Having a website is essential for any type of business these days. A website plays an important role in ensuring your business is relevant, visible and discover-able by new potential clients. It is also often the first impression you make to everyone you want to do business with. This is why it not only needs to look great from a design perspective, but it also needs to perform flawlessly. Website performance goes hand in hand with user experience, and user experience can absolutely make or break your business.
Internet users today have a very low tolerance for products that do not perform exceptionally well. For instance, studies have shown that the average internet user will only spend a total of 2.5 seconds waiting for a page to load before giving up and exiting the page altogether. What this means is if your site takes more than five seconds to load, you risk losing out on a huge customer base and potential revenue source.
Why is speed important?
Advances in technology have brought with them higher expectations among consumers. Here is a great example: It is hard to imagine that just a few years ago, if you wanted to listen to a particular song, you would have had to buy an album CD of that particular artist and play it on your Walkman, then put it away with your stack of CDs after you are done. Today, all you have to do is install Spotify and you will listen to all your music whenever you want. And “all your music” here means all the music in the world. On demand. That’s pretty amazing.
These high expectations have trickled down to all aspects of society, including business. If you want to be successful, you need to offer your services at a faster rate than your competition and do it more efficiently than them. And this is even truer when it comes to your brand online. Your website needs to be fast, efficient and offering the best user experience if you want to stand out. This is where website performance can really affect the success of your business.
It is easy to lose customers to your competition if your site does not meet their standards and expectations. People no longer wait for web pages to load; they simply look for faster sites that meet their needs faster than yours. Research shows that about 47% of shoppers never return to a slow website. This is why it is extremely important for your website to load as fast as possible.
Website stability and increased website performance
Another aspect of website performance is stability. Sometimes, your site may get more traffic than usual. As a website owner, you need to be prepared for such a situation by making sure that your site can handle a sudden increase in traffic volume without crashing. So many companies have had a countdown to a product launch for the website to crash within the first minutes of that launch.
If you want your website to be stable, you need to start tackling the issue from its foundations. This means you need to look at your hosting company and figure out if it offers good quality hosting. Keep in mind that the cheapest hosting is not normally the best. The only way to guarantee the stability of your website is to choose a great hosting company that provides high quality, robust hosting that can handle almost any kind of traffic that is thrown at it.
What benefits does a fast website have for your business?
Better search rankings
Today, Google pays attention to website loading times when ranking sites. This is a good reason to optimize your website’s speeds for improved website performance. Ranking high on search engines like Google is the best way for your site to get better traffic since more customers are bound to come your way.
But how can you increase your website ranking on Google? Well, one great way to achieve this is to consistently publish high-quality content on your site regularly. Consistent quality is the key to regular traffic. You just need to make sure that everything you post is valuable content. People are always looking for content that is relevant to them. When your content helps people, they will come back to your site.
Happy customers equal more sales
As mentioned earlier, everyone hates slow websites. Having a great looking site is not enough. It also needs to be fast in order to drive traffic and make sales. Slow speeds can cost you thousands of dollars in lost potential revenue. Optimization of your site’s load time guarantee you happy customers and consequently drives sales over the roof.
Monitoring website performance
One of the best tools that you can use to monitor your site is Google Analytics. This Google feature can help you keep track of your website’s load times on devices, operating systems, and locations. The tool will also give you suggestions on how to improve your website’s load time.
There are a number of ways that you can speed up your website. These include:
- Checking your speed over different browsers like Chrome, Safari, Opera Mini and so on. If one among these browsers is not performing well, then your site has a design problem that needs to be fixed.
- Optimising images on your site. You can do so by cropping images to the perfect size, using JPEG as your first choice then PNG comes second and reducing the colour depth of your pictures to the lowest level.
- You can also test your website on multiple screens and devices.
- Use browser caching
- Make your website’s code is compact
- Employ both manual and automated web testing
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