Isn’t it annoying when a website loads slowly?
Surveys show that Internet users are very impatient people. They will not wait for slow websites to load unless they know why. e.g. They are visiting a photography gallery with high quality images that they know will be worth the wait.
So, why do web pages load slowly?
Why do Web Pages and Websites Load Slowly?
There are various reasons why a website or web page might be loading slowly:
- A poorly designed site with coding errors will load slowly. The browser has to read and interpret the coding then present it to the visitor.
In the web page there is coding that tells the browser how to render (present) the web page content. If there are coding errors the browser has to figure out what the web designer was trying to do. If it can’t it will take a guess as to how to render the page.
A site that has used a lot of tables or nested tables (web design coding used to layout the web page content) the browser has to read and process each line of coding to create the table and the tables within it before rendering in the browser. The browser does not start rendering until it has finished reading all the coding for the table(s).
The web designer has used some proprietory coding (only works in certain browsers or with certain plugins) and the browser has to find the right software to present the page. If it cannot find the software required then it will either skip the feature (e.g. some things only work in Internet Explorer), the web page will appear broken (again, coding that only works in certain browsers) or it will tell you that you have to download a plugin (extra feature for your browser) or some software to continue.
- A lot of images or the images have not been optimized or resized for the web.
Images that have been inserted into the page without their width and height specified will render slowly. The browser will download each image then calculate the space required for the image before proceeding to the next section of web page coding.
Also, images that have not been optimized for the web will load slowly. The web designer has taken an original image (say a photograph) and not reduced the file size to be suitable for the web.
Another image problem is the web designer has not created the image in a size suitable for the location on the page. They have used the original image and manipulated the size through coding. The browser still downloads the whole large image then resizes it.
If you are a website owner or a web designer and are interested in other web design issues, check out Web Page Mistakes.
- A database driven website (a website with a shopping cart or catalogue for example) may load slowly due to poor database design and/or too many processes (routines used to find the information you requested) having to be performed before returning the information to the browser.
The user requests some information, the website server has to look through it’s database to find the possible results, processes the results it found then sends the results back to the user.
- The system of computers within the Internet structure has a problem.
If one or more of the computers between the user and the website has a problem then the whole experience of visiting a website can be slowed down.
The problem can be at the website’s server, at the user’s Internet Service Provider’s server or anywhere in between.
- The user’s computer is not functioning at it’s optimal performanance.
If the user has too many documents, programs and web pages open at the same time the computer has to work harder to present the website/web page in the browser. This could be a computer memory problem (not enough memory to handle what is open and/or being used) or a full disk space problem (no space left on the hard drive to store anymore information).
The user (that would be you) hasn’t maintained their computer properly by updating software and performing a periodic cleanup routine.
These are a few ideas on why a website or web page might be slow loading.
Solving the Problem of Websites Loading Slowly
As a computer user you would need to start at home by first making sure your machine is running at it’s optimal performance. If you have an older machine, maybe it’s time to upgrade some of your hardware or just get a newer machine.
Develop a routine of computer cleanup and updating. A well maintained computer will surf the Internet much more happily.
Check with your Internet Service Provider to see if they are dealing with any issues. Be sure to check all the equipment and connects at your computer first, they will make you do it anyways before helping you.
So those ideas didn’t work, now what?
You are left with, the website or web page is poorly designed or there is a glitch in the Internet structure. Neither are something you can solve.
If the website is something you are really interested in you might want to bookmark the website and give them another try in an hour or so or on another day. Remember, a website with a lot of pictures or other fancy media will take a long time to load. You have to decide if the site is worth the wait.
The Internet structure problem you have no control over. Somewhere in the path between your computer and the website something is broken. It will be fixed, you just have to be patient.