Can Website Load Speed Impact Customer Sales?
We've all been there, on a website and waiting for it load, big pain right? Sometimes this happens straight away and other times it can happen while you're at the checkout or when viewing an image gallery. We live in a world where time is everything and if someone has to wait for something, you will soon know about it. This is why website load speed is so important, yet it seems to be something that everyone overlooks. In this article I will be discussing some points that you can look into to help increase your website load speed and could also help potential customers navigate around your site. Website load speed is also something that Google keeps a close eye on, so this is another reason why your site needs to be lighting quick.
Firstly lets look into what can slow your website down.
Every website has images across it, no matter what industry you're in you will need images to display your products or services. One of the biggest issues with images is that everyone thinks bigger is better, and they upload the original image to the website, without resizing it to make it webpage friendly. This can be a massive problem for your site load speed. When someone is browsing on your site your web browser has to load every aspect of your site, from simple text to advanced multimedia. If you have good sized images then your browser will have no problem opening them up, but if you have large sized images it will certainly struggle with the weight! A good benchmark to aim for is to keep all your images below 400kb. If you're a business that is E-Commerce then it could be a pretty daunting task ahead. If your website is built in wordpress there are multiple plugins you can download which can compress all the images on your site. If your website is not built in wordpress then you will need to contact your website provider and ask them if they are able to perform an image resize audit.
Old Heavy HTML Code
It's not a secret that websites have massively evolved over the last 10 years. Website designs are getting smarter and so is the way they're being developed. Having old styles of HTML can impact your site speed and this is why it is so important to update your website regularly! The world of developing sites is forever changing and code is becoming more advanced, you need to make sure you're keeping up with the times. To know how your site has been developed all you need to do is to contact your website company and ask how it has been developed. If your site has been built with old clunky HTML then it could be the case you need to get a new modern site made. If you're struggling with what to include on your new website homepage here is a great article - What Your Business Homepage Design Needs To Include.
There are various options when it comes to website hosting but beware the cheapest option is NOT always the best option! Very often (but not always) cheap hosting means off shore servers. The server spec may also not be good enough to keep up with the demands made by your website. This can mean that your website could run slow. There are ways to check your website speed and I recommend you do this. There are various things you can do to speed up your website but if you are on a slow server, everything you do will be in vain. If you are wondering how you can find this out, the best thing to do is to ring your hosting company and ask them where their servers are. If you're unable to call them you can run a quick check on whois.domaintools.com. All you need to do is search for your domain name and then look for the IP location section, here it will tell you what country your website is hosted in:
You can also contact your website hosting company and check with them how fast the server is. They will be able to run a speed check and let you know.
Too Many Plugins
If your website is built on a platform where you can have plugins then you need to check how many you actually have and if they're all currently in use. It has been reported that in Wordpress the more plugins you have, the slower your site can be. This is why it is important to only have essential plugins installed on your site and not to have a lengthy list of inactive plugins. If this is something which you have no idea about then contact your website provider and ask them to run a check. You can get them to do an audit of the plugins you have and see if they're all needed. If there's a few that you can afford to remove, then it is certainly worth while as this can help with website speed.
There is no doubt about it that you need a quick response site. No matter what market you're in it will always come back to user experience. If your users are struggling around the site and are continuously clicking away then this can also impact how you rank on Google. You always need to make sure you're staying ahead of the game and always researching new ways of improving your site.