Is a fast website important?

Is a fast website important?

Speed is a constant part of our lives. We’re rushing to work or family commitments, continually under deadlines of other people’s making, and generally running out of time even before we begin our day. It’s no surprise, then, that having a fast website is just as important as having a website at all.

2 seconds is the threshold for ecommerce website acceptability

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Think about the times you have been shopping online, trying to pay a bill or even reading a graphically intensive blog article, and been frustrated by how unresponsive and slow that particular page felt. Sometimes this would lead to a less pleasant online experience, or even cause you to leave the site you were on and go do something else entirely. Even when killing time on the internet we crave speed.

There are valid reasons behind this obsession. Leading search engine (and the giant company behind half the technology you use to access the Internet with these days) Google has been tweaking their search results to favour pages that load faster than others that don’t, because they know people want things instantly. In fact, they say that over half of the visiting a website on mobile phone devices will leave if it takes longer than three seconds to load. That means that your website needs to get the important information up on the screen as quickly as possible.

22 seconds is the average mobile page load in 2018

The most important sites for speed

Ecommerce sites are also advised to make speed a priority, as having an excessive number of elements on your page can decrease conversion rates by up to 95%. Mobile is also incredibly important, as many mobile network connections are occurring on the 3G network, a notoriously slower speed that 4 or 5G. The ideal time a mobile site should load is three seconds, however, the average time as of 2018 is 22 seconds. Publishers whose mobile site loads in 5 seconds or less is likely to earn twice as much in ad revenue and if users have a negative mobile web experience when shopping, 43% of them will go to a competitors site next.

Publishers whose mobile site loads in 5 seconds or less is likely to earn 2x as much in ad revenue

What are the page speed benchmarks for a successful website?

So, what should you be considering when using a website development company to update your online presence? There are a good number of general guidelines to keep in mind. The first is that your web server - the place that hosts your website - should start sending parts of your website to the user within 1.3 seconds of the initial request. Their website should be made of less than 50 individual files, which are images, JavaScript scripts or CSS files. Since the majority of mobile phone downloads will be performed on a 3G connection of slower, keep each page under 500 kilobytes if possible. Additionally, you should use a web hosting company that offers fast performance as part of its service.  

There’s plenty of simple ways you can help make your website faster yourself. Start by optimising the images that are on your site by reducing their size in an image editing program or using a “save for web” function.

Just like a computer, a website runs faster when it runs fewer programs that aren’t needed. Consider removing plugins that you don’t use and instead just slow down overall performance. For example, if you don’t run an online store, then you probably don’t need the online store software that many website themes come bundled with. Similarly, tracking scripts can slow down response times considerably. You may need the help of your web development support company to assist with the optimisation of these.

Google has a great online speed measurement tool that analyses your site and makes suggestions to improve your overall speed. There’s no one fix-all solution to this problem, so any of the tips they provide can have a significant difference on your website’s performance.

iFactory has been in the business of designing, developing and hosting fast and friendly websites for over a decade. Contact iFactory today to see how we can help your business accelerate into the future. Check out our Is a fast website important? Pinterest board for some more great statistics.

53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load

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