Videos and Webinars

Site is Down/Running Slow

When it comes to viewing a web page online, there are many factors involved that can cause a website to perform slowly or with limited performance.

For example, there are connection factors to consider, like Internet routing and basic connectivity issues, as well as browser-specific performance factors that can make your site merely appear to be slow while it is, in fact, operating perfectly. However, in some instances, there may be site and server-specific issues that can also affect your site's performance.

It is with these thoughts in mind that we provide the following troubleshooting checklist for you to consider when you notice your site's performance behaving less than optimally. The basic structure of this list is intended to address and rule out the more common and obvious issues first before progressing to the more complex scenarios. Please review:

Example 1 - Basic Internet Connectivity

The speed of your site may be unique to only your Internet connection, network, or even your geographical location. Internet traffic is similar to real-world traffic, and different routes are possible from point A to point B. Each possible route can be affected by traffic congestion as a real-life highway can be. Therefore, the first scenario you will want to rule out is if your connection could be the cause of the slowness. For this, we recommend first performing a "traceroute" to your website.


A traceroute will show you all of the individual hops and paths your connection is taking from your network (Point A) to your website (Point B). If there are any delays between the two, a traceroute should show this.

To perform a traceroute, please view our guide located here.

Proxy Site

Yet another troubleshooting tool intended to rule out possible connectivity issues is the use of a proxy site. A proxy site is a type of website that will allow you to access any website you'd like but from a network connection completely different from your own. This can also help rule out if any slowness is being caused by your specific network or connection since a proxy would essentially be browsing your site from a completely different location altogether.

A quick search online for "proxy sites" should allow you to choose a variety of services that should work for this purpose.

Some popular proxies include:

Load Testing Site

A final testing solution to try and diagnose any possible slowness is through the use of a load testing service. Load testing sites are similar to proxies in that your site is being accessed via an independent network connection; however, they also have the added benefit of actually timing and, in many cases analyzing the individual elements of your site to help you determine what might be causing slowness.

A good tool to use for this purpose can be found at

Go to, enter your store's URL and test the load time. The graphical readout will show your site's load time as well as the load times for all the various elements of your site as illustrated below.

After determining whether the cause of slowness is unrelated to possible network or connectivity issues, it's time to determine whether the slowness is unique to your site. This leads us to the next troubleshooting example:

Example 2 - Scripting

As mentioned, the added benefit of a load testing service like is the fact that you can see other elements of your site that may cause problems. For example, third-party scripts all have the potential to slow down your site. Examples of these types of scripts are:

  • third-party toolbars

  • third-party pop-up boxes

  • analytic scripts

  • integrated chat programs

  • affiliate tracking codes

  • security seals and verification seals

More often than not, a delay in loading a third-party script can make it appear as though your site is taking longer to load since certain browsers will wait until all elements are accounted for before actually displaying the page.

To further troubleshoot any site slowness, consider systematically disabling these third-party scripts and see if the load time of your site improves. (be sure to clear your browser's cache to get an accurate loading of the site after disabling third-party scripts.

Example 3 - Server Issues/Maintenance

Another possible cause of site slowness may be periodic server maintenance or possible server issues.

In the case of server maintenance, where repairs are being performed on the server, your site may experience some slowness. However, Shift4Shop will make all attempts to have the maintenance occur during non-peak hours, as well as have the process completed as quickly as possible.

Server issues, on the other hand, can occur at random and should be reported as quickly as possible.

If you continue to experience slowness and trouble with your site - and have already gone through the troubleshooting steps outlined above - please contact our support department and create a trouble ticket with them.