Have you ever visited a website and waited forever to get a simple piece of information? It’s definitely frustrating. We live in a new age where everybody expects things instantly. More importantly, a lot of websites can already deliver an instant experience, and those who can’t keep up will miss out. This can have a profound impact on how users perceive your website, and affect your bottom line.
A few years ago Amazon did an interesting study in which they found out that every 100ms of latency could cause a loss of roughly 1% in sales. For a giant like Amazon that is millions of lost revenue! This isn’t surprising considering that half of all internet users will abandon a website that doesn’t load within two seconds or less. It makes sense because no one wants to sit and wait for a page to load when they already know what they want and are ready to add it to a cart. Make it easy for your customers to move quickly through your site or risk losing out on a lot of money.
Page rank matters to anyone who owns and operates a website, and performance is one of those many factors. As Google continues to push for sites to be more mobile friendly you can expect to start seeing load times become a larger focus on rankings. To encourage users to measure how quickly their site loads for users, Google offers this nifty page speed test tool.
If users have little trouble finding information, loading pages, and enjoying the content on your website, then their experience is a very positive one. That person is much more likely to sign up to your mailing list, buy a product, or link to your pages. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if users have to wait several seconds to load a page, only to realize they still can’t find the information needed, they will become frustrated and leave. A case by the Nielson Norman Group demonstrated that speed was such an important factor that users associated it with the brand itself.
Some of the worst culprits behind slow websites are those large, high-resolution images. It is important to understand the tradeoffs between performance and visual quality that may be necessary to trim down load times. There are a few ways to get around this issue, for example by blurring images outside of the focal point, saving the file at a reduced quality in Photoshop, or by using one of the many image optimizations programs available. We recommend using the EWWW Image Optimizer plugin, which will losslessly compress images uploaded to WordPress.
Unnecessary plugins can also sap speed from a website. Sometimes these plugins are social media widgets that aren’t optimized, or sliders with large style assets that allow them to be more customizable. Many of these simply aren’t needed or do not focus on being as fast as possible. To prevent a slowdown, we typically opt to implement our own solutions in place of plugins when possible, while still maintaining customizability.
Other website performance issues stem from un-optimized code that is not compressed to the smallest size possible, or servers that aren’t configured correctly. At Torx, these are all things we consider and address so that your website runs as quickly as possible.
If your website is too slow for 2017, give us a call at 804-577-8679 or fill out the form below to contact us.