Loading… Website Speed

 

Website speed; is your website loading fast enough? We live in a world where access to information is instant, and when it comes to the web, if a website is slow to load, the bounce rate will be high and you could affect your SEO (search engine optimisation).

Every Second Counts

Website speed – or page speed – refers to the amount of time your website takes to load. If it takes too long, issues will occur.

Up to 40% of visitors will simply give up on websites that take longer than three seconds to load, so getting your website speed right is crucial.

And there’s more. Poor page speed can have a big impact on your web ranking and customer loyalty (as visitors will choose to go elsewhere), conversion and customer perception. Don’t forget Google either; they’ll crawl through your website, and if it has a slow website speed, they’ll know, and they’ll index it.

A User Experience

Slow website speed may not sound as if it can make a big difference but to Google, and to users, it can. When Google added page load speed into its ranking algorithm back in 2010, companies took notice; especially when Google pushed and prioritised speed to ensure a better experience for users. If a company took the time to make sure that their website load speed was fast enough by optimising their server for speedy content delivery, they were rewarded with better rankings. Nowadays, Google will even compare your website to your competitors in certain areas of your site (particularly your mobile site) and if your website is faster than others, you’ll get bonus points (although network, the device and the country a website is hosted in are also taken into account).

Page loading time is just the tip of the website speed iceberg though. Other factors, such as websites that crash, freeze or display errors will also affect your ranking, which is why, getting it right and ensuring your website loads in that crucial 3 second window is so important.

Increase your Speed

Website speed is easily improved, and here are a few ways you can do this:

Host it right – choosing the right host will make all the difference. A good design agency will know all about the technologies and services needed to host a fully functioning – and speedy – website, including speed eaters such as external media which, if it isn’t hosted on your own server, can slow things right down.

Watch your images – the way your website looks is so important, but be careful when it comes to images as if they are too heavy to load, your page speed will decrease. As web experts, we’ll seek out any extra data in the image comments and work on compression without compromising image quality to ensure that any images used won’t have a negative impact on website speed.

Have a Browse – testing how your website loads on different browsers is important as it can make a difference to how your site loads. There’s also a lot of information cached on browsers (such as JavaScript files, style-sheets, images, etc.) and it is important to leverage that browser caching to keep up your website speed. Watch your apps too; certain ones, such as Flash, can have a considerable effect on website speed.

Widgets warning – social buttons or comment areas can be very attractive features, but they need to be applied with care as they can impact page speed.

Adding ads – too many ads are not only annoying for users, they can really slow your website speed.

Code killers – Do you know your HTML from your CSS? If it’s too dense or not used efficiently, you page speed will be slow. Optimising code and compressing files will reduce the size of files such as CSS, HTML and JavaScript.

Reduce those redirects – When a page redirects to another page, it adds on time for users – and it can make your page load much slower.

Tools, tools, tools – there are a variety of tools you can use to improve your website speed, and that will show you how your website is working. Tools such as YSlow, which shows you how your website is performing and what you can do to improve your website speed, or YUI Compressor to help compress your code through a simple minimisation of JavaScript and CSS. There are also tools that give you an overview of your page speed performance, which is a great help when you want guidance on which pages you should optimise over others.

Are you ready to improve your website speed? At Rawww, we know how to integrate the right tools, tests and tips that will keep your website running smoothly and with speedy efficiency. Contact us today to find out more.