The Importance of a Fast Loading Website

Having a fast loading website has never been more important. As more consumers surf the web on their mobile phones, we are seeing an increasing need for speed on all websites across the board. Not only this, but studies have shown that people are getting increasingly impatient with slow loading sites in general.

Research in the last year shows that nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less. 40% will abandon it entirely if it takes longer than 3 seconds.

79% of online shoppers also say that they will not go back to a website if they've had trouble with load speed. You only need a look to a company like Amazon to see how much load time has affected their sales. These figures really do all the talking. Here are the most important reasons why your website needs to have super sonic speed in order to catch up to the competition. 

  • Customers will see your site as professional if it loads quickly - slow websites are often seen as a bad sign, are buggy and not secure.
  • Website speed affects your Google Rank - they have a new slogan on speed which reads 'we're striving to make the whole web fast.' Having a fast website will send a small signal to Google to get you climbing higher up the search results page. Google will reduce the amount of crawlers it sends to your site if your server is slower than 2 seconds. 
  • A good user experience - give visitors what they're looking for, and give it to them fast. 
  • More customers are viewing websites on mobile, and using 4G as their signal. Even though 4G has got better over the years, it is still a slower way of surfing the web than your super fast broadband wifi. With this in mind, websites need to load fast for the mobile user in mind. 

(Source - WP Engine)

(Source - Quartz)

As part of my daily research to keep on top of web trends, I am always on the prowl to find new ways to make sure my clients websites load super fast. Currently, all of my websites in the last 2 years load under 2 seconds - with the average website loading in 1.5 seconds. This is incredibly important for my customers, as it means their clients can get to where they want super fast and browse quickly on mobile - which makes for a better chance of turning a visitor into a sale.

Here are a few screenshots of my most recent websites and how fast they load.

(Feel free to click on the image to be taken to the website to see how fast they load for yourself)

So what can you do to improve the speed of your site?

Trained web designers will use different techniques to make sure things are ticking over smoothly and your site is loading quickly. If you end up designing your own website you will miss all of these tricks, which is the problem with popular 'make it yourself' sites such as Wix. Professional web designers will use a combination of the following things:

1.) Making sure all images are optimised/compressed professionally. Images account for over 60% of the size of a website, so are crucial to being downsized in order to reduce load times. 

2.) Making sure websites are cached. There are many different ways to do this, but our web designer has found a tried and tested method to consistently get websites loading under 2 seconds, which is working very well for every single job.

3.) Having a quick response time on the server. Some of my customers come to me saying their server is taking too long to respond - with some of their websites taking over 9 seconds to load - which is a disaster! If this is happening to you, ask our web designer to check why your website is loading slowly, and she can make some suggestions to work into the new site. Simplysigns also offer hosting for £59+VAT per year - which is cheaper than 123 Reg and Go Daddy. If your website is loading slowly due to the server, move away!

4.) Not cluttering the site with too many addons/plugins. A website with less plugins having to work in the background makes a fast website. Our web designer has a tried and tested balance for fast loading plugins that have proven to work time and again. 

5.) Update your website every 3-4 years. Websites are not built to last forever, and need to be updated to keep up to date with modern technology. Think about how much has changed in the last 5 years alone - everything keeps getting smaller and faster, so you need to step up to keep ahead of the competition. Plus a modern looking website is always going to make more of an impression than an out of date looking one.

Obviously, not ALL websites in this world load under 2 seconds, but we are trying to change this make sure we are keeping ahead. Simplysigns believe that websites should load fast, so that your clients can get to what matters to them super fast, and then contact you to enquire after a quote. When we make your website, we are devoted to making sure you are one step ahead of the game. 

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