This will not wait!

Visitors to your website expect to see something, and they won’t wait. Loading time is one of the major contributors to page abandonment.

In fact….

  • 47% of consumers expect websites to load in two seconds or less.
  • 40% will abandon a page that takes three or more seconds.
  • And if you manage to keep them engage and they purchase something 79% of shoppers who experience slow pages are less likely to buy again.

Therefore, page speed matters.

It matter to your visitors and to Google and the other search engines. It is recommended to all website owners that page loading times are optimized in terms of speed and performance. This article looks at  how the concept of speed has evolved over the years and we’ve listed a few tips and tricks that will help you to understand the need for speed provide some suggestions to improve overall page speed.

The first question to ask is – what is page speed or page load time? Simply put, page load time is the average time it takes for a page to appear on the screen. In the early days of the Web, page speed (page loading time) was a key factor in the user experience.  And remember this was dial-up internet over old school phone lines. Back then page speed was the average time between fully loaded and fully rendered, starting from the time that has elapsed since the browser sent the request to the server. Nowadays, these metrics still apply but delayed loading, time to first byte (TTFB), compression, and structured load sequences all effect the user experience while minimising the negative aspects of long load times for certain elements.

Google’s algorithm takes into account the loading time of a website, which in turn effects its ranking in search engines. Poor page speed metrics can have a major impact on a website’s search engine ranking. The good news though is that improvements in page speed can have a positive effect on the page rankings. You can easily check your page speed scores with Google, GTmetrix or a whole host of other services that also evaluate and compare multiple URLs to see where you score, as well as the average loading times of multiple pages on your domain.  

Unfortunately, it is not a set and forget or a one-time fix. You need to constantly monitor the loading time of your website and, considering that 47% of consumers expect websites to load within 2 seconds, you cannot ignore them.

While it is advisable to keep tabs on your website’s traffic statistics, it is not advisable to use multiple tracking software (Facebook Pixel, Tag Mangers, Analytics, Ads, even third party fonts), as this can interfere with the loading times of your site. Good tools for website speed testing will help you to check and improve the performance and speed of your websites by identifying the code that’s slowing your site.

One of the most common issues with page speed issues is the use of fonts and icons on your website. Using external stylesheets and scripts is a good way to prevent them from clogging up the page load time, but still delivering the beautiful design that you’ve created. Themes, plugins, modules and other ‘quick solutions’ can lead to multiple CSS and JavaScript files on each page which can negatively affect loading times.

Quick tip: Delete unused themes and plugins on your WordPress site. Not only can the effect your page speed statistics, but they’re also a security risk.

Website features that use HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and CSS4, amongst many others, may make your website look great, and do awesome things, but they also increase the page’s loading time. If you’ve made improvements page load improvement and your site is still slow to load, then you can speed it up by using a caching plugin (there a lots of solutions and it will depend on your website architecture).  Cache plugins improves the loading time of your website and reduces the effect of a lot of the slower loading components of modern websites.

If your site speed tests still show that your site takes more than 2.5 seconds to load, you should consider redesigning your site for speed optimization. If you have a slow website you’re probably losing potential customers.

In summary, page speed is a measure of how long it takes for content and images to appear, and page loading speed is determined by several different factors. These factors include the number of pages, the size of the page, and the amount of content in it. Google’s PageSpeed or GTmetrix lets you analyse your page in real time and understand the page speed score, giving you insights into the load times of individual elements. All of which uncovers the optimisation possibilities for ensuring that a page loads as quickly as possible. Page load speed is important to all websites no matter if it’s a full-fledged e-commerce store or a simple business listing for a bricks and mortar business.

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