Website Management

The Need for Speed: Don’t Suffer Because of Your Slow Website

Let’s say you have a slow website. What’s the big deal? Sure, it might take a while to load, but it still works the same, right? Wrong. Believe it or not, 53% of site visits from mobile devices are deserted if the page fails to load within 3 seconds.[1]

To add insult to injury, mobile sites whose pages loaded within 5 seconds earned up to 2X the amount of ad revenue when contrasted with sites which took 19 seconds to load.[2]  

Hopefully we’re on the same page now. A slow website might as well be non-existent to many users and it could be costing your business ad revenue. If you’d like to better understand what some users experience, you can simulate page loading with different browsers, devices, and locations with a free tool provided by WebPageTest.org.

At this point, you might be thinking, “Okay, but what can I do to improve my website’s performance?” Great question! Let’s dive into a plethora of possible solutions…

Tips to Speed Up Your Website

  • Google’s Mobile Web Speed Toolkit is a PDF document full of strategies to speed up your mobile site. It can also refer you to many free tools that Google offers to measure web performance.
  • Make your web pages smaller. At the Chrome Dev Summit 2017, Google recommended keeping your web pages as small as 1MB uncompressed. One easy way to reduce page size is to remove any unnecessary graphics as images tend to be data-heavy.
  • Use Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) instead of traditional image formats like .PNG or .JPEG for your logos and simpler graphics. SVG’s often load faster than typical image formats and can scale to fit any size with zero pixelation or loss in quality. EnvatoTuts+ has an excellent article about working with SVG’s that can help you get started.
  • Reduce the amount of Javascript required to load the page. Try to minimize your Javascript files to only the absolutely necessary components. If you’ve tried this and simply cannot reduce the amount of Javascript the client needs, try to async and defer wherever applicable so that scripts are only loaded when they’re needed.

If all else fails and you’re currently running your site on a shared server space, consider contacting your hosting provider and inquiring about upgrading to a dedicated server. Unlike the other tips this will come at extra cost, but it can be a surefire way to improve your load times.

 

Sources:

  1. Webpagetest.org, Sampled 11.8K global mWeb homepage domains loaded using a fast 3G connection timing first view only (no cached resources), February 2016

  2. Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized Google Analytics and DoubleClick AdExchange data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data, n=4.5K, Global, June 2015 – May 2016

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