September 18, 2021

Website Speed and Why It Matters

What’s your favorite website? If it’s not one of the biggest websites in the world, it probably loads fast enough to keep you from getting distracted or frustrated before you get the information you want. In today’s competitive web design industry, having a fast website can be the difference between your client coming back to use your product again and again and them giving up on your brand altogether.

What is Website Speed?

Simply put, web performance optimization (WPO) is how a website uses bandwidth to load as quickly as possible. In an age of instant gratification, it’s easy to see why even a few seconds delay can hurt conversions: 40% of people expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less. All things being equal, fast sites tend to rank higher than slow ones. So what causes slow websites? The list is long and complex, but there are three primary factors: low-quality hosting; poorly developed code; and overuse of graphics. The challenge with each factor is that it takes time away from other aspects of your business—that’s where professional web development services come in.

In an age of instant gratification, it’s easy to see why even a few seconds delay can hurt conversions: 40% of people expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less.

How Can I Improve My Website?

If you take care in choosing a website builder that prioritizes speed—like Webflow or Squarespace —you can have a site that looks great without compromising on performance. In fact, as search engines continue to push for faster web pages, having a fast website is even more important now than ever before. Ultimately, you need to find a balance between aesthetics and speed: slow pages frustrate users, who tend to abandon them quickly. So do an audit of your website. Does it load quickly? Can users navigate around easily? If not, consider whether your website design needs some help. Are your images too large, do you have lots of graphics, or do are you using too many fonts?  All of these can slow down your page load times and result in a poor customer experience for your visitors. Test out other sites like yours; if their speed is significantly better, think about how you can incorporate their best practices into yours. The same goes with mobile responsiveness; it’s very rare for users to wait 2+ seconds (and growing) per page view when browsing on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, which means you’ll want to make sure all your content loads appropriately there as well.  Once you've identified the issues, put together a plan to optimize your website

  • Check your website performance on a site like pindom.
  • Reduce the size of your images by resizing them, then using a compression tool like Image Optim.
  • Reduce unnecessary clutter on your website, including extra fonts, or images that don't communicate your product/service.

Putting It All Together

Web design is a complicated process. There are so many things to consider in order to create an effective website—and not all of them are technical. While web hosting services like Squarespace, Wix, and Webflow can help you build a strong web presence, only you can ensure that your site runs efficiently. Taking the time to optimize your website for speed is a necessary step to make sure the money and time you've invested in your marketing doesn't go to waste. Think about everything it took for your customer to reach your website. Don't lose their interest by having a slow loading site.

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