A second doesn't seem like a very long time at all really.

On average you can blink 3 times in a second (around 300-400 milliseconds per blink), or you can take a deep breath in or out (not both). Really not much time at all. However, at the same time a LOT can happen in that single second. A honey bee can beat its wings 200 times. The Earth will travel around 19 miles through space.

Thats a lot!

Now lets think about 100 milliseconds. As I said above it takes around 300 milliseconds to blink so how much difference can 100 milliseconds make? Well in 2014, Amazon found that a page loading just 100ms slower cost them 1% in sales which back then was £613,470,336, thats around £9.59 for everyone in the UK.

Similarly Google found that searches that took just half a second longer reduced the overall number of searches by 20%. On the other side of the coin, the magazine GQ cut their load time by 80% and found that their web traffic increased by 80% and time spent on the site went up 32%. And finally, Staples used a 1s improvment in load time to make 10% more convesions!

Time is Money

Do you still think a second is an insignificant amount of time? As they say time is money and when it comes to your website performance that is most definitely the case. 

With the ever increasing rise in fibre connections its easy to forget that page speed still matters. Mobile browsers on slow phone networks. Broadband speeds as slow as 6mbps in parts of Scotland, even in London speeds are only 10mbps in places. Developing countries such as Africa and Asia are relying on what little connection they can get. The whole world isn't as shiny and fast as we'd all like. Long story short your website needs to cater for this variety.

Whilst you may not be selling to certain parts of the world, your customers are still likely to be using a mobile phone to browse so you need to have a website which will allow them to browse it smoothly. 

How do you speed a website up?

There are many ways to get a smooth experience with your website:

  • Compress images whilst retaining visual quality.
  • Reduce the number of network requests made with each page load
  • Compress CSS and JS scripts
  • Enable compression
  • Pre-load content

These are just some of the ways which you can speed up your website but each website faces its own challenges. Your site may have user generated content such as images which will need processing once uploaded, or a heavily interactive and dynamic website might have a lot of Javascript files that would need compressing and optimising. 

The ideal website these days should be loading in 2 seconds or less for desktop users and not much more for mobile users, 5 seconds max.

Not just for the users

It has been confirmed by Google that page load speed is a factor in ranking your page. Page speeds over 2 seconds for eCommerce sites have been shown to negatively affect rankings so if you want a successful marketing campaign, speed is another thing to consider.

The first step to seeing how to speed your site up is to see what needs doing.

A good start is to use Googles PageSpeed Insights tool, type in your URL and see the scores. From here you will get a rough list of what can be done but there is more that can usually be done.

If you see a low score of 70/100 or less then you should look at the various factors of your site that can be optimised. If you need a hand with it then get in touch with us today and see how we can help.

Published: 17th Oct 2017

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