The speed of your business website matters. Quick-loading websites perform better on every front: higher search ranking, superior user experience, and better user engagement. Most importantly, fast-loading websites deliver higher conversions and higher revenue.
Slow Websites Hinder Mobile Traffic
If you’re targeting mobile traffic and income (who isn’t), your website speed becomes even more critical. Downloading a 4MB website on a Smartphone doesn’t excite anyone. Nevertheless, most websites are fashioned that way. Your business website can be different.
What’s the Optimal Website Speed?
While it would be perfect if your website were to load in under 1 second, it’s still reasonably fine if you can manage to get a website load time under 3 seconds. Even it takes 7 seconds, it’s still okay, but you’ll need to improve it. You definitely lose noticeable revenue when your website load time is over 10 seconds.
Findings of the Strangeloop Networks Study
Strangeloop Networks conducted an extensive test on the load times of the best 2,000 e-commerce websites. They concluded that web pages are getting bigger in size, and websites are taking an average of 10 seconds to load. However, the study showed that leading e-commerce sites take only 4.9 seconds to load and serve usable content.
Some Interesting Facts About Website Load Times & User Behaviour
How fast should your business website really be? While it’s true that people are comfortable with load times up to 10 seconds, just consider these findings:
- A disproportionately high 47% of users expect your web page to load in under two seconds.
- Again, a disproportionately high 57% of your website visitors will abandon your page if its load time is 3 seconds or more.
- At peak traffic times, over 75% of online customers opted for a competitor’s site instead of suffering inordinate delays.
- According to a reliable scientific study conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, tolerable website load time is approximately 2 seconds. You can push up the tolerable waiting time to a maximum of 38 seconds by adding a feedback, such as, a progress bar. Hence, if your business website is slow, you must seriously consider adding progress bars or equivalent.
- When compared to business websites that load in 1 second, websites that load in 3 seconds experience a 50% higher bounce rate, 22% fewer page views, and most importantly, 22% fewer conversions. These figures are even more unfavourable when the load time is 5 seconds. When compared to business websites that load in 1 second, websites that load in 5 seconds experience a 105% higher bounce rate, 35% fewer page views, and most importantly, 38% fewer conversions.
- An intolerably high 8% of potential buyers cite extremely slow loading web pages as the chief reason for abandoning their purchase.
Google Recommends Website Load Times of One Second or Less
Recent advancements in Internet technology have speeded up the Web substantially over the past few years. Google strongly suggests webmasters to get their web pages to load in under a second on mobile devices. This will ensure that people don’t abandon web pages due to inordinate delay.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool
PageSpeed, Google’s Insights tool, examines websites to ascertain the issues related to webpage load times. According to in-depth Google Analytics and other studies, it takes approximately 7 seconds for a mobile website to load. For mobile users, this time is simply too long to wait. Since they are used to lightning fast website load times on their broadband services, this 7-second wait time seems like an eternity to them.
Mobile speeds plummet even on 3G or 4G wireless networks. This is where Google’s recommendation (1-second website load time for mobile devices) is useful. There’s precious little that can done to speed up telecommunications networks. Nevertheless, some modifications can be implemented within websites to make them faster.
Understand Critical Rendering Path: 75% Users Exit Within 4 Seconds
As far as human perception goes, anything that takes place in quicker than 100 milliseconds is perceived as instant. This is an average user’s Critical Rendering Path. Since users can clearly perceive delays that occur between 100 and 300 milliseconds, they begin leaving websites by the time the load time crosses one second. Now, when you speak of a 7-second load time on a mobile device, the problem becomes more apparent. This explains why 75% of users give up within 4 seconds.
Prioritise Your Webpage’s Critical Rendering Path
To accelerate mobile websites, Google suggests some best practices in the Critical Rendering Path. DNS Lookup, TCP Connection, HTTP Request & Response, Server Response Time, and Client-Side Rendering are the five steps that a mobile website takes to load on a device. Google suggests that each of these steps take no more than 200 milliseconds for a successful 1-second page load.
Useful Tools for Testing Your Website Speed
Pingdom, WebPagetest, Neustar, WebsiteTest, iWebTool, Vertain, PageSpeedOnline, GtMetrix, WebsiteOptimization, and ShowSlow are some trustworthy tools for testing your website speed.
Top 3 Factors That Limit Your Website Speed
To understand the importance of faster mobile website load speeds, check out these revealing statistics:
- The average Smartphone visitor to your business website will beat a hasty retreat if it doesn’t load inside 3 seconds.
- An astounding 75% of all Internet users asserted that they wouldn’t revisit a website that doesn’t load within 4 seconds.
- Google places great emphasis on web page speed for its search engine rankings.
Hence, having a fast website in this modern era of web design is indispensable for survival. Slow websites will simply become extinct.
Usage of large-sized images, not using a Content Delivery Network, and inefficient & overloaded hosting, the three critical factors that limit website speed are discussed here.
1. Usage of Large-Sized Images
The load time of your business website is directly related to the total demand placed on the server. Loading images, an HTTP request presented to the server, slows down your website substantially. More importantly, large-sized, high-resolution images take ten times longer to load when compared to normal images. This slows down page rendering.
Optimise the Images to Accelerate Your Website
As far as website speed is concerned, images make a huge difference. If you’re serious about improving your website speed, optimizing images should be your priority. Employ the GTMetrix tool to examine how your website performs in this attribute. Later, compress the images using any photo editing software to eliminate all unnecessary white space.
Improve Your Page Speed Score by Making a Series of Adjustments
Enhancing the efficiency of your website is the goal of speeding up your website. This can be achieved by making a series of adjustments to the images.
Step #1: Compress all images on your website for web-based quality. Use Google’s default image compressor “Page Speed” plugin.
Step #2: Modify the compressed images to scale them properly for your website. This prevents server lag required to re-size images.
Step #3: Use browser caching to store cached variants of static resources. This enhances page speed considerably and reduces server lag, as well.
Step #4: Combine all the images into CSS Sprites. A CSS Sprite is one large image that’s made of numerous smaller images. For instance, you can combine 10 images into one CSS Sprite to speed up your website. This combination of images permits a browser to load just one image instead of 10 images.
Restrict the Number of Images
When compared to the amount of time taken by text, images and graphics take considerably longer to load. With this in mind, you must restrict the usage of images. Nevertheless, you should do this carefully. Remember, images boost the visual appeal of your website.
When using a large image is unavoidable, use a web designing software to dice images. Dicing images involves slicing images into smaller loadable pieces. These pieces are placed adjacent to each other using tables. This ensures that the same image is utilized, but the load time is quicker than a block image. This applies to graphics, too.
2. Content Delivery Network
A Content Delivery Network (CDN), an interconnected network of computers on the Internet, provides Web content instantaneously to multiple users by replicating the content on numerous servers and delivering the content to users depending on their geographic proximity. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use CDNs for delivering static or dynamic Web pages. Notwithstanding, the technology suits video and audio streaming, and Internet television programming (IPTV), as well.
Chief Benefit of Using a CDN
Why does your business website need a Content Delivery Network? The chief reason, undoubtedly, is to prevent it from crashing when experiencing a deluge of traffic.
Salient Features of a CDN
If you’re serious about improving the availability of your content to end users, then using a CDN becomes obligatory. Since Google’s most recent updates reward websites that load content swiftly, using a CDN has become even more vital. Hence, besides enhancing the speed of access to your website, a CDN also enhances content availability.
- A CDN comprises numerous servers around the world. These servers host your content and serve this content to users from diverse geographical locations.
- High traffic websites require a CDN to scale smoothly. For instance, if your business website experiences a large influx of traffic suddenly, it might crash. Here, a CDN plays a pivotal role by balancing the traffic.
- Enterprise customers, as well as, small bloggers need the services of a CDN.
- You can implement a CDN quickly, especially when you’re using WordPress. Plugins like W3 Total Cache take only a few minutes to set up.
Advantages of Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
i. Reduced Server Load
CDNs use strategically located servers that enhance network backbone capacity appreciably. This strategic placement reduces server loads in public and private peers, backbones, and interconnects, too. This effectively frees capacity for other users. Hence, multiple users will be able to access your business website without any glitches. Not using a CDN may result in your business website crashing whenever you have a deluge of visitors.
ii. Speedier Content Delivery
CDNs typically place servers in close proximity to groups of users. Since the data needs to travel only short distances to reach end users, packet loss and latency is minimized. That’s the reason visitors to websites using a CDN rarely experience speed lags when they stream media. Besides, the overall quality of web content increases significantly. This is possible because CDN providers integrate TCP acceleration technology for deriving performance boost. Not using a CDN slows down your website substantially resulting in a higher bounce rate and loss of revenue.
With the exponential rise in Internet-based threats, the security offered by CDN becomes exceedingly important. CDN provides top-notch security to website owners by absorbing and nullifying all potential threats. CDN systems accomplish this easily due to their massive scale and capability to conceal customers’ origin servers. This ensures that domain squatting and DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) will not paralyze your business website when you use CDN.
iv. Asset Delivery Control
CDN technology providers have the capability of delivering precise load statistics in real time, giving accurate displays on active regions, knowing the most popular regions, and optimising capability of individual customers. This overpowering control of load and asset delivery is vital for customers since logs/usage statistics are generally made inoperative after the addition of the server source to the CDN.
v. Data Integrity
CDN guarantees consistency, as well as, integrity of data. This is accomplished by the instantaneous mirroring of updated information to different servers. Business website owners strive to keep their website visitors updated with the most recent content to ensure their relevancy. CDN guarantees them just this.
vi. Reduced Redundancy
Not using a CDN sets your business website up for server failure/malfunction. With CDN, this grave threat is literally eliminated because the visitor will be redirected to another server instantaneously. This increases the up time of your website, too. The distribution of servers over diverse geographical locations makes this possible. Hardware glitches, software problems, or power outages do not impact user experiences.
Aykira provides hosted CDN services, if you are interested please contact us .
3. Inefficient & Overloaded Hosting
Inefficient and overloaded hosting solutions slow down your business website and kill your business. Choosing an outstanding hosting company ensures that the load time of your business website remains under 1 second. Currently, web hosting has become an inexpensive commodity. Unfortunately, due to this commodification of website hosting, people inadvertently opt for inefficient and overloaded hosting solutions.
The Internet Symbolises Speed & Convenience
We live in an extremely fast-paced world. Even though an individual will wait for a few minutes in a retail store, the same individual will not wait for a few seconds on the web. Since the Internet personifies speed and convenience, a visitor to your business website will simply move to your competitor’s website if yours is slow. Remember, your visitor does have several choices. Besides, if your website is hosted on an inefficient or overloaded server, your Google page rank will suffer, too.
Avoid Inefficient & Overloaded Web Hosting Companies
Choosing an outstanding web hosting company from the scores of companies available is undoubtedly tricky. Making a mistake will affect your business negatively. More importantly, it’ll lead to a series of avoidable problems. Watch out for the red flags and do the required damage control.
Ominous Signs of Inefficient & Overloaded Hosting
i. Your Business Website Takes Too Long to Load
In all likelihood, the host server has insufficient bandwidth to house everything in the system. Sufficient bandwidth differentiates top-notch hosting companies and mediocre ones. Some web hosts offer you their services at steeply discounted prices by sharing their hosting services across different users. Be more intelligent. Never let your customers wait.
ii. Inordinately Long Downtime
Making your website visitors wait for nothing is criminal. This is precisely what happens when your website is down. Currently, the top web hosting providers guarantee over 99.9% uptime. Excessive downtime robs you of certain revenue. Identify inordinately long downtime quickly. Look for another provider. Don’t think twice about changing your web hosting provider when the uptime of your business website does not satisfy you 100 percent.
iii. Incompetent Customer Service
Most web hosting enterprises give a 24/7 customer assistance commitment. Nevertheless, if your web host disappears into thin air whenever you experience problems, it’s a clear indication that you should change your web hosting company. Some of these fly-by-night enterprises do have someone to answer your calls. Unfortunately, these “so-called” service professionals aggravate your problem even further by their incompetence at fielding your questions. Avoid needless frustration. Find a web hosting enterprise who offers competent customer service.
iv. Your Website is Susceptible to Security Breach
If sales play a vital role in your website activities, you’ll need a high level of security. Only then your customers will trust you with their personal financial information. Your web host must deliver high security to your website and ensure that it’s breach-proof. If your web host does not deliver on both these counts, you’ve to look elsewhere.
v. You Lose Valuable Data
The most disheartening occurrence in a business is data loss. Even the tiniest piece of data is essential. Hence, data loss results in loss of business, too. Ensure that your web host cares adequately about your data and provides a foolproof backup mechanism.
All Website Hosting Enterprises Have Their Flaws
All web hosting enterprises have their drawbacks, but the intensity of these drawbacks makes the largest difference. Never permit an inefficient web hosting provider to compromise the speed of your business website in any manner. Besides, understand that an incompetent web hosting provider can undermine your business revenue substantially.
Choosing the Best Hosting Enterprise is Vital
Online websites and blogs enable business owners to engage meaningfully with their existing, as well as, future customers. Besides a fantastic website design and compelling content, working with the finest hosting enterprise is equally important. Businesses make wrong choices in the selection of their web hosting services. This happens due to improper assessment of their website requirements.
Detrimental Outcomes of Selecting the Wrong Domain Hosting Provider
- Huge loss of revenues.
- Damaging effect on SEO ranking.
- Security thefts.
- Inferior customer support.
A speedier website makes the difference between a first page Google rank, or a third page Google rank. Besides, a faster load time can be the difference between landing 100 new customers, or losing 75% of your existing customers. Hence, success on the web demands a website that loads within 1 second. Maintaining a page speed score of over 80 on all the pages of your business website delivers noticeable results.
At Aykira, we provide top-notch website hosting services. We serve web pages quickly to your visitors and maximise user engagement. We guarantee customer retention, as well as, customer growth for your business.