Forget whistles and bells, funky graphics and embedded videos, if your website loads too slowly you’ve had it.
It’s irritating. You’ve written fantastic copy (or maybe hired someone to write it for you *wink*) and come up with an awesome design. Yet, study after study has shown that people won’t wait around for even a few seconds to witness your online masterpiece. Don’t they realise what they’re missing?
In fact, 25% of people will abandon a page if it’s not loaded after 4 seconds.
And if they don’t leave and stick with you, they’re still a bit miffed. Usability studies have found that people are less likely to buy from sites that are slow to load. For an e-commerce site, a 1 second delay in page response can result in 7% reduction in conversions.
Oh, and don’t forget that Google doesn’t like unhappy surfers – your page ranking will also suffer if your site is too slow.
How can you tell if your site is too slow?
There are several free website speed testing tools. Let’s look at a few.
This whole thing is really useful. You can choose to analyse your site for mobile or desktop experience. It runs a speed test and a usability test. It then tells you what you need to do to improve things in order of priority.
Here’s a screen shot of the results for my site:
Pretty dire – but gives me something to work on!!
A lot more techy. I feel like I failed this test and have a lot more to do. But then, it does give a breakdown in graph format of where the time is wasted. My problem? Images too big – doh.
I love Pingdom. I love that you can check uptime as well as site speed – and monitor it for free! I love it even more after seeing these results:
There’s work to do . . .
Clearly I can’t breezily conclude with a brief – ‘this is how to make your website faster’- when my site is such a poor example. Tell you what, I’ll work on it and when it’s better I’ll come back and tell you what I did and how much difference it made.