What can I do if my site is running slow?

This FAQ will offer some tips and advice on speeding up your website

The following is a non-exhaustive list of areas you can check if you feel that your site is running slow when hosted on our Web Hosting platform.


You can use Firefox or Chrome's in-built developer tools to better diagnose performance issues on your website. To access these:

  • On Chrome click on the Options button, and then select Tools, then Developer Tools, and select the Network tab. 
  • On Firefox, select Tools, and click on Web Developer, then Toggle Tools. Again, select the Network tab. 

Size of Webpages

We recommend that pages should be no larger than 1MB in size, this minimises the processing on the server which would allow your site to be displayed faster.

Software Platforms

Pre-built web software types, such as CMS like WordPress or Joomla, or eCommerce packages such as Zen Cart, can be very resource heavy. Depending on the configuration and add-ons installed, they can have an adverse effect of the performance of the site.

Plugins

Plugins can vary in complexity, which in turn can increase the amount of resources that a plugin requires. A large number of plugins (for example, six or more) can also affect site loading times. In order to ensure that your site performs at its best, you should ensure that only the essential plugins are run.

Caching Plugins

On Shared Hosting platforms, Caching Plugins often have to opposite effect than intended, causing your site to run slower, rather than faster. We reccommend that you do not use Caching plugins unless you are on a more dedicated platform, such as a VPS.

Image Galleries

Due to the nature of this feature on webpages, all of the images are loaded in one go. The more images you have, the longer it will take to load, which can affect the total time a page loads.

Image Resolution

If your images is larger that the area it is being loaded into (for example, trying to load a 500x500px image in a 200x200px space) then extra processing is needed to ensure that the image fits the area properly, lengthening the time it takes to load the image. Before you upload images to your website, you should resize them to the size you require using an image editor.

Image Quality

High quality images can increase the amount of bandwidth used on your site, as more processing power is required to draw the image onto your screen. Reducing the quality levels, without compromising the visual quality of the image will help to increase the performance of the site. For example, reducing the quality level on a JPG image by 5 levels, can help.

Database Structure

If you understand database structures, check that your tables are correctly indexed, that primary keys are defined and the data is normalised to improve its efficiency.

Database Connections

Our SQL databases can only support 10 concurrent connections, if the limit is reached, the site will either wait for a connection to open or display an error message. Ensure that the code that powers the site properly closes the database connections when it finishes.

Memory Limits/Scripts

As the resources on the shared platform are limited, the number of scripts and how much memory those scripts require need to be taken into consideration. If you get error messages, in particular an 'out of memory' error, then you would need to reduce the number of scripts and/or plugins that the site uses.

Monitor your site performance

You can use external sites like GTMetrix or Pingdom to identify parts of your site that are not optimised and other recommendations to help your site's performance.

Traffic

A spike in traffic, while uncommon on our platform, can affect your site. Try again in the next couple to a few hours.

External reading *

Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Site - https://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html

Please note:* 123 Reg is not liable for the content provided by 3rd party websites.


Upgrade to a VPS

If you have followed the check list above and the site still performs slowly, then it might be that your site is more suited on our VPS platform. A VPS has more dedicated resources and flexibility for more robust and resource hungry sites, click here for more information.