Why is Your Site Slow?

Image representing Firefox as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

My wife and I have had a blog site for awhile but just recently we’ve started actually blogging on it. So quickly one night I added a new theme, updated the old version of wordpress that was on the site and added a few plugins for lightbox images and flickr images. Tested it, all was working so like the cobblers kids and their shoes, I would post sometimes but never gave the sites structure a second thought, till this week. I was showing a co-worker our site and realized it was taking awhile to load, it was my own site and I was ready to head to another site just to stop the loading.

It was time to figure out why my site was slow. There can be many reasons why the site is slow, a couple of the things to check are: Your Web Host, I’ve been with ours a long time and knew it wasn’t them. Routing over the Internet, this is usually when you notice your site is slow just one day, but usually is fast. By going to the run command in windows, typing in CMD and then in the command window type: tracert www.yourwebsite.com you will see the hops it takes to get to your site and the time it takes to get there. The lower the number the better, numbers above 100 maybe a problem. There isn’t anything you can do about this, but these problems are usually fixed in a day or two. This again was not my problem.

How to tell what is running slow on your site

To find out why my site was slow I needed a way to see each item loading on my site and the time it takes for them to load. The tool I chose was Firebug. Firebug is a plugin for Firefox (which you’d better be using by now!!) Download Firebug and install it into firefox, after restarting Firefox, you’ll see a small image of a roach in the bottom status bar of FF.

Using Firebug to test your site

Using Firefox, go to your website, once there, click the roach and go to the net tab. The net tab will have check boxes, check them and hit the enable button. your webpage will start to reload, as it’s loading you’ll see status bars showing how long it takes each item to load (see the header image). My problems were allĀ  in red, not because they took so long to load but there were files missing, the slow site was caused by when the site would load, it couldn’t find important files for a couple of the plugins, so it would keep searching till it timed out. You may not have this problem, but you’ll be able to see if images are to large, javascripts are having problems or if you’re just loading to many objects.

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One Comment to “Why is Your Site Slow?”

  1. Derrick Rose photo 12 June 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    That sounds like a good plugin to have. I will have to look into that.

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