Is your business website running excruciatingly slow? Have you lost rankings due to Google’s page experience update?

DesignMantic share the most common website speed killers in this infographic.

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Here are a few from their list:

  • Social media buttons
  • Ad code and analytics tags
  • Large, unoptimised images
  • Poor CSS
  • Third-party plugins

Check out the infographic for more detail.

16 Features Slowing Down Your Website & Lowering Your Google Ranking [Infographic]Pin

Nobody wants to make their website load slowly, but many of the most popular features found on websites are responsible for eating up lots of bandwidth and slowing your website down.

Don’t let slow load times detract from your business success by optimising these 16 features that are slowing down your website.

Website speed killer 1 – Social media buttons

As with most things, moderation is key: Social media buttons can take up valuable space on on a webpage, so use them sparingly. Use buttons only if they contribute to user experience—if they’re boring or don’t add much value to your content, find another way to let users share.

Before you add any new features to your site, ask yourself whether it enhances usability and makes it easier for users to accomplish what they came there to do.

There are plenty of social sharing tools available for WordPress that won’t clutter up your pages. Choose one carefully and avoid throwing all kinds of buttons onto every page in an attempt to be social. That will just cause confusion for readers and does little more than increase load time.

Website speed killer 2 – Ad code

Ad code — such as flashing animated GIFs and auto-playing video—may draw in clicks and views, but they can also slow down your website and reduce conversions. If you aren’t sure what you should remove from your site, check out Google Webmaster Tools for guidance.

Many tools are now mobile compatible including popular browsers Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Make sure all webpages load quickly on mobile devices too!

If you have an ecommerce business or are using third party apps that place ads on your website consult with a knowledgeable website designer or developer to avoid speed bumps.

Website speed killer 3 – Analytics tags

Whether you’re using Google Analytics, or some other form of web analytics software, chances are you’ve installed tags on your site. The problem is that they may be slowing down your website without giving any valuable information back in return.

To make sure these tags aren’t having a negative impact on your visitors, try disabling them for a few weeks and see if there are noticeable improvements. If not, look into replacing them with something more lightweight.

Analytics services like Google Analytics also track what happens after users leave your site, so it can get pretty resource-intensive. If you don’t need to know where your visitors go once they’ve left your site, then consider removing those options from Google Analytics as well.

You can find these settings under View Settings in GA under Cookie Usage.

Website speed killer 4 – Javascript-based functionality

Software applications need to be written in javascript for use on websites. The problem is that javascript is less efficient than server-side languages like PHP and Java, which means your visitors will spend more time waiting for your page to load.

That’s not only frustrating, it’s bad for SEO too—people won’t keep their window open if it takes too long to load each time they come back to visit. Use javascript sparingly if you can help it. If you must have a javascript element on your website, make sure it’s one of these:

  • Google analytics: For tracking site usage and getting data about users so you can improve conversion and customer retention rates. This has no functional benefit for visitors but allows you to see what people are doing when they get there.
  • Form submissions: There is no functional benefit for visitors to submit forms via Javascript—it just seems faster because there’s no visual feedback until after they click submit.
  • Embedded maps or multimedia content: Maps, google maps especially, take longer to load than other media types because geolocation involves calculations with external servers.

Website speed killer 5 – Big un-optimised images

We all like our content looking its best but make sure you’re not creating unnecessary extra weight for your website with large, oversized images. This will not only slow down your page speed, it can also negatively affect search engine results.

Just think about it: do you really need that 800 x 600 image? Probably not… Try to limit file sizes of images to around 100KB and use an image editor if necessary. And remember: ‘Save For Web’ is your friend! Use it liberally when uploading or modifying images in order to reduce their size before uploading them to your site or gallery.

Also, as a quick tip: always ensure images are optimised before adding them to your WordPress media library. If they aren’t already PNGs (or JPEGs) then there are plenty of online tools such as TinyPNG and Lossless JPEG which will dramatically reduce their file size without sacrificing quality.

Not using WordPress? There are countless lightweight alternatives available.

Website speed killer 6 – Overstuffed HTML

It’s true that every web page is made up of code, but not all code is created equal. Too much code results in slow load times, which affects how quickly your website appears to visitors.

The more code you have on a page, or in an application for that matter, the slower it loads. It takes extra time for servers to process data and send it back and forth.

This can cause problems on some slower computers and mobile networks too. Some scripts are even bulky without being functional—they just take up space. If you find yourself using many features with HTML coding, do yourself a favour and see if there are any ways to streamline your site so you don’t go overboard with unnecessary code.

Website speed killer 7 – CSS & Poor stylesheets

Stylesheets can contain anything from JavaScript to images, but are usually used to format text. They are necessary for web pages, but too many CSS styles will slow down your website’s page load speed.

The more files there are, and thus more HTTP requests for each page view, will increase response time. Once your site gets big enough or receives a lot of traffic, it may be worth installing a content delivery network (CDN) to store assets closer to where they are being served. Also consider using a Critical CSS service.

These tools combine multiple stylesheets into one to minimise download size and only display what is essential when loading a page. And consider removing unused plugins and replacing them with similar services to reduce bloat on your hosting environment.

Website speed killer 8 – Unprofessional jQuery

While jQuery is a great tool for creating interactive elements, it’s easy to go overboard with it. Loading unnecessary features, especially ones that are poorly written, can slow down your website and ultimately annoy users.

To avoid excess jquery lag, only load elements you actually need to use, optimise your code by refactoring or rewriting it in plain JavaScript when possible.

Make sure to test your pages with Google PageSpeed Insights—it’ll point out any big offenders.