With the expectations set for high speed, it is more important than ever to deliver fast website speeds.
By Lane Joplin | July 23, 2013
Technology allows us to work at lightning fast speeds. We have the ability to connect, in an instant, to almost anyone in the world. We are able to multitask through multiple tabs in an internet browser. We can make a purchase through Amazon, and it will arrive in two days. These advancements in technology have set the expectation for consumer experiences to be fast and easy.
With the expectations set for high speed, it is more important than ever to deliver fast website speeds. To you, a site load time of 1 second might be acceptable, but is it for everyone?
19 million of Americans live in an area where highspeed internet is not available.
100 million Americans live where highspeed internet is available, but do not have it.
AOL sells over $600 million in dialup service every year.
What does this mean to you?
Partial second load times for you, can still mean longer load times for your customers.
The longer load time, the more money it is costing you.
Again, we expect things to be fast. Companies, both technical and non-technical, have built brands around speed. Jimmy John’s is one example. Their “Freak Fast” delivery is so fast you’ll freak. Google now has “instant search.” As you begin typing your query, Google is already populating the results.
Since Google is optimizing its own products for speed, it is a natural extension they expect others to meet similar standards. Google has performed many studies that show consumers will spend less time on a webpage when it takes longer to load. If a consumer isn’t on your website, they aren’t going to make a purchase. Because of the importance of speed to both Google and their customers, Google now takes speed into account when serving search results. If your page isn’t fast, not only are customers not going to spend as much time on your website, they are also not going to be able to find it through Google.
What can you do to improve your website and your customer experience? Well, there are a few things:
Evaluate the speed of your site. Google provides a few tools for you to use.
Set up a caching system to ensure your server doesn’t have to be called every time your site is hit. One option is W3 Cache. Another option is to choose a hosting provider that takes care of caching for you, like WP Engine.
Utilize a CDN, (Content Delivery Network). This is absolutely essential for production websites that serve pictures, videos, and media to viewers from all over the globe. Basically, a CDN will create cached copies of your server-intensive content (photos and videos, for example), and place the cached copies in strategically placed datacenters all over the globe, so that no matter where in the world your customer navigates to your site, the CDN can serve a cached copy of your site in milliseconds.
Use SmushIt. Java, CSS and images can add time to page loads. SmushIt will strip meta data from JPEGs, optimize the compression, and strip unused colors from indexed images. The SmushIt plugin runs behind the scenes and runs all images you upload through it to ensure fast performance of page loads. Smush.It is simple to install. Install like any other plugin and then begin Smushing images.
It can be complicated to implement all of this, but is it worth it? According to Amazon, one second delay in page load can cost them $1.6 billion a year in revenue. Can your company afford to lose revenue? What about having more revenue? If you were to speed up your site, how much more revenue could your company have by the end of the year? It might seem complex, but it will be worth your time to optimize your site to load fast and provide a better customer experience. Even Google is hoping you do so, and they will reward you with higher ranking in search results.