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Why the speed & performance of your website is crucial!

First impressions are vital! How many conversions are you loosing due to slow page speeds?

There are a variety of reasons to why a website can load slowly, ranging from poor quality web hosting to a badly optimised website. This then results to higher bounce rates, lower conversions and lower rankings in search engines such as Google and Bing.

PageSpeed Insights

Why does page speed matter?

In short, faster loading websites creates a better user experience (UX). Users have become less patient and tolerant of slow websites. If your website is slow, your users are more likely to leave your site before it finishes loading and go to your competitor. Many people have also found that increasing the speed of their web pages led to higher conversions and generally higher SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) rankings.

If your website sells products or services, fast web pages will allow your users to quickly ease through multiple products/services pages of your website. They will be able to easily understand what you have to offer and more likely to complete an order form.

How to check your website speed

Checking your website speed is simpler than you may think. There are hundreds of free tools that will load your website from different locations and tell you exactly how long it took to load. Many of these websites will also help you determine exactly what is slowing your site down.

PageSpeed Insights by Google is a useful tool that analyses your website’s load speed in both mobile and desktop and lists any factors causing your website to not load as quickly as it could.

Pingdom Website Speed Test and GTmetrix are both great tools that provide a lot of optimisation data to help you determine exactly which files are slowing down your website.

According to Google, the ideal speed of your website should be between 500 milliseconds to 2 seconds at the most.

Amazon.com recently did a study and discovered that every one second delay of their ecommerce website, conversions dropped by an astounding 7%. Also, Walmart also found that their revenue increased by 1% for every 100ms of improvement. As you can see, the speed of your website can significantly increase or decrease your conversions.

Ways to improve your website speed

There are various way to improve the overall load time of your website. Below are a few of the best practices to follow:

Improve page speed

  1. Minimise the amount of HTTP Requests – remove any unneeded items such as style sheets (CSS), scripts and images, so your pages will have less HTTP requests to wait for before loading the page.
  2. Make sure your images are optimised for the web – crop and resize your images and make sure they aren’t bigger than they need to be. Also use compression tools to help reduce the file size of your images without affecting the quality.
  3. Leverage browser caching – this can help improve load times by storing some of your website files locally in your user’s browser. When they re-visit your website, the browser will have less data to download and fewer requests are needed.
  4. Minify website resources – reduce the size of your website files by removing unnecessary comments, formatting and other data.
  5. Reduce 301 Redirects – 301 Redirects force the user’s browser to a new URL, therefore it has to wait for the HTTP request to come back. Avoid using 301 Redirects and only use them if absolutely necessary.
  6. Use a Content Delivery Network – A CDN will help your site load faster by delivering some of your website resources from a closer server to your users.

For more technical information on how you can speed up your website, contact us today and we’ll be happy to help improve your website speed & performance! You can also view our other web design and development services here.

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