Why is my page slow?

Overview

The speed of a page is made up of both Front-end and Server-side components. GTmetrix assesses the front-end structure of your page to ensure that it is delivered as optimally as possible to your visitors, but an optimized server-side is also an important part of the equation in offering a fast and seamless site experience.

With Page Speed and YSlow, it's easy to put too much emphasis on the front-end and forget about the server-side. It's important to remember that the even though you may have high Page Speed and YSlow scores, you could make your page even faster by optimizing your server-side.

How does your website score?

What Makes up my Page Load Time?

When a request for a page is made, the Front-end and Server-side components both take a certain amount of time to complete their operations. Since their operations are essentially sequential, their cumulative time can be considered the total page load time.

Front End vs Back End
The front and back-end factors to site speed: A fast time is composed of both of these sides working in an optimal setup.

Even after you've optimized your Front-end, speed gains can still be achieved by optimizing the Server-side. This means optimizing the way the page is generated by your server.

A good indicator of your Server-side performance is the time it takes to generate the HTML page (page generation time). This is labeled as "Waiting" time on the first element in the waterfall graph (also known as the "time to first byte"). Generally, this time should be kept under one second (or as low as possible).

How Can I Make the Server-side Faster?

There are many causes to a slow server-side, but they can essentially be grouped into two categories:

Since each site has a unique platform and setup, the solution to these issues is dependent on each site. One site might need to have their server-side code optimized, but another might just need a more powerful server. Budget constraints may also come into play, as optimizing server-side code for minor speed gains might be more affordable than upgrading servers for massive speed gains.

It's best to truly understand your requirements before pursuing a server-side option path.

Solutions

The following optimizations are commonly used to improve server-side speed (click buttons for more details):

Results

In combination with a speedy front-end, optimizing your Server-side performance can yield amazing results for your page load time.

Generally, the page generation time for complex dynamic sites can be kept under 0.5 seconds.

Need help? We know optimization and we know it well. Finding the best solution to speed up your website isn't always clear cut, but with 16 years of web experience, we can help you plan, develop, and implement a faster site experience for you and your users.

Learn more about our Optimization service, or contact us with the form below.

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