Website speed is a crucial part of having a happy, healthy website. And a happy, healthy relationship with your clients. Not only does poor speed influence how people respond to your website, it’s also a heavy influence on your Google search engine ranking.
People aren’t patient enough to wait for long loading websites. They’ll jump to the next option rather than give you a few extra seconds. They certainly won’t put up with it as they comb through website page after website page trying to find what they need.
In an environment where every click counts, you need a website that hums like a Ferrari. Not choking up the information highway like a smoky old Bedford. According to industry leader Kissmetrics, “if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year”.
There’s not a business on the planet that would cheerfully part with that amount of money.
Want to ensure you’re not lining up behind a slow-moving beast of a website and making it hard for your customers to access it? Webocda have got you covered. Here’s how.
Detection is the first step
Generally, we know if our website is suffering in the speed stakes because it becomes annoying to have to view it ourselves. Uploading may take longer, customer calls about rudimentary information may increase. In short, people stop seeing the website as useful and start avoiding it.
Google also provides some great speed testing tools
that you can use for free. That way, you can see exactly what customers and Google see is happening with your website by way of confirmation. Here are some heady website speed statistics for you to consider:
- Google recommends people see your page load in under 3 seconds
- 53% of customers will leave your mobile website if the page they want doesn’t load in that 3 second window
- Most websites take 22 seconds to load in a mobile environment
- After 10 second loading times on any form of website, the probably of customers bouncing away increases by 123%
3 seconds to make an impression is an important benchmark to keep in mind with your website. By the time many organisations start attending to their site speed, it’s well beyond even the 22 second mark.
But you don’t have to allow website speed to be a major issue for your business or your staff and customers.
Aim to maintain warp speed
One of the issues many organisations face is drift over time. We start off with the best of intentions and a groovy new website with a super-fast engine. Yet we forget to service the website appropriately. We become complacent and can even drift into poor website habits. However, have a strong structure going forward to support the website’s ongoing health are vital. Some ideas that help companies remain free from lag and drag in the website speed stakes are:
- Training staff members properly about your CMS and including information into this training about the importance of reducing image, video and document size before loading
- Use your staff as your first line of detection. Teach them to look at for lag when using the website, stutters during a sales demo, issues with uploading content and page refreshes. Empower them to report issues
- Have adequate monitoring and reporting that helps you understand if there have been changes to your website speed. Webcoda are cooking up a fab new tool to help you in this regard so what this space for details
- Choosing a hosting company that is proactive about monitoring your speed and giving you the juice, you need. Many companies are quite set and forget when it comes to hosting, but there are always better deals and ways of doing things you can investigate
If you aim to remain at the baseline speed set at launch and watch for changes, it can really help you maintain a healthy, speedy website.
Make reduction your friend
Compression often sends the marketing department into a tizzy because they assume their big, beautiful collaterals will lose size and definition. This is not the case and is not the whole story.
All of this works together to provide a less bloated website and a faster loading time.
Another way organisations get caught out with website speed is through redirection. Each time you redirect a URL or a page or post, you’re potentially increasing the load time. The simplest way to look at this is because the customer is delivered not one but two pages by Google to get to that redirected content.
The complication with this 2-page model comes in the form of configuration. If you set up a page to request another page, this creates another second. If you create a page redirecting to a page to redirect to a mobile page, things become more complicated still. Now add redirections for old pages, broken links and all the rest and soon, your customer is wandering through a forest of ever-loading pages.
The cleaner you can keep your path through your website, the better the speed will be. This includes moving away from mobile only or reduced load pages wherever possible as a priority in 2018.
Lower the load
Remember how we talked about image size and video uploaded to the CMS above influencing speed? And that training people to stay within a good size for any additional content to help maintain the speed? The same is true of additional pages, content above the fold, stylesheets created by designers and more. To lower the load on a website, there are a few things you can do beyond monitoring general content uploads:
- Avoid using heavy images above the fold. The average website with a heavy image load above the fold takes 7 seconds to load. That’s more than double of the speed you want. Even if it looks beautiful, it may be better to choose speed over style
- Rethink sliders and moving parts. Not only do sliders and other scrolling style images need larger formats, they also often have a lot of script powering them. Sliders are nice to have but the jury is also out on whether customers like to use them anyway
- Use cache wisely. Using cache to remove the load from Google and removing the need to reload a fresh version of your website every single time can do wonders for site speed. You can set an expiry on cache loading to maintain a fresh look- and it can be helpful to your frequent visitors when the internet can’t cope with a full load
- Make server health a priority. How your server responds to requests also determines the access speed of your website, the content featured, and the files safely tucked up in databases. How queries are handled, available space on the server, slow routing and memory can all influence server speed
Many of these tricks to lower load belong with a trained web developer and/or IT professional. But don’t despair, if you need assistance in these areas, Webcoda is only a phone call away.