Why do some web pages take forever to load?

In order to make your website accessible you’re going to want to design it in a way that so that it will load quickly for everyone. No one wants to stare at a loading screen for hours when they could be browsing your amazing website right? Here are a few tips to make your web pages load faster when designing your website.

The speed at which a user downloads a web page from the internet has mostly to do with their internet speed. Yet sometimes you will notice that a web page downloads quickly one day and suddenly much slower another day. What gives? The most likely culprit is the server that page is coming from. If thousands of other people across the internet are requesting that same page at the same time, the server can be overwhelmed and respond much slower than usual. Just like when your computer acts slower when you’re running too many programs at once, a server can act slower when it’s sending out a web page to too many people at once. Not to mention that most servers are not direct, meaning that the main server will send that web page to several additional servers that will bounce the page from server to server until it reaches you. If any one of these servers is receiving too much traffic, then that web page is moving at rush hour speed.

Getting the right server for your site that can handle a lot of internet traffic is important, but it’s what’s underneath your site that can really make a difference. The code of a site, when done properly, can make a huge difference when it comes to loading any given web page. Cluttering a page with pictures versus text can take much longer to load. The bigger the picture, the longer it will take to load the page. Other types of media such as videos, ads, or comment sections can all factor in to longer load times as well. Obviously you don’t want your web pages to be exclusively text because well, that’s just boring, but the trick is to use the other types of media sparingly and efficiently.

Besides writing smart code and choosing the right server to host your website, there is little more you can do to make sure your web pages load quicker. Obviously test out your site on multiple web browsers or operating systems to make sure it plays nice on all of them, but this (should be) a given. The actual download speed of one’s internet connection won’t make much of a difference if certain pages load faster than others. If this happens, your best bet is to just close the window and try again in an hour.

Are you waiting forever to load a web page? Let us know what other suggestions you have to improve load times in the comments down below!