Over 60 percent of network traffic – which includes visits to websites – is now being done from mobile devices. That means websites must be built to display quickly over busy cellular networks. But that is just one of the many reasons why website speed is important. When it all boils down, it’s about the impact on your business. Slow-loading websites cost retailers $2.6 billion in lost sales each year.
Impact of Website Speed
According to Forrester Research, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. Websites must load quickly with efficient code and optimized images stored on fast, reliable servers. Cellular networks can still be unreliable, spotty, and prone to failure. Because of this, your website must be fast so it can squeeze through the maze cellular networks place on data.
Tools to Test and Improve Website Speed
There are a number of tools that web developers use to help pages load faster. One place many developers start is with a page speed tester. This speed tester from Google provides metrics on how fast (or slow) your website is loading as well as tools to help improve loading time.
What is the real-life consequence of a user is sitting waiting for your site to load? Them leaving your site. Google found that as page load speed went from one second to six seconds, bounce rate (leaving a site) increased 106%. In plain terms, slow-loading pages mean revenue lost. So another tool developers use is a CDN, or Content Delivery Network. A CDN is a network of servers around the world that is utilized to make sure your website is delivered quickly to any visitor no matter where they are located, even if it is on the other side of the world from where your business is located. Say your website is hosted in Los Angeles and you have a website visitor in New York. With a CDN, your website will be copied to a server in NY. This helps your web pages load fast because they don’t need to travel through a maze of servers to get to your website visitors.
PULL QUOTE>visitors will form an opinion about your website in less than 50 milliseconds
Another factor influencing page loading time is image size. Modern website design calls for more images over text. Gone are the days of website with pages and pages of text links. Beautiful websites with oversized images must be designed so the images optimized to make sure they are not weighing down sites when it comes to page loading speed. But those big beautiful images come at a cost – and that cost is often loading time. Website developers can use tools to compress image sizes to help with page speed. Because while your site visitors prefer to see imagery, they are also impatient in waiting for it to load.
We work with small businesses that need help with building a new website or updating an existing website. Does your website have out-dated design, slow loading time, or lack of modern website features? We can help! We do website design and development, WordPress Care Plans, website audits, and as-needed support with our HelpMe! service. We offer a free, no obligation consultation. Give us a call, send us an email, or schedule a time to chat directly on our calendar. We look forward to assisting you!
Image: Julius Lopez