Why some dental websites find it hard to keep up.
Maybe you haven’t looked at your website since you canceled your subscription to AOL 10 years ago. But trust us, prospective patients with very fast computers and smartphones, connecting via ultra high speed internet have looked at your website site. If it loads slowly say ‘buh bye’ to them. If it loads fast, they’ll stick around for a few more seconds.
A recent study by Google showed that the average time it takes to fully load a typical mobile web page is a whopping 22 seconds. However, research also indicates that over 50% of visitors will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
If you’ve ever thought ‘why is my dental website loading so slowly?’ These common culprits could be the source of your problems.
1. You’ve got a clumsy web design with sloppy code
Cumbersome web code is a very common culprit to assess if your content pages are loading slowly. Frequently CSS coders include whitespace in order to make pages more comprehensible, but it oftentimes isn’t necessary. Much of the whitespace inserted by developers can be removed while still retaining website readability. Consider eliminating line breaks and unnecessary spacing as this will compress your code, reduce the size of files and improve website speed overall.
2. Your images are not optimized
Another key reason for a slow-loading dental website is unoptimized images. Every image or file on a website needs to be loaded bit by bit. A large image is going to take a long time to load up. If you’ve got a ton of large images on your website, you’re adding extra load time for every picture.
The file format is also important here. Browsers can load JPG, PNG, and GIF images nice and quickly. But, heavy formats like TIFF and BMP are going to eat huge chunks into your load time. Avoid them!
3. Too many plugins
If you’re running WordPress, you’ve probably got a host of plugins behind the scenes. Plugins have their place and can provide necessary features to your website. However, using them excessively can slow down your load times and create a poor experience for your users.
If you think one (or a few) of your plugins are causing your content pages to load slowly, try deactivating one at a time and testing site speed along the way. Once you find the culprit, delete it for good and find a better replacement that doesn’t negatively affect your website speed.
4. The server you’re on stinks
If you’re on a shared server, and you probably are, your performance will be impacted by other users the same server. No matter how fast the rest of your website may be, being in a queue with other users might drag down your overall speed.
The problem is that if your website is slow due to your web hosting provider, it is a direct indication that other aspects of your host may not be top-notch as well, including security issues, back-ups, tech support, and other features.
Solving a server issue is simple and straightforward. If you’re on a shared server, you’ll experience immediate improvements in performance by moving to a dedicated server, which means you’re the only user running off that hardware.
5. You are still utilizing Flash
Despite the zillion reasons not to use Flash (#1, not being compatible with most mobile devices), it is still present on many dental websites today. Although Flash may once have looked great on your website, it is very likely to be contributing to your slow page load speed. Flash is just bulky software in general, and most Flash files can be rather large, particularly media files. Of course, the bigger the file size, the slower your pages will load.
A slow site will drain your users and reduce new patient opportunities. With half of all visitors abandoning pages that take more than three seconds to load, one second can make or break your traffic and the performance of your website. But a few quick fixes can go a long way towards getting you back up to speed.
Optimized360’s web services can help address the most hosting problems you may be suffering from. Our industry leading solutions allow you the flexibility and performance that keeps your website running at top speed, offering your patients and future patients an optimal online experience.
Contact us today, ask about our FREE CONSULTATION and speak with one of our expert consultants about how we can help your website move as fast as your practice.