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Site-Performance

Top 10 Annoying Issues That Kill Website Performance (That You Should Know)

The expectation for developers to know the ins and outs PLUS basic SEO, marketing trends and even social media has never been like this before. If all things are equal – developers looking for work that display a well-rounded background of skills behind coding have the upper hand. It is increasingly hard to hire top developers through the market is exploding with new job opportunities. If you want to stand out from the crowd (or if you already have a development job and want an added edge) stay tuned because we will be talking about the top 10 site performance issues that make everyone go a little bit mad and at this stage, you’ll need to know.

Top 10 Annoying Issues That Kill Website Performance (That You Should Know)

1. Ignoring Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization aka SEO. It’s all over the web. Basically, if you, “build it, they will come.” The idea is simple, there are two basic types of SEO – onsite SEO which deals with the optimized code, and offsite SEO, think link building tactics. Unforatenely for many business owners they think websites are just magically optimized by being online and/or sharing a social media post.

Most small businesses don’t even bother with SEO until months down the road after a website has been launched and traffic just isn’t there. At this point, adjusting SEO can lead to a time-consuming job where you need to go back to square one and optimize parts of the site that should have been fixed before launch.

For developers, we strongly recommend understanding the fundamentals of SEO. Fight your clients to have a solid launch. Otherwise, down the road, they may bring in an outside consultant and whether you like it or not, the blame for ignoring basic SEO best practices will fall on the development team.

2. An Overload Of Plugins In WordPress Sites

WordPress is one of the most popular frameworks on the market. So many users love it because it’s easy to use, manage and update. The amount of open source and free resources for this platform can be a bit overwhelming. You can pretty much find a plugin that does anything you want.

Developers be warned – plugins are a bit of a gateway drug. Yes, they are fast to set up. If you’re a freelance developer having this type of tech at your hands makes you look good. But are plugins worth it? Not all plugins are kept up to date and WP is known for having a ton of security issues as a result.

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Let’s ignore the security issue and say you do add some plugins to your site. Plugins have weight. Each additional plugin will impact your site performance – mostly by slowing it down. You may not notice an added two second load time on a page here and there, but after you have 50+ plugins on your site you will and so will your clients.

The best rule of thumb here, if you can code it – do so. Keep your plugin count under ten as much as you can.

3. Accepting Cheap Servers

This one is a bit of a heartbreaker. You spend all this time coding your nights away, pushing to launch the perfect website and for what? On the day it goes live, you settle for shared and/or cheap hosting. You’ve seen these deals online – “Pay $7.99 for 1 year of hosting.” The horror.

Think of hosting as land. Those $7.99 deals just aren’t good pieces of land. Deals like this are able to price these plans so low because they host thousands of websites on a single server. Servers that offer little to no support, forcing you to sacrifice the quality of your original site code at the cost of saving a couple of bucks.

It just isn’t worth it. Cheap servers are a huge performance and SEO problem developers need to be tackling on day one.

4. Too Many Ads And Not Enough Resources

The site is live and traffic is coming daily. You’ve established yourself as an authority in the market and have found a way to create extra income via ads – great! A popular service that does this is Google Adsense. It allows sites to add a code to their site that displays to visitors ads.

The problem with this tactic is some websites go a bit nuts with ads. You’ve seen them, there are ads in the side, pop up, header, when you exit. It’s overkill. Users don’t appreciate it and the reality is – all these codes added to the website slow it down. Think about it, you have your main code – great – then you add 2 or 3 more ad codes, it’s a lot for any website to take.

The end result, higher bounce rates and often times much slower websites that simply display only 1 ad. Developers reading this should stick with Google Adsense – it works, easy to implement and there is a lot of support to help ensure you use the code in its intended way.

5. Not Caching Your Website

Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, Magento all save a ton of data. They have databases built within them to manage this information. Although these are solid tools for launching sites, they add a lot of extra weight to your server and depending on what page you load can slow it down a bit.

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The solution – cache your website. Caching will help reduce page file sizes and have the information load a bit faster for users. There are plenty of free tools out there to help owners of CMS stay on top of their caching. To start, we recommend looking at Cloudflare. 

6. Overkill On Social Media Widgets

Have you noticed lately how many different sharing options a blog displays? There are sharing widgets at the start, end, side, the other day I saw a pop-up sharing option – it’s a bit much. SEO’s recommend sharing on social media to build those social signals so Google can index the site faster and you can get some traffic – but at what cost is the question.

It makes sense for social icons to be added to blogs, but does it make sense to have it on every single page? Ie. your terms of use page? Category pages? Contact us page? I’m not so sure it does. I mean, who is going to be sharing your disclaimer page on social media?

For websites that display categories on the homepage that loads these social media counts, it slows down site performance. Developers reading this, should be aware content that is meant to be shared has the tools to be shared and not every page on a website needs to be sharable.

7. Forgetting About The Mobile Experience

Customers are mobile first. They use their smartphones to buy from Amazon, watch YouTube and read your blog. Yet, many website owners simply to do not put any ongoing consideration into the mobile experience.

Most mobile websites that are slow and frustrating to use are simply bloated down by too many scripts, lazy coding, and images and videos that aren’t optimized. Why does this happen? Well, design to production has evolved some bit. Not long ago, designers would share desktop mock-ups of designs that developers would code. Often times, mobile just wasn’t on the table.

Developers should know that the mobile experience will never go away. You can fix some of the optimization elements above. Other parts, it wouldn’t hurt getting a designer back in the room and brainstorming simpler font texts, colors and design elements to use.

8. Lack Of Internal Organization

What happens when your lead developer quits? Unless they own part of the company you can’t really think they will stay with you forever? Often times, we get team members in position and build trust with them. We forget that team members leave us for whatever reason ie, new job, moving, life.

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It is highly recommended that there is a plan put in place for new team members that can both gain access to site projects and see what type of work was performed in the past. Developers reading this should check out our article called Top 10 Benefits of Github.

Github has a well-known platform that easily tracks the website code and makes it simple for new team members to jump in and get caught up on where a project is going. You’ll also want to support this with the basics of having regular backups and an action plan should anyone on the team ever decide to walk away.

9. Weak Support Ticket System

One of the most annoying issues you will face as a developer are support tickets. Any coder reading this has their own horror story on a support ticket that came their way via Skype, SMS, email and/or in-person chat. It just isn’t an effective way to manage site bugs.

We strongly recommend The Bug Squasher – it gives users the ability to video record site bugs and hit submit. Once turned in an automated bug report is created where developers can quickly manage the bug the way they see fit. The bonus perk is that bug report comes backed with the information needed (like the type of browser the user is on, console errors, and more) to help diagnose the issue.

Bug Report

10. Technical Limitations

What’s worse – having a website with limitations or a team member with limits? It depends on your resources and time. In both cases, it’s not the end of the world. People can learn new skills and sites can be improved. But often times, a choice needs to be made that isn’t always easy. Site owners get sticker shock when it comes to addressing website bugs and improvements but the reality is – if you don’t evolve your site will be left behind.

To the developer community, we recommend always staying a student of the industry and learning new skills you can introduce to the team and project you are on.

Final Thoughts…

In most cases, annoying website issues are not the end of the world. They can be fixed if you spend the time, money and resources addressing them.  However, in most cases, these issues are left on the back burner and eventually turn into cancer leading to larger and scarier issues. If you are a developer looking to add value to your team, clients and/c0mpany take active steps to combat these issues today so you won’t have to worry about tomorrow.

– The Bug Squasher Team

P.S. If you’re looking for a way to cut down on support tickets and streamline communication diagnosing site bugs check out The Bug Squasher.

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