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10 Reasons to Speed Up Your Website

December 17, 2012 Published in: Website Speed Author: Goran Čandrlić

You can not afford a slow site. It would be like pulling dark shutters up and down on your beautiful shop window. You could count on netizens to come back again to check, except – they won’t. They will abandon your webpage in the wink of an eye, and this is why – each wink, each millisecond counts. 25% of the internet users say they’ll wait no more than 4 seconds for a page to load,  and 3% will stay patient for 1 second only. It is nonetheless amazing what results a site speed overhaul will bring. Take an example of Shopzilla who decided to decrease load time by several seconds, back in 2007.

Consequently, they got 25% more page views, revenue increased by 10%, and the number of servers they needed cut from 402 to 200. No matter how perfect your product or service may be, here are 10 reasons whydecreasing your page load time is an absolute necessity.

1. Each 1 second delay results in a direct loss of your sales money. The loss in conversion rate (number of website visitors actually performing the desired action) is said to be -7%, per a second delay. The loss in conversions hurts your pocket badly, and the revenue loss can skyrocket to few billions of dollars per year. If your website is the only way for you to gain customers, it is of urgency to find the shortest path for them to reach your product. Only then will you be able to add more value through each page.

2. Needless to say, unless you deliver that flashing product of yours quickly, your bounce rate (the number of people that will navigate away from your website) will immediately go up. Most will abandon your website in a matter of 6-10 seconds.  If your website doesn’t load in under 4 seconds, 1 of 4 people will leave. Analytic tools and keyword research, a rather effective marketing strategy, won’t help if your customers are leaving your website out of boredom.

3. Being pretty takes time. You will probably want to add images, videos, and a JavaScript to your website. Your readers will expect this, but they will also need time to load each fragment. And your web developer will have a hardest time trying to squeeze the multimedia as neatly as possible. Yet, the resulting web page performance can still seem poorly. You will have to provide both higher quality graphics/video and quicker load times, continually.

4. The Internet user doesn’t wait. 79% of web-shoppers  who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from the same site again. Maybe the user used to wait, back in the dial-up age, but this is no longer the case. Patience is not a virtue that you can expect to nurture on the web. The users are trained to accept changes, and they manage change fast. No luck for those who are trying to achieve the great user experience, and load their program slowly. Page load time should be a priority on your marketing strategy lists.

5. Users will visit the competitor’s site if it is faster by 250 milliseconds. Many dissatisfied online shoppers are immediately likely to develop a negative perception of the company, and choose someone else. It is the competitive advantage of milliseconds that will not rarely steal your share on the market.

6. The number of active smartphone users around the world has topped 1 billion, according to recent reports.

Mobile devices are slower, yet users expect sites to load as quickly on their phones as they do on their browsers. 1 billion is a giant mob to consider while launching your online shop. 21% of mobile device users say they expect their load times on their phone to be about equal with their desktop. And to prove the above mentioned point about (im)patience, 12% say they expect their load times on their phone to be faster than their desktop.

7. The best advertising is word of mouth, the worst advertising is word of mouth. 51% of the internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that crashed, froze, or received an error. Half of those won’t return to a website where they have experienced a downtime or an error. Many of those will share their bad experience online. The internet community will soon agree to either use your website or not.

8. Faster site saves you money on the server software and hardware. One way to improve your page load time is to use dynamic tools such as web servers distributed across multiple locations to deliver content more efficiently, e.g. from a server located closer to the end user. This is known as a content delivery network or CDN. There are no requirements for installing additional server software or hardware, while choosing a CDN hosting over a standard one.

9. Faster site saves you money on the installing, maintaining, upgrading and supporting a server. An implemented content delivery network (CDN) uses servers deployed in multiple data centers. Since buying a server is only a 15% of the price that comes with actually owning the server, moving the maintenance responsibility to the cloud will significantly relieve your budget.

10. All your hard SEO and AdWords work is pointless if your site loads poorly. You will lose score on page ranking. Site speed is used in Google Ranking Algorithm. Their experiment has shown a reduction of searches by 0.2% to 0.6% for a change that measured under 400 milliseconds. Then, the Google engineers explained the inclusion of the speed factor, very simply: “Faster websites create happy users.”

Goran Čandrlić

"I am an online marketing manager with experience in both B2B and B2C sectors. Before joining Danidin LLC to build GlobalDots brand and expand its marketing reach in performance / CDN industry, I worked with various clients in almost any niche. My previous experience includes managing online marketing for travel agency, managing an online publishing platform and co-founding a tech startup."