// by Colin
47% of consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of consumers will abandon a website if it takes over 3 seconds to load! Good things come to those who wait – well, in life maybe, but not online. You’re quick or you’re dead, it’s that simple. (more on eCommerce websites here)
Apart from the fact that today’s consumer will not wait for a slow website to load, slow webpage speed also means:
- High Bounce Rate (people leave the page)
- Impact your SEO ranking
- Bad customer experience
- Low engagement
- Lost sales
- Increased chance of website timeout
- Users will complain, with gusto, on social media
How to fix a slow website.
Website performance is most likely affected by one of 3 components:
- Server — the speed of the server where the site is hosted.
- Transmission — the time it takes for the page data to get to the browser.
- Rendering — the time it takes the browser to render the data it’s been delivered.
Transmission is where you can most easily make gains. The low hanging fruit is generally the following:
- Images — larger images will slow transmission speeds
- CSS — poorly written CSS will also affect transmission
For images, there are tons of great plugins out there to reduce image size and speed up your website. For best results, you need to move to WebP, a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. It’s a Google initiative and part of their drive to make the web faster.
Custom Built Sites are Faster.
Many websites are built using a theme or template. These are a cost-effective way to get a website up and running quickly but will never perform as well as a custom-built website. Theme sites carry a lot of additional code that may not be utilised, but still runs in the background. This can severely hamper load times, so it is always best to have a website designed to your specific requirements.
Things Change, Test.
A website is, in a sense, a living thing. It can get sick, slow down, die even. You need to test your website on a regular basis to ensure any gains in speed are kept. For me, google page speed is the best test to run on your site, it only takes a few minutes and you should really test your site at least once a month.