Your website’s loading speed is important for two reasons. Firstly, you don't want to risk losing website visitors because they're frustrated. A bad experience means they won't come back! Secondly, they’ll devote their time and attention to your competitor’s fast website after leaving your slow website!
A website’s loading speed is one of the most relevant factors in Google’s ranking system. You want to appear in Google, don't you?
Who Wants to See the Loading Symbol?
Let’s face it. Who likes to wait in an endless line to get something? It's the same with websites. What kind of message are you sending with a web page that takes forever to upload?
From the website visitors point of view, every single second on the internet counts as a minute in real-time. This is an obvious exaggeration, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true for an average user.
So, if your website makes them wait, you can rest assured that your competitors won’t allow themswhy soelves such a luxury. Nowadays, the Internet users have become extremely impatient and demanding. Yet, who’s to blame them when all of us had to walk in their shoes, this way or another.
We’ve already mentioned that Google is a huge cyber-speed fan. If your website performs quickly and efficiently in the eyes of Google, you’ll be rewarded with a favourable ranking. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself in a profit-killer-zone called the “negative user experience.”
Can You Shake the Slow Stigma?
You can rest assured that getting rid of this stigma isn’t an easy and costless task. It doesn’t matter if you run a simple blog or a complex e-commerce site, the optimal website’s speed is an absolute imperative.
In order to reach more users and a positive ranking you simply have to deal with your site slow speed problems. If your visitors spend more time on your website, then you have more opportunities to promote your business or services.
On the other hand, when the superb loading time for your website guarantees you an eye-catching Google ranking, which in return brings more visitors and potential customers.
In July 2018 Google will make speed a ranking factor for mobile devices, so it's more important than ever! The new algorithm will be called speed update and will penalise websites with poor mobile speed.
It won't prioritise speed as the number one factor for high-rankings, but it will certainly help if you pair quick speed with great content. Webmasters don't delay, prepare your site today!
What Can We Learn From Amazon?
So, how come we keep neglecting the importance of this problem? Well, it’s in our nature to focus our attention only on the elements our eyes can see, such as call-to-action texts, headlines and banners.
The load time seems like a “metaphysics” to the most of the internet marketers. Yet, just because we can’t see it, this doesn’t mean that the slow speed trouble won’t hurt our business.
Let’s see what happened to Amazon. This Internet giant certainly has a lot to tell us about the importance of a website’s speed.
Prevent Huge Losses
The bigger you become in the extremely competitive world of the Internet, the more it costs to wait. Can you believe it that one single second Amazon users had to wait longer, eventually resulted in a heart-breaking loss of more than $1.6 billion on a yearly level?
If you thought that this is a bad news, wait until Google makes a “perfect” day for Amazon with this one. According to Google, if Amazon allows itself a luxury of slowing down for no more than four-tenths of one second when it comes to search results, then take a deep breath because this is going to hurt a lot, it can lose almost 8 million searches daily.
How Does Slow Speed Affect e-Commerce Sites
Do you still think that slow website speed is a tolerable problem? Here’s more. Running a slow speed e-commerce site is the best recipe for an imminent business disaster, for the following reasons:
One in four visitors will leave your website if he or she has to wait for more than 3 or 4 seconds
One in two visitors expects for a web page to load in more than 2 to 3 seconds
One in two customers admits that the superior website speed is essential when it comes to loyalty
Smooth site designs are essential for successful e-commerce websites. Key ingredients like the correct images, mobile readiness and security retain customer loyalty.
Now, let’s go back to Amazon. If people can’t wait for Amazon to deliver the response time they expect, what do you think it would happen to less known brands or start-ups?
Why So Seriously Slow?
So, who's to blame for slow site speed which can quickly get your business into trouble? There’s more than one possible reason.
- Page related issues - Can you point out a specific page or your entire web page is experiencing slow response problems? It’s advisable for you to check for any un-optimised images on your “suspicious” web page, including widgets or ads. Do you really need them?
- The lack of HTTP compression - Thanks to the proper HTTP compression you can significantly reduce the size of your web pages when being downloaded. As a result, you can improve the overall website’s loading time.
- Unclean code - The cleaner the code, the more efficient your website is. Using too many line breaks, inline styling or excessive white space can slow everything down. Don't be lazy! Minify you content and remember to pay attention to the details.
- Fancy Features - Sometimes, a stunning web design comes with a heavy slow speed price to pay. Too many widgets and plugins can seriously harm your website’s loading speed.
What's the Solution?If your slow website has any of these problems, or any different problems, consider a website redesign. A redesign doesn't have to be a complete rebrand or rehaul. Focus on the issues at hand.
Should You Blame Your WordPress site?
Just because your site is built using a specific WordPress platform, it doesn’t mean it will be slow. However, WordPress is often to blame for slowing your website down. Why? Well, the customised plugins and themes can influence your website’s ability to load pages quickly.
In addition, these two factors are among the most common causes of WordPress site slow speed problem:
- Poor coding associated with WordPress plugins
- Low or inappropriate quality of hosting solutions
Want an alternative? Read our article Wix vs WordPress and find the best solution for your business!
What about the solutions? So far, we’ve only heard about the problems, causes and consequences of slow websites. Are there any tools we can use to deal with the problems?
Tools That Identify and Fix Slow Speed Problems
It’s good to know there’s more than one option available to avoid low conversion rates, poor user experience and higher bounce rates.
The unavoidable consequences of slow responding websites. Let’s begin with the open source provided by Google – Web Page Test. Besides being an open source solution, this tool is free and easy to use.
PageSpeed Insights is also a Google tool, which can help you make responsive web pages on all available devices.
Compressor is an excellent optimizing tool you can use for your images. It shrinks the image, taking away any unnecessary bulk, making your pages load faster!
You don’t have to compromise on your site’s slow speed issues. If one thing goes without saying, you need professionals to improve your site’s speed, they're both quick and efficient. Running a painfully slow website is embarrassing and expensive. You can change your situation with professional assistance.
Editor's note: This post has been revamped and updated for 2018. At Red-Fern, we love keeping our content accurate, it ensures our articles are relevant and fresh!