Is your website sluggish? Perhaps you haven’t had time to address this issue for a while. Now is the time to get on it.
That little bit of slowness may be making a big impact on your business.
Take a closer look at web hosting
Sometimes small business owners concentrate on running their businesses and neglect their websites a little. We’ve all done it. But, it can become a problem over time because several issues can really affect how search engines and, more importantly, potential customers find your business online:
- Hosting speeds
- Server response times
- Page load times
- Uptime and downtime
If you haven’t observed any slowness, or stepped into your customers’ shoes for a few months, test your site with a robust tool like the Google Page Speed Tool: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/.
Uh oh, web hosting is slow
Once you’ve done some keen observing or used Google’s tool and analyzed your stats, what should you do next?
Reach out to your web host first.
In this time of heavy internet use, when everyone is working or attending school from home, tech support call phone queues can be long. Try to call earlier or later in the day and be patient. Tech support members are under stress and most of them are working from home too.
Once you reach your friendly (we hope) tech support staff, they may be able to tweak a few things on their end.
During a recent tech call for a client’s site, web host Network Solutions checked and ensured our server memory was at its maximum and also updated our WordPress site PHP to the most recent version. The net result: These two tweaks alone shaved over two seconds off of our website’s server response time—a big real world difference.
Examine each page
After contacting your web host, you may want to discover if you’re using a large, custom theme; futzy plugins or unoptimized images that are causing your pages to load more slowly.
To determine what’s making your site content serve up like molasses in the arctic, you can use a tool like WPCheckup to run a diagnostic test and receive an in-depth analysis of your site pages. For example, this tool will tell you if each of your images contain text. Text-linked images help Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For further help, check out this list of plugins known to slow down WordPress sites.
Is your business reliable? Your website should be too.
Uptime and downtime refer to the amount of time your site is up and available for use or down for repairs and unavailable. Most web hosts aspire to keep sites up and running most of the time, but incidents do happen that bring websites down, affecting availability.
Businesses like Uptrends can monitor your site’s uptime and downtime for you. They use a simple formula to calculate your site’s availability: Uptime ÷ Total Time = Availability Percent. Check out their in-depth article about uptime.
Switch it up
Say you placed a call or chatted with your current web host and the service didn’t help improve hosting speeds or server response times. Plus, a little analysis revealed that your web host is more of a web ghost when it comes to dependability.
It might be time to switch. Hosting speeds and server response times are usually the largest sources of site slowdown. You deserve a web host that can keep your site fast and accessible.
We find that GoDaddy or BlueHost offer lower cost cPanel and WordPress Managed Hosting packages. These packages can be as little as $7.99 per month. However, some users report spotty hosting from each of these, especially when a site is hosted on a shared platform vs. a virtual private server (VPS). You may also consider a WordPress-based hosting platform such as WP Engine as well.
If you’re able to spend a little more money, PCMag recently reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of several VPS hosting services which they call “the perfect middle-of-the-road service tier for your business.” Check out the article.
Make a Call
Still need help? We’d love to hear from you. Sublime Creations is an eco-friendly company that specializes in website consultation, design and personalized training catering to local and small businesses, individuals, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. Feel free to contact us online or call (720) 443-1407 to schedule your free 30-minute consultation to discuss web hosts, site speeds and more.