Why It’s So Important Your Website Loads Quickly
For those who run online businesses, one of the most important areas of your success is how quickly your website loads.
The faster your website downloads to desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, the better the impression you make on potential customers. It’s little wonder why so much effort is placed by web hosting companies to emphasise their website speeds.
There are good reasons why the download speed of your website is vital to the success of your online business efforts. In fact, much of the reputation that websites have is based on the function of the site or blog itself and how fast it loads.
Website load time is also an important factor in user experience and search engine optimisation, and is a key factor to consider in all aspects of responsive web design.
Turning Away Visitors: If the download speed is sluggish, it will cause visitors to go somewhere else before your website has a chance to be seen. Poor download speeds create the impression that something is wrong with your site and that it may not be suitable to visit. Also, most people do not have the patience to wait several seconds for sites to download.
It is expected that all healthy sites should download quickly, so if you notice that your site is not downloading fast, contact your web host immediately.
Poor Impression: Between your site downloading immediately and taking so long it turns away visitors is the middle ground where it takes longer than expected, but most people stay around. That still creates a poor impression in the mind of the visitor. After a few visits to you site, they get the impression that something is wrong and may decide not to come back.
Poor Conversion Rate: For those who are not turned away and not dissuaded from making a purchase, the experience itself will still take more time than it should. This means that for every sale you do manage to make, it will take longer and the experience for the customer will not be a good one. Plus, the chances of a crash occurring increases the longer the it takes.
Basically, you do not want to have a slow download speed for your website. You’ll want to ensure that it is as fast as possible. To do that, you’ll need to know what the average is for most websites.
What is the average load time of a website?
Now that you understand why it is important, the next step is to find out what is a good download speed for your site. There is no hard and fast rule, but generally speaking you will want your website home page to fully load in less than 1 second. Websites that load in under 1 second will be faster than around 90% of all websites, according to recent data.
Keep in mind that download speeds may vary depending on several factors.
How to check the load time of your website
There are free tools on the internet that allow you to check the download speed of your site. This is important because you want to understand how most people will experience your website. That’s why getting the right download speed tools will help you identify issues and make the proper changes. Checking download speeds on a regular basis is important for several reasons.
- Keeps you up-to-date with any download speed issues
- Identifies potential problem in the early stages
- Can check after adding new video, image, or other bulky addition to website
- Note changes over time for any patterns
You should check your website speed regularly, at least once a week and after making any substantial additions to your website. A larger than normal file can affect the download speed, so you’ll want to know if that is happening. If someone manages your website, ask them if there are any large images on the site.
Now that you know something is wrong, the next step is to find out what it is and then what to do about it.
How to correct a slow website load time
If the download speed of your website is not where you want it to be, there may be more than one reason why it is happening. Before calling your web hosting company, take a moment to see if it is something else first.
File Size: The sizes of your files play an important role in how fast your website will download to computers and mobile devices. While text files are generally small, larger files such as images, graphics, and video can take up a considerable amount of space. So, check to see if the files are as small as they can be without harming the quality. If your website is very image heavy it will take longer to download.
Temporary Situation: Many dips in download speed are temporary, perhaps due to high traffic, a server that is being maintenance, or other cause. If you suspect that the dip is a temporary one, wait a half-hour and check again. If the condition continues, then you’ll want to call your web hosting company.
Your Equipment: When you test the download speed of your website, you’ll want to add a source to ensure that it is not just your internet connection. A separate Wi-Fi or mobile source should be used as well to verify the speed. This means that if you check on your computer and then on your smartphone, they should be close to the same or at least consistent with previous readings.
If you’ve run out of options as to what might be causing the download speed to drop, why not ask us to perform a performance audit on your website? Remember, the download speed of your website is vital to your success, so be sure to correct an issues quickly.
Posted in the Web Design blog category on August 30, 2018.