A slow website is bad for business. You know this. Internet users have a lot going on, and these days waiting for a website to load ranks up there with watching television commercials. Our collective consciousness has no time for such shenanigans.
Why Slow Websites Make Customers Unhappy
The influence of site speed on user engagement and retention is nothing new. Tech mammoths like Google, Mozilla, and Shopzilla have been running relevant experiments for years and here’s what they’ve discovered:
- When Google altered page formats to accommodate more results (going from 10 per page to 30 and increasing loading time by .5 seconds), traffic and revenue decreased by 20 percent.
- When Mozilla decreased loading time by 2.2 seconds, Firefox downloads increased by 15.4 percent.
- After Shopzilla shaved off more than 3 seconds of loading time, it received 25 percent more page views.
Top Reasons Your Website Crawls Instead of Runs
If leisurely page loads are killing your customer pool, consider these issues:
- Server Location and Performance – If data has to travel a long distance to reach its target, it will run more slowly. If your server sits in America but most of your customers live in Australia, they’ll click on your website and send an access request overseas to your American server. And their request won’t get answered until the data travels both ways. In that same vein, a low-performing server–the fault of your web host–will inevitably slow down your website.
- Traffic – Having lots of visitors seems like a good thing, right? It is…unless heavy traffic slows your site. Like a crowded café means you get tepid coffee after a 20-minute wait, an influx of site commerce means a slower-moving digital domain.
- Dense Code – Heavy website elements will drag it down every time. The more code behind your website, the greater the chances it’ll take longer to move.
- Intricate File Format and Large Images – Think about it; large items take longer to express on screen. For an efficient website, avoid complex file formats (like TIFF and BMP) and mind your image sizing.
- Gratuitous Redirects – The fastest way from point A to B is and always will be a straight line. Unless you absolutely have to, stop redirecting traffic.
- Outdated CMS – When that screen pops up asking you to install updates, don’t ignore the prompt. Having the latest software will keep your site productive.
- Excessive Plugins – Like code, images, redirects and formats, too many accessories weigh everything down.
Keep necessary plugins and purge the rest.
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