horizontally scalable allowing you to ramp up for your bigger projects.

The “gee whiz” to all of this is two-fold: first, some companies are able to provision a new bare metal server for you within a couple of hours. That’s more than enough time for you to stream Terminator II, laugh at the bad acting, grab a cup of coffee and sit back down at your desk. Boom, it’s ready for you. Second, it’s billed like a cloud service—meaning that for certain configs there are often no minimums past the first hour.

So there you have it. A secure, dedicated environment allowing for higher IOPS, customized as you like, up in a couple of hours and gone again at the click of a button. Once you’ve used bare-metal servers, we’re guessing “you’ll be back”.

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Jan 11, 2013

What’s in a name? And, why are they called AgileSERVERS?

Ansley Kilgore

AgileSERVERSIt’s always interesting to be asked why a product is called what it is called, but I’ve come to expect it when travelling and meeting new people. However, I didn’t expect to hear it in the office the other day, and that has led me to write this post.

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet” Romeo and Juliet, 2.2.47-48

We don’t sell roses, but we do sell AgileSERVERS.

So what is an AgileSERVER? What makes our servers so agile? What makes our servers so grandiose that we feel the need to overcapitalize them? All good questions…

What is an AgileSERVER?

An AgileSERVER is a dedicated server that resides in the Internap datacenter and is available on an hourly, monthly, or annual basis. This is a good option for Internap customers who use our world-class datacenters for Colocation, but also need a solution for flexible infrastructure on potentially a short-term basis. While many service providers offer hosted servers on a monthly basis, offering them on an hourly basis provides our clients with increased business agility to align their IT costs and capacity needs in near real-time.

What makes our servers so agile?

Providing flexibility to pay for dedicated servers on a granular level is just one piece of the puzzle. The servers have to provision quickly so that the infrastructure is available when needed, so we offer some “instant config” servers that can be online in less than ten minutes. If your application requires a different configuration, this can be ready in a matter of hours. This rapid provisioning creates IT agility to provide infrastructure to your end-users and brings cloud-like instant gratification to dedicated servers.

What makes our servers so grandiose that we feel the need to overcapitalize them?

The server hardware is another piece of the puzzle, but the network speed and quality are as important as the hardware. AgileSERVER is paired with three unique network agility benefits.

  1. Managed Internet Route Optimizer™ (MIRO) technology – Built on Internap’s patented route-optimization technology, each AgileSERVER will automatically deliver traffic over the lowest latency path available and avoid carriers with bottlenecks or disruptions.
  2. Global Content Delivery Network (CDN) – Internap also includes a transparent caching CDN that can be used to reduce the amount of infrastructure required to deliver web content to remote end-users while simultaneously reducing loading times.
  3. Cloud Hybridization – Since not every workload requires a full server, Internap enables bare-metal and cloud instances to coexist in the same logical network. This allows for optimizing costs by not over-provisioning resources, and enables creative solutions for burst capacity.

So why do we overcapitalize our AgileSERVERS? Because they are so much more than just servers. They bring billing flexibility, instant provisioning, and include performance-enhancing network technologies while offering the isolation of a dedicated server and the full performance of hardware without any hypervisor penalty. So while AgileSERVERS could be effectively used for agile development sprints, agility is not limited to developers (or acrobats).

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but an AgileSERVER is so much sweeter than just any old server.

To learn more, please read our AgileSERVERS data sheet.


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Ansley Kilgore

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