You might occasionally run into the “website took too long to respond” error when attempting to access a specific website.
The following images, which were taken using Chrome and Firefox, respectively, show how the error appears:
When attempting to access your own website, this is very alarming because it implies that the website may effectively be unavailable to all users. Continue reading for some typical causes and troubleshooting tips.
What does this error mean?
The ‘taking too long to respond’ error signifies a communication issue between the target server and the client (your web browser). It indicates that the targeted server is delaying the client’s response for a long period of time. In the event that the client does not hear back within 30 seconds, an error is typically sent. The attempt at a connection is then abandoned.
Reasons Error ‘taking too long to respond’ error
Here are several reasons that you encounter above error message:
Internet connection problem
If you don’t have an internet connection, a particular website might not load. Verify your device’s connectivity, for instance, by using a LAN or Wi-Fi. You should check your LAN settings if you use a LAN. Ensure that your TCP/IPv4 protocols are correctly configured as well. Later on in the article, we will examine solutions for issues with internet connections.
High usage on the server
It is possible that there isn’t enough memory on shared hosting to support a connection between your client and server. The distribution of memory is not fair when using shared hosting. There may be some websites that consume a lot of memory, leaving little memory for others.
Discuss your memory limit with your service provider. In the ‘Site Health Tool’ on your dashboard, you can check your memory limit if you’re using WordPress.
You might also want to switch to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) package, where memory is shared equally among users, from your current hosting plan.
Certain websites, or even all of them, could be blocked by your antivirus software. It might need to be momentarily disabled so that you can check if the “taking too long” error has been fixed.
Domain names are converted to IP addresses using the DNS (Domain Name System). This is because IP addresses, which are composed of four sets of digits separated by periods as shown in the image below, are simpler for browsers to “read” than text, which is why domain names like www.abc.com are composed of text.
In order to ensure that subsequent requests are handled quickly, DNS results are typically cached. The ‘website took too long to respond’ error might be caused by a communication issue between the client and the server, in which case it may have been cached. The issue should be resolved by clearing the DNS cache.
Client-server communication issues may be exacerbated by stored data from browsing sessions, such as cache, cookies, site names, and URLs. The name and URL of the specific website that you are attempting to access are contained in the stored data. It will look at the browser history if there have been previous connection problems, and the client-server connection will break.
Your Windows HOSTS file
Domain names are translated into IP addresses by the hosts file. Editing the hosts file is necessary to see, for instance, how your website would appear if it were hosted on a different server. An error message stating that the page is taking too long to load may appear if you have blocked any website URLs or IP addresses in your hosts file.
Your site might take too long to load if your database contains a lot of data, such as logs, hundreds or thousands of blog posts, gallery images, and entries from themes and plugins.
A great strategy when dealing with the “taking too long to load” error is to rule out the most obvious causes, such as internet connectivity. Verify that your internet connection is active and that it functions on other websites and gadgets.
To be more precise when correcting the error, the second strategy involves performing connectivity tests. Even though some of these fixes require using the command line interface, they are straightforward and don’t require technical expertise to implement. The most typical connectivity tests you can perform are listed below:
You can look up DNS information, such as your IP addresses, DNS servers that are responding to requests, or even compare responses from different DNS servers, using the tool known as Nslookup, which is short for “name server lookup.”
You can use this tool to determine whether a remote server is accessible. You can use it to see if your desktop or local PC can connect to a remote host. The test is simple to execute from the command line.
Using the tool Tracert, you can track the path that data packets sent to and from your IP address take and determine how long it takes. Issues that arise during data transfers can be found using the tracert test. Increased latency is a possible problem. The duration between the client sending a request and the server responding is known as latency.
If your latency is high, you might need to start utilizing a CDN. The distributed servers known as CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) shorten your servers’ geographic separation and “bring your servers closer.” For instance, having a CDN in your own country could save you from having to wait for a response from a server that is located abroad. By doing so, you can improve the speed of your website while also potentially resolving client-server communication issues.
How to fix website took long time to respond error
As we said, the first step in fixing this error is to rule out the most obvious causes. The most obvious causes of the error are addressed first in this section, followed by fixes for the less obvious causes.
1. Check your internet connection
Make sure your device is connected to the internet as the first thing you need to do.
Using Windows, you can verify whether your wireless network-based internet connection is active by:
- Click on the Wifi internet access icon on your taskbar
- Choose ‘network and internet settings’
- Launch the ‘network and sharing center’
- Click on your Wifi connection. A new window that shows ‘Wifi Status’ opens. You can see your ipv4 and ipv6 connectivity, speed, and internet quality here as shown:
- Click on ‘Details’ to see whether you have a working IP address and DNS server IP address as shown:
- Click on ‘properties’, then ‘TCP/ipv4’
- Then check ‘obtain an IP address automatically’
- Check ‘use the following DNS server address’
- Enter 188.8.131.52 as the preferred DNS server
- And the alternate DNS server as 184.108.40.206
- Apply changes, save and restart your PC.
If using LAN, check your settings by:
- Accessing your browser settings
- Clicking on ‘proxy settings’. This opens an Internet properties window.
- Click ‘LAN settings’
- Uncheck ‘use a proxy server’ if it is checked
- Check ‘automatically detect settings’
- Apply changes
Refresh and Restart
Browsers occasionally encounter problems where an incorrect load or server request causes the site to appear to be offline. To hard refresh and try to reload the page again, press “Ctrl” and “F5” at the same time. Try restarting the browsers themselves if this doesn’t work.
You can restart your entire computer if the browsers themselves refuse to respond. This will take care of restarting your browsers and might even fix any connection problems your computer might be experiencing. Try visiting the website that has been giving you trouble once you’ve restarted.
Clear browser cache
To clear browser cache on Chrome:
- Open your browser and click on the three dots on the top right.
- Select ‘more tools’
- Then clear browsing data
- You may want to clear everything, so select ‘all time’
- If your site was working for a short time, for example an hour before it stopped, the you can clear cache for the last one hour.
- Check the boxes
- Then ‘clear data’
Disable your extensions
To disable extensions in Chrome:
- Click the 3 dots on the top-right menu
- Choose ‘more tools’
- Then ‘extensions’
- Go through each one and remove those that are no longer necessary
- For those that you choose to keep, check their latest updates
- Click ‘details’
- Then ‘view in Chrome Web Store’
- Scroll to ‘additional information’
- You should see a date under ‘last updated’
- The last update should be within three months from the current date
- Remove those extensions. Later on, replace them with alternatives that are more frequently updated
- You can then try to access the site that had problems loading. If it still has problems, disable all extensions
- If the site works this time, you then know that extensions were the problem
- Enable one extension at a time when reloading the site, until when you have identified the extension causing problems
Firewall and Antivirus
To disable your firewall on Windows 10,
- Click the start button
- Select ‘settings’
- Click ‘update and security’
- On the left menu, click ‘Windows Security’
- Click ‘Firewall and network protection’
- Choose the network settings that you want to turn off
- To disable firewall, click the on/off button
If disabling your firewall does not fix the problem, you might also need to uninstall your antivirus software. It should be noted that disabling your firewall or running your device without antivirus software is not recommended. As soon as the issue is fixed, you must activate the firewall and reinstall your antivirus.
Check your server
If all else fails, there may be a problem with the server hosting the website. To find out if the website is down or if you are the only one experiencing issues, try visiting downforeveryoneorjustme.com. Another option is to request access from a friend or someone using a different connection. There is nothing you can do but wait if the server is experiencing problems; fortunately, most websites won’t be offline for very long once the server owners are aware of the issue.
You are now aware of your options for dealing with “website takes too long to respond” errors. You know the possible causes of the errors and the first places to look.