Why page loading speed matters
This is the one thing with the biggest effect on user experience you want to get right!
01 April 2019
At esugo we are starting this week with a reminder about one very obvious, yet often neglected, metric of digital experiences: the speed in which a website loads on the users device.
Scientific study after study confirmed that with every second your page takes to load, more users will bounce and look elsewhere. In todays hectic world full of on-demand services users adopted a mindset that does not like to wait.
Especially for websites that try to sell a product or service slow loading speeds were shown to be the main reason for low conversion rates and lack of results. Google, the worlds biggest search engine, put the threshold at which your page should be loaded and all main content displayed at only 2 seconds.
The fact that a majority of website visitors today use mobile device, often with limited bandwidth mobile data connections, makes short loading speeds an even greater challenge.
As if that would not be enough slow loading websites do not only lose visitors, they also get punished in search results. Giants like Google want to show users the best results possible, if your page loads too long then by definition it will fall behind in ranking.
Some concepts to speed up
Luckily with the need for fast and performant websites an abundance of tools evolved, that support business owners with achieving just that. However there is a lot that can be done directly on the website, without and before adding third party tools.
The first step should always be to follow best coding practices and keep the future user experience in mind. How, where and if you embed certain resources like styles, scripts, images and media files into your website can make a big difference for how quickly a visitor will be able to load it later.
Even before that the choice of a suitable infrastructure needs to be made with speed in mind. Does your hosting provider have a good uplink to the internet? Will your website be in geographical proximity to your future visitors?
But optimising your infrastructure and how resources are loaded within your website is only one side of the story, another equally important component is your server capacity. Are you dynamically generating websites? Can your server handle the computing power required to produce results on the fly? A fast internet uplink and optimised on page media files are not making a difference, if your server takes a minute to generate them for each user.
Once you squeezed the last bit of performance from your infrastructure there are still a multitude of features to be looked at. For example are you setting efficient caching instructions for your website? How about a CDN to speed up worldwide availability?
These examples point out that page loading speed is unfortunately not a straight forward metric, which depends on many factors, often outside of your control.
For that reason we recommend to perform standardised audits, that look at all the different aspects from this article, and many more. With that overview in hand next steps and actions to take can become clear and efficient work can commence.
Especially if some of the concept above are not familiar to you engaging a trained expert to help you with page loading speeds can be helpful. If you want to know more about the effects of slow or fast loading speeds don't hesitate to get in touch with our expert team via the form below or email us to firstname.lastname@example.org.