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My Website Is Slow

Having a slow loading website can be frustrating, and can lead to less traffic visiting your site. If your site relies heavily on e-commerce or advertisements this could result in substantially less revenue being generated by your website.

There are many reasons a website may be slow.

  1. A huge spike in Additional Traffic.
  2. A Dynamic Site without caching.
  3. Extremely Large or non-optimized graphics.
  4. Extremely Large or non-optimized database.
  5. Large amount of calls to external websites (twitter, facebook, youtube, etc...)
  6. Connectivity issues

All of these issue fall into three categories: Traffic issues, Site optimization, and configuration issues.

Traffic Issues

Traffic Density:

One common issue with websites suddenly becoming slow is traffic density. Traffic density is often the desired result of a well created website. However depending on the type of hosting plan you have, the type of scripts on your site, and how optimized your site is, this can have an adverse effect. There are several ways to handle high traffic density.

  • Upgrade your hosting plan
  • Use a caching service like CloudFlare to reduce the load cost of your commonly accessed pages
  • Use the tools on this page to locate the contributing factors and manage them rather than the traffic density itself

Connectivity Issues:

Another common cause for websites to unexpectedly become slow is connectivity issues. Connectivity issues often cause sites to appear slow when they may not actually be running slow at all. Connectivity issues are typically a local issue, which means that your site may only be loading slowly for you. There are several ways in which you can diagnose connectivity issues.

  • InternetSupervision - web based software that tests connection to your website from several locations around the world to locate problems.
  • Traceroute - There are lots of websites offering traceroute services, and several ways to run a traceroute with a desktop application. One reliable service which also supports other connectivity tests is Network-tools.com

Site Optimization

A large portion of the reason sites become slow is because they need to be optimized. Most websites today are dynamic sites. This means that the content of the website is at least partially generated when a visitor requests the page. Many times, the generated content is dependent on a database. If either the database or the code that interfaces with the database, and generates the page for your visitors is not optimized, it can lead to a slowdown in page load times.

There are several tools that can be used to pinpoint where a site could be better optimized.

  • Page Speed Grader - Performs speed analysis and provides a breakdown of how long it takes to load your page as well as a detailed breakdown of potential issues
  • WebPageTest - Similar to Page Speed Grader, but provides output analysis in a different format that may be more readable for some.
  • YSlow plugin - A plugin for your web browser that can analyze your speed locally
  • Google page speed - both an online service and a browser plugin that will analyze your page similar to the methods used by Page Speed Grader and WebPageTest

In addition to these tools, There are some guides that you can use to optimize your website without necessarily having to perform analysis.

  • Our Optimizing MySQL article will give you some great tips on how to optimize your database
  • Our Optimizing Wordpress article will give you good information if you have a WordPress blog that is experiencing slow load times.

If after using these tools and guides, you find that your site is still experiencing load time issues, it may be time to contact a developer to assist in optimizing your scripting. Alternatively, you may wish to upgrade your hosting account to a VPS or dedicated server to handle the extra load.

Configuration Issues

The third possibility for site load times being slow is the least common. It is possible that there is a configuration issue with the domain. The ISP your visitor is using to requesting the site, or with the server. Any issue with one of these three can cause your site to load slowly or in some cases the site will not load at all or only some of the time. These issues can often be confused with connectivity issues.

If you believe you are experiencing a configuration issue with your site, please give us a call at 866-573-4678 or visit us in live chat.

Domain Configuration Issues

Domain configuration issues are primarily issues with your DNS. These can cause site load times to be slow because the server does not have proper routing information to serve your website to the visitor requesting it. You can diagnose and repair this kind of issue by following these steps:

  1. Diagnose DNS issues using an online tool. Some reliable tools are listed below:
    • LeafDNS - Provides detailed information on potential DNS configuration issues in a user friendly graphical format
    • Network-tools.com - Can help you locate DNS issues by showing you your DNS configuration file or DNS zone
    • intoDNS - Another tool similar to LeafDNS that provides information on your DNS configuration in a different format
  2. Address any configuration issues reported by the above tools in your cPanel using the DNS zone editor.

ISP Configuration Issues

It is also possible that a visitor to your site may be experiencing issues with their ISP's configuration. In this rare scenario, you will want to have your visitor run a traceroute as directed above, and then contact the ISP. You will want to provide the traceroute information to the ISP to assist them in resolving the configuration issue.

Server Issues

Server issues are the most rare cause for a site to experience slow load times. All servers at HostMonster are constantly monitored and tuned to ensure that they are performing at optimal speeds. However, in certain rare instances it is possible for the server to become overloaded, and this can cause a slow down in site load times. These issues are often temporary and will resolve themselves in time. If you feel that there may be an ongoing server issue causing your site to load slowly, please perform a traceroute and contact us with this information so that we can locate and resolve the issue.

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