Why does the site's speed matter?

Site speed is the rate of speed at which the web browser is able to load fully functional web pages from the site. As people say “First impression is the best impression”, when users enter a site and find that it takes a longer time to load, they will either close the website or move to other similar sites. Either way, we are losing customers due to the site speed.

Way back in 2001, Zona's research released a study stating that an average user will stick around for up to 8 seconds for a webpage to load.

Now in this fast-moving era, where we have smartphones and instant items, it is difficult to expect a user to wait around for even 8 seconds on the loading part.

Another study conducted by Forrester Consulting says that 2 seconds is the new threshold for an online shopper to wait for a webpage to load, while 40 percent of shoppers are not ready to wait for more than 3 seconds before leaving the retail or traveling site.

Why is site speed important?

  1. Good site speed is necessary to retain users

    • The users will move to the next best site with good speed if the current one is taking longer than a few seconds. This will certainly make a company lose sales to a few customers at least, resulting in an overall drop in sales.
    • BBC has lost almost 10 percent of their users every time their pages took to load for an extra second.
    • Speed plays an important role in how the audience perceives a brand on the web.
    • Research done by Kissmetrics says that 40 percent of users completely abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
    • It is a human tendency to assume that if a website loads faster, then it is reliable and professional.
    • So, if we want to retain the users we better reduce of site’s loading time, even at least by 1 second which will make a huge impact on the audience.
  2. Good site speed is necessary for better conversions

    • Multiple studies say that site speed affects conversion rate. The conversion rate can be found by dividing the number of conversions by the total number of visitors. Suppose, an eCommerce site receives 100 visitors and makes 20 sales a month, then the conversion rate would be 20 divided by 100, or 20%. In other words, we can say that conversion rate refers to any desired action that we want the user to make.
    • Many companies found that decreasing their page load time increased their conversions.
    • Walmart’s conversion increased by 2 percent by decreasing its page load time by one second.
    • Even a one-second delay can lead to a 7 percent reduction in conversion.
    • To be successful on the web as a business, having a fast website is non-negotiable.
    • A fast-loading website not only creates good conversions but also makes a good lasting impression on customers which makes them come back and which in fact results in better conversions leading to high revenue.
  3. Poor site speed affects SEO Ranking

    • Since Google prioritizes speed, it is important to have a faster site speed to achieve good rankings.
    • However, compromising content quality or relevancy in order to increase site speed is not acceptable by Google.
    • It is like, a tasty, hot pizza getting delivered to us on time by the delivery person. We will keep on ordering the pizza from the same restaurant as long as they deliver it quickly to us and do not compromise on the taste also.
    • Hence it is necessary for a website to have quality content along with a faster site for higher rankings.
    • Higher rankings will lead to growth in organic traffic, which will get us more visitors for our business.

Factors that affect site speed

  1. Size of the webpage:

    • The file size of a webpage determines how fast it can load.
    • Having large javascript files, large CSS files, video content, moving backgrounds, and high-definition images will have an impact on the webpage loading time.
    • It is one of the very important factors and should be taken seriously by developers.
  2. Network conditions:

    • Even websites with lightweight pages will load slower on poor networks.
    • Developers can use techniques like minification, compression, and hosting content with CDN to make websites load faster even in poor network conditions.
  3. Traffic Volume:

    • Many websites have an amount of bandwidth which refers to the amount of data transferred over a period of time.
    • Having a higher traffic volume is a good sign. It is necessary to have a host with a bandwidth that can accommodate that or else it may end in slower site speed also in a shutdown until the plan is upgraded.
    • Keeping an eye on the bandwidth is necessary to prevent any high-traffic website from turning into a poor performance site.
  4. PC Cache:

    • The cache stores items from the websites we recently visited. So, if the user visits it again the page loads faster because of the cache.
    • If the user attempts to clear the cache, then it will increase the loading time because there is no item stored as cache and the browser has to collect it again.

Check site speed

  • It is necessary to check the site of the speed now and then. There are many tools out there to test the site speed in various browsers.
  • WebPagetest is a tool that shows a waterfall view of web pages’ load performance and an optimization checklist.

A website with slow speed can make visitors go away from our website to other competitors’ sites. So, it is always necessary to have a faster site. Following the above methods can eliminate the factors affecting the speed of our site and can make our site faster than before.

Like in the pizza example, we are like the restaurant that makes tasty, hot pizzas and we should make sure our quality is never compromised i.e the content of the website and relevancy should never be compromised at the same time site speed should be fast as possible.

Further Reading

  1. Runtime: How does it work?
  2. Guide to Containers
  3. What are the most common web application issues that you might face day-to-day in your application?

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