Website peed is a very important factor to every website and the website owner. The first impression a visitor gets when visiting any website is the loading time, that is to say how fast or how slow takes to load. Fast loading websites provides an exceptional user experience to the visitors while a slow loading website give a very poor user experience to the visitor. Slow website speed alone can cause a visitor never to even have the opportunity to see the wonderful content which a website user might have taken out useful time to try add value to people.
Forget about the colors, forget about the functionalities, forget about the content; The number one factor that must be taken into consideration in the establishment and management of any website be it for business, personal use, company, school, etc is the website speeds. It is this factor that determines the number of people who actually access your content after click on your link.
There are numerous case studies that prove that there is a correlation between page speed and user conversion. Let’s take a look at few of them:
- Amazon found that for every 100ms of improved page load time, it saw a 1% increase in revenue.
- Shopzilla cut its page load time from 6 seconds to 1.2 seconds. In addition to a 12% increase in revenue, page traffic increased by 25%
- Bing tried an experiment where it deliberately made search queries take two seconds longer. The result was a 4.3% decrease in revenue per user.
- 39% of users say that performance is more important to them than the functionality of a site
Disadvantages of a slow website
1. Drop off in traffic: For any business to become successful, proper management of the website traffic is very important. Greater the number of visitors, higher is the opportunity to make the product well known among users and ultimately higher is the probability to sell your product. Poor management or a sudden drop in the website traffic leads to a drastic fall in the business revenue. Every second count when it comes to conversions. In the busy life of today, the primary key is to determine the right balance between quality and time, and at most times users prefer timely service over quality. Online giants like Amazon have reported that a delay of just a fraction of a second resulted in a drop of 1% of their conversion sales. Each such drop off is an opportunity lost.
2. Loss of money:A website serves as the frontier for the growth of any organization. Let it be marketing the product or collecting feedback from users, websites have grown leaps and bounds in all these areas and they provide a better experience and service to their customers. Designing and development of a website that fascinates the user is no mean task. Continuous maintenance and enhancement of the website according to the growth in business is also a mandate. Selection of the right web service provider is very crucial and a minor slip in this process leads to a huge financial loss. Only a reliable and reputed web service provider can ensure to maintain the website always accessible, safe, and highly efficient in terms of loading speed.
3. Negative impact on SEO:Page speed indicates how quickly the contents load on a website. Page loading speed is one of the key factors used by Google algorithms to rank the pages. If the loading speed of your website is slow, the search engines crawl only fewer pages and this severely affects your indexation. So the entire effort and money invested in developing an attractive website with captivating content go futile if the loading speed is slow. A slow website is heavily penalized by the search engines which ultimately lead to a huge loss of revenue.
4. A bad user experience: A slow website creates a bad user experience. A slow website just makes any user lose his confidence when he first visits the website. It just creates uncertainty and a feeling of uneasiness on the product and on the company. Slow loading prompts the user to look for other competitors having a better performing website even though with a low-quality product. Obtaining a good prospect is a tough job. Let’s not make it tougher by creating an amateurish or a slow loading website.
5. Lags in the market: Search Engine Optimization is a herculean task for any brand. If your website loads slowly, Google just slides you down in the rankings for pages that provide better performance. If the website is slow, the user just presses the back button and this makes search engines think that the content is not relevant to the query and ultimately your website sinks in the rankings. This obviously creates a serious impact on the tough market competitions. If a user abandons your website, you lose both the sale and customer’s loyalty. So, in order to maintain a competitive edge in the market, a fast loading website is a must requirement for any brand.
6. Low conversion rates: Website speed also plays a vital role in determining the conversion rate and customer satisfaction. A delay of just a fraction of a second in the loading speed leads to a loss of 7% conversions. Nearly 46% percent of the users do not revisit slow loading websites. Conversion rates are directly proportional to the revenue growth of the company. Lower conversion rates lead to lower revenue and obviously a poor performance of the business.
7. Also affects the mobile users in sync: Mobile internet is becoming the order of the day. Any business can become successful only if it is able to reach the massive mobile population effectually. A slow loading website eventually loads slowly in mobile applications too. Poorly performing mobile website just irritates the users and prompts them to switch over to the competitive sites that provide a better service.
Avoid the risk of losing your valuable clients owing to slow loading websites. Enhance the performance of your website with the help of tools like Google Page Insights, Pingdom and GTmetrix that would help greatly to optimize the speed of your WebPages.
One of the best ways to enhance the speed of any website is by using the cPanel plugin, Apachebooster. It has a unique design which has the combined features of both Nginx and Varnish. Flexibility and customizable features of Apachebooster strengthens the server capability and improves the loading speed of the website by improving the performance of Apache software. Apachebooster is extremely easy to install and it supports both static and dynamic caching.
It effectively manages the customer expectations and provides high quality, seamless experience to the users which keeps on upgrading consistently as per technological requirements and also provides a highly enhanced website performance.
Advantages of Fast Website Speed
- There are many benefits to individually optimizing each page’s speed, although one of the most obvious is for better user experience.
If you’ve clicked on a site before and it seems to take forever to load, your patience wears thin, and you’ll leave to look for a site that actually loads the answers you need. When someone immediately clicks the “back” button to leave the site, that’s a bounce, and you certainly don’t want your visitors doing that. When the bounce rate is higher, it also means people don’t spend as much time on your site, and the shorter they stay, the less likely it is that they’ll convert.
More simply put by SEO expert Neil Patel:
“The faster your site loads, the lower the bounce rate. If your site is fast, you have a better chance of ranking on Google over slow sites that drive high bounce rates.”
All of this means that a well-optimized page can lower your bounce rate, as fewer people will leave your site out of impatience. We all having our breaking points when waiting for a site to load, and according to Google, most people’s patience breaks around 2 seconds, and encourage sites to aim for “under a half second.”
Even 250 milliseconds can make the difference between leaving or staying:
“People will visit a Web site less often if it is slower than a close competitor by more than 250 milliseconds (a millisecond is a thousandth of a second).”
Kissmetrics has reported that 47% of people have an expectation of a loading time of 2 seconds or less, and 40% of people will leave if the website takes more than 3 seconds to load. In short, a website page that loads in 2 seconds can potentially keep those 40% of people who leave after 3 seconds. It’s a race against time.
When fewer people leave, they’ll spend more time on your site, and when people spend more time on your page, they’ll engage more, interact more, and view more pages. These are all (probably) ranking signals for Google, which brings us to the next benefit of page speed optimization: increased rankings.
2. Increased page speed means an increase in the number of pages Google can crawl and index. The more pages that are indexed, the higher the chance that you will have that individual page rank.
How does that work? Google has set a bandwidth for how much they will crawl on your site in correlation with your page speeds. Longer load times reduce this bandwidth, and that decreases the number of pages Google will crawl.
Testing Your Website Speed
Before I move on to show you how to improve on your website speed I will first of all want you to use these two tools to test you page speed so you can see for yourself and also see where you are lacking in speed optimization. Test your site with Google Page Speed tool and GTmetrix
What You need to do to make your website speed the fastest
1. Optimize the size of images on your website
Everyone loves eye-catching images. In the case of successful eCommerce sites, images are the vital part. A lot of photos, images, graphics on your product pages improve engagement. The negative side of the image use is that they are usually large files that slow down a website.
The best way to optimize for image load speed is to use EWWW Image Optimizer
You can follow the link above to download and upload the plugin to wordpress or you can simply install it directly from the wordpress dashboard by going to Plugins, New and type the name EWWW Image Optimizer into the search box and activate.
2. Reduce the number of plugins to improve website speed
Plugins are common components of each website. They add specific features suggested by third parties. Unfortunately, the more plugins are installed, the more resources are needed to run them. As a result, the website works slower and also security issues can appear. As time passes, the number of plugins grows, while some of them may not be used anymore. We recommend checking out all the plugins you have installed and deleting unnecessary ones. First, run the performance tests on your page to find out which plugins are slowing down your website. Not only does the website speed depend on the number of installed plugins but also on their quality. Try to avoid plugins that load a lot of scripts and styles or generate a lot of database queries. The best solution is to keep only the necessary ones and ensure that they are kept up to date.
4. Use website caching to improve website speed
In case there are a lot of users accessing the page at one time servers work slowly and need more time to deliver the web page to each user. Caching is the process of storing the current version of your website on the hosting and presenting this version until your website is updated. This means that the web page doesn’t render over and over again for each user.Cached web page doesn’t need to send database requests each time.
The approaches to website caching depend on the platform your website is developed on. For WordPress for instance, you can use the following plugins: WP Super Cache.
5. Detect 404 errors to improve website speed
A 404 error means that a “Page isn’t found”. This message is provided by the hosting to browsers or search engines when the accessed content of a page no longer exists. In order to detect and correct a 404 error, you can use error detection tools and plugins. As we mentioned, additional plugins can negatively affect your website speed, so we advise running the resource through external tools for error detection. For instance, Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), and 404 Redirected Plugin For WordPress.
Once you’ve detected all 404 errors, you need to assess the traffic that they generate. If these dead links no longer bring any visits and thus never consume your server resource, then you may leave them as they are. If these pages still have some traffic coming, consider setting redirects for external links and fixing the link addresses for the internal ones.
6. Reduce redirects to improve website speed
Website redirects create additional HTTP requests which negatively impact performance. We advise to keep them to a minimum or eliminate them entirely. First, you should identify all redirects on you page by running a site scan. You can use Screaming Frog to quickly identify redirects. Then you must check if they serve a necessary purpose and leave only the critical ones.
7. Install Jet Pack To Improve Website Speed
Jet pack is a wordpress plugin for statistics and other applicable widgets such as Top Post, Sharing buttons, Translation, etc. But one very essential aspect of Jet Pack people are missing out is the speed accelerator.
Under the Jet Pack settings; turn on Speed Accelerator.
After executing all these methods, watch how you website speed outrank your competitors and see how you bounce rate drops while your conversion rate skyrockets.