Website speed is becoming an increasingly important factor when it comes to user experience. If a company want their users to have a good user experience, then they need to make their website as fast as possible, however, this is not always the simplest thing to achieve.
One of the biggest problems is that it is hard to measure just how fast a website is due to many other contributing factors that can affect the speed of a site. Things such as location, signal, computer age, browser and more can have a negative effect on the speed of a website, so it is hard to be clear about if it is the website itself that is slowing a site down.
The loading speed of a site can cause issues when it comes to customer losses, as people do not have the time to sit around and wait for a website to load. People on average are only prepared to wait around for 3 to 4 seconds before giving up and trying to find a faster website. In some cases, people are even more impatient when it comes to loading websites on a mobile phone. A study shows that 47% of people actually expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less and 52% of people claim that how fast a website load is important to how loyal they will be to the website.
A delay of just 1 second can lead to a huge loss in sales. Even if people stay around to put things in their shopping basket, if the checkout process is slow then there is a high chance that they will abandon the products in the shopping cart, an e-commerce companies worst nightmare.
So why would a website load slowly and what contributes to this loss of speed? There are a number of reasons that your website could be loading slowly. One of the biggest issues is cheap hosting. Companies may do this to save money at the start, but in the long run this could be very harmful to a business. Unoptimized images are also a huge problem if people do not know to compress them. A website full of huge images is going to struggle to be speedy in the long run, no matter what computer it is accessed on.
Flash can seriously slow down a web page because on a mobile phone it is incompatible with the majority of devices, therefore it is important for businesses to consider all devices and browsers when creating it. Using an alternative to Flash may be the best option when more and more people are turning to their mobile phones to access the internet. Even simple things such as plugins for social media can have a negative impact on website speed. Companies have a tough decision to make, they need to decide whether it is worth putting a feature on a website if it has the potential to slow it down. The optimum website will have a good balance, have enough interesting features to make for a good website, but also not too many so that load speed is not affected.
The following infographic by Skilled shows the impact of speed on your website: