Are your web pages slow?

The Waiting Game

Modern design. Perfect functionality. Flawless SEO.

You spent months building or redesigning your website – design is perfect, functionality is perfect, SEO is flawless, but there is one little problem… it loads too slow. That’s okay, your viewers will wait, right? Wrong. According to Limelight Network’s second annual The State of the User Experience survey, in 2014, 37% of respondents said they would leave a website to buy a product from a competitor if that website failed to load quickly. What does that mean to your bottom line? Essentially, 37% of your online revenue could be walking away right now, all because your site is too slow. All of that hard work, gorgeous design and high search engine ranking only to lose 37% because of slow performance, well don’t worry, it can be fixed.

Alas, help is out there

First let’s see just how slow your site is. Some easy to use tools can help determine your sites load speed. These will help you begin to determine where the bottleneck is and fix the problem at its root.
Our favorite is google’s Pagespeed Insights, accessible via Google Labs. It’s also available as a Chrome extension. This is a DevLab favorite for ease of use and great explanations of how to fix the speed issues.

Here are a few others we like

iWebTool’s Website Speed Test
Webpage Test
Web Page Analyzer
Google PageSpeed Insights

Why is it so slow?

Larger files take longer to load. Bulky images and graphics are the largest contributors to slowing your website’s load. Javascript and CSS are also guilty of slowing down your site.

What to Do?

Optimize images and graphics by converting your images to JGPs and logos and graphics to PNGs. Try to avoid GIFs and TIFFs.
I know it seems obvious but minify your javascript and CSS. Google recommends minifying all JavaScript files over 4096 bytes of size, and a shaving off a minimum of 25 bytes to produce a noticeable difference toward page load time.

During the 2011 Presidential Elections Obama’s fundraising campaign raised an additional $34 after the Obama for America website dropped it’s page load time from 5 to 2 seconds!

Overall, while load time isn’t a significant contributor to Google rankings, it can contribute to the rise and fall of your conversion rate. Remember that for every second you shave off of load time, you’ll tend to boost customer confidence and trust in your site, and sow the seeds that will make them way to tell others about you. In those cases, a few seconds can make all the difference!