Website works slowly

Average loading time

Loading time on a virtual hosting does not normally exceed 3-4 seconds depending on traffic, content and website scripts. In some cases, website needs more time to upload. This is normally the case when you have some ‘heavy’ content or your website scripts are not optimized.

First of all, we recommend you to test your website loading rate from various geographical locations. To do so, you can use one of the numerous online services, such as https://gtmetrix.com/. If results of this test are within a legitimate few seconds but the website is still loading slowly on your own PC, you must be experiencing some network problems on the route from your PC to the server hosting. In this case you should contact your ISP first.

The most common causes of slow loading are described below, along with some troubleshooting methods.

Addressing third-party resources

If your website loads some content from third-party resources (PayPal, Facebook, etc.), you need to check availability of these resources. There might be some difficulties in accessing these websites, which would result in slow operation of your website. Disable third-party content and check your website loading rate once again.

Database is overloaded

If your website has very dynamic information flows, this may lead to fragmentation of your database tables. Consequently, this will result in slow operation of the website.

To join fragmented records and to not have major losses of space (caused by constant removal and refreshing of records) we recommend you to regularly optimize your database tables:

  • enter Phpmyadmin and select the required database from the list by clicking on its name
  • mark all database tables in a drop-down list. Make sure all the necessary items are marked and press Optimize Table.

We also recommend you to contact your website developers or check out your CMS’s dedicated forums to find out more about optimization of scripts with database queries.

Large size of the main page

A very big size of the main page (tens of megabytes) may be the cause of a slow website loading rate. If you have some ‘heavy’ content on your website’s main page (such as animated banners or high-res images), try partially removing such content and then check the website loading rate again.

Resource-intensive extensions

Try to understand what you were doing just before the website started working slowly. It’s possible that you have installed some plugin or extension. If that’s the case, disabling it may help.

Increased website traffic

Slow loading of your website may be caused by increased website traffic. There are two possible options:

  • website traffic is growing due to organic reasons, i.e. your website is becoming more popular and running short of resources on the virtual hosting. In this case we recommend you to move to a VPS server: How to move your website to VPS;
  • website traffic looks suspicious. We recommend you to inspect website logs for DDoS attacks or for a large number of requests from search robots. Normally, such actions involve a higher CPU load. Follow the recommendations of this help article, which is also helpful in case of slow website loading.

Turn on caching in the settings of CMS

If you activate caching in the settings of your CMS, it might speed up website loading. In Joomla and MODX, you can activate the built-in cache. For WordPress, we recommend you to install WP Super Cache caching plugin.

Setting up ‘gzip’ and ‘expires’

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to set up ‘gzip’ and ‘expires’. If it’s crucial for you to have ‘gzip’ and ‘expires’, we recommend you to purchase a VPS server.

Still not working?

If you have followed all the recommendations above and they don’t help, diagnose the network with use of WinMTR software and send its results to the hosting support team.