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Feb 7, 2018

5 Reasons Your Website is Loading So Slowly

INAP

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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Mar 29, 2013

FGCU sets records for March madness, website traffic

Ansley Kilgore

website trafficIf you follow March Madness basketball, you’re aware of this year’s Cinderella run – Florida Gulf Coast University has exploded onto the NCAA tournament scene. As the first 15-seed ever to reach the Sweet 16, FGCU is breaking all the rules and setting new records for sports fans and media to talk about.

Their magical run is also setting new records for their website. After their victory over Georgetown, Internet traffic to FGCU’s online admissions page jumped 431 percent — then the site crashed. No one could have predicted FGCU’s success in the tournament, so preparing for a surge of website visits was probably not on anyone’s radar – and understandably so.

But, predicting how well your web servers can handle an increase in Internet traffic is sometimes easier than predicting how far your team will go in the tournament.

When web servers get bombarded with a high volume of user requests, they can become overwhelmed and unresponsive. To prepare for these situations and improve website performance, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help. Using a CDN as part of your IT Infrastructure can reduce the risk of downtime and accelerate online performance in three ways:

Reduce latency – Each time a user clicks to view content on your website, the server has to process the request. With a large influx of site visitors, this can lead to slower response times and increased latency. A CDN can reduce the burden on the web server by storing cacheable content and distributing it directly to the end user.

Availability – Once your web server becomes overwhelmed, users can’t see any of your website content. But with a CDN, users can still access cacheable content in the event that the web server experiences an outage.

Scalability – The ability to scale means your website will be better equipped to handle traffic spikes, thanks to scalable storage capabilities. CDNs are also a security benefit because they offer protection from DDoS attacks that could leave servers vulnerable.

As evidenced by my busted bracket, I was clearly not ready for FGCU’s success in this year’s tourney. While we can’t help you prepare for surprise Cinderellas, we can help prepare your website for better performance and a more reliable online experience.

Learn more about how Internap’s Content Delivery Network can help your website deliver the optimum online experience.

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Feb 14, 2013

Can your ecommerce website handle Valentine’s day traffic?

INAP

ecommerce website handle Valentine's day trafficAhhh, it’s Valentine’s day. Visions of roses and chocolates dancing in your head? For those who may still be struggling with an original gift idea for your sweetie, think Teddy Bears!

For one company, the most popular items sold online for this romantic holiday are in fact, teddy bears. But not just any teddy bear. These fluffy hunks are dressed to the nines with names like “Love Bandit,” “Heart Throb” and “Frog Prince.” The Vermont Teddy Bear Company offers teddy bears — small to tall — matching teddy bear and PJ sets, and more.

Vermont Teddy Bear has been creating personalized bears since 1984. While they sell many popular items including Pillow Puppets, Hoodie-Footies and PajamaJeans, their teddy bear business is most popular around Valentine’s Day. So naturally, one can see how traffic spikes to their website could be cause for concern. In fact, network traffic greatly affects Vermont Teddy Bear’s business, especially since 80% of their products are sold online.

As an Internap customer, Vermont Teddy Bear’s website is always prepared to handle the demand surge around Valentine’s Day. Using our Performance IP™ and Content Delivery Network (CDN) they can successfully mitigate the risks of latency and incomplete orders.

Read the case study or watch the video to learn more about the technologies Vermont Teddy Bear uses to help keep their bear, and other, business humming along. Or, if you have a great idea for a new Vermont Teddy Bear, please fill out and submit this form.

Photo: Vermont Teddy Bear Co.

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Jun 8, 2012

When is fast too fast? Speed — it’s in our DNA

Ansley Kilgore

When is fast too fast? Speed -- it's in our DNAWe are now six races into the Formula 1 season and I’m proud to say that I consider myself a rabid fan. Not an expert, nor an analyst, but a solid fan that is slightly despondent when there isn’t a race during the weekend. I’m comfortable discussing constructors, drivers, the 107% rule, and I’m definitely getting the hang of the qualifying process.

So just when I think I have the lay of the land and I can hang with the big boys, all bets are off. It’s Monaco, and it is like no other Grand Prix that I have experienced. Just the site of the track (road) has me perplexed and the twisty turns and tiny streets have me closing my eyes as the drivers careen around them. Suddenly a new term rears its head and is being uttered by my favorite F1 Guru and Speed Network commentator, Bob Varsha, every 2 minutes. Chicane. Pardon? Swimming pool chicane? HUH?? I’m totally stumped.

According to Wikipedia, a chicane is an artificial feature creating extra turns in a road, used in motor racing and on streets to slow traffic for safety.

Hold up. What do you mean you want to slow the drivers down? That seems counterintuitive to me. At Internap, we spend a lot of energy making the Internet faster. It’s essentially in our DNA with our Managed Internet Route Optimizer™ technology – MIRO. In F1 terms, think of MIRO as a DRS zone (that’s Drag Reduction System for the F1 newbies out there) that is always active and never shuts off. Wicked awesome right? Here are a few highlights of our technology:

  • MIRO is route and web acceleration software that works with BGP in an automated manner, updating routing tables with the best performing routes available.
  • MIRO provides a superior alternative to the manual route selection approach that many data centers employ to compensate for BGP’s inherent deficiencies.
  • MIRO gathers data and dynamically responds with intelligent route adjustments, ensuring that data is traveling along the fastest, most reliable route.

So while I try to wrap my head around swimming pool chicanes and other not-so-common F1 terminology, we’ll keep facilitating blazing-fast Internet speeds on our end.

To learn more about Internet acceleration technologies and how we can drive your IT Infrastructure, FAST, download our IP Buyer’s Guide eBook.

 

Image Credit: Sahara Force India Formula One Team

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Jul 21, 2011

Have You Ever Been to Expediatravelocityorbitz.com?

INAP

Have you ever been to the website Expediatravelocityorbitz.com?

What about Bestbuytargetwalmart.com?

Of course you are shaking your head “no,” but I bet you have and many of your customers and would-be customers have too. I can prove it.

Time and again we hear from customers, we talk to end users and we read reports and surveys that tell the same story about website performance. Look no further than this statistic from the travel industry:

59% of consumers multi-task when waiting for a travel site to load. Nearly one in five open another travel site in a new window when made to wait.

Click image to enlarge

Need more evidence?

Ask yourself how many times you have clicked away from a website when a page took too long to load. Ask yourself how many times you then went to at least two other websites.

Performance does matter. It matters down to the second for many travel companies, online retailers, media companies and even down to the millisecond for software companies, financial companies and gaming companies.

End users expect your website to be highly responsive, interactive and informational. They expect rich graphics and video that show what your products or services can do for them. They want page clicks to be as responsive as turning pages in a digital magazine.

Now consider your business. The impact of a 1-second delay in performance here doesn’t just apply to the travel industry. For any industry, if your website typically earns $100,000 a day, this year you could lose $2.5 million in sales!

Performance is critical. Take the steps to make sure the only website your potential customers want is YourBusiness.com.

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Dec 7, 2010

‘Tis the Season for Online Shopping

INAP

It’s that time of the year again – wintery weather, too much food, and holiday wish lists filled with iPads, Kindles, and more. According to analyst firm Forrester, this year people will make more than 1/4 of their dollars from holiday purchases from the comfort of their Internet connection – with online sales in the U.S. reaching $52 billion – a growth rate of 16%, double that of 2009.
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