Why website speed is crucial in 2021.
In general, people appreciate a service as exemplary when it is both high in quality and speed. The convergence of these two qualities is important: just speed, and you have fast food; just high quality, and you have ingredients and a kitchen. Now you can think of a website with both a slick design and excellent site speed as a Michelin starred restaurant. The analogous comparison is not perfect, of course, but it serves for this purpose – both will attract quality customers willing to purchase your products. With more and more companies offering their services online, a slick and fast website is essential to thrive in the modern climate.
What’s bad about a slow website?
With online users now expecting rapid searches and results, it’s no longer a case of website speed being a USP – rather, having a slow website can be incredibly detrimental. Businesses need to start to think of a fast website as an absolute minimum, not as a nice positive.
● Conversion rates. Slow websites are appalling at achieving conversion. The difference can be milliseconds; people don’t like to wait for things, and if they are having doubts or just browsing, even the smallest lags can be enough to cause someone to look elsewhere for their needs. To put that into numbers, studies have shown that 82% of people state that they won’t visit sites where they are likely to experience even slightly slower than average load times.
● Bounce rates. Slow websites have incredibly high bounce rates. This is an indication that people have visited your site, seen one page, and as it’s taken so long to load, have left almost immediately. People are impatient, especially so when it comes to the internet. If it’s possible to get something quicker elsewhere, internet users will. Don’t give them that opportunity.
● Google algorithms. Changes to Google’s indexing algorithms means that websites are penalised in search results if they offer poor user experiences. One of the metrics used is loading speeds; a slow loading speed will see your search rankings on Google fall, potentially dramatically, ruining all other marketing and SEO work that you’ve done.
What causes slow website speed?
It’s clear that a slow website can be devastating for business, but what causes it and how can it be fixed?
● Large files. Massive documents, high resolution images, and big CSS records can all contribute to latency. Compression algorithms can help, or simplifying your site and streamlining things.
● Poor code. If your code isn’t maintained, it can cause significant slowdowns or even crash the site.
● Network. Your network can significantly affect your website speed – there are strategies to get around this, this such as loading content with a CDN.
How to measure it.
Other than loading a page and counting how long it takes, there are far more sophisticated ways of measuring site speed. Tools such as Chrome user experience support and PageSpeed Insights can be used to measure Core Web Vitals, allowing for a more thorough analysis of where your website can be improved.
With Google algorithm updates occurring all the time and competitors build fast sites that reflect fluid and growing business models, there’s never been a better time to discuss your approach to design and development.
For more information you can talk to a member of our team, and also take a look at the range or services we provide.