The time it takes for your website to load can be very important, if a website takes more than a couple seconds to load then customers will get frustrated navigating the website and if it creeps over three seconds users will leave the site entirely. We live in a world where people expect things instantly.
This loss in conversions is magnified when visitors currently on your site tell friends and colleagues as well.
How can I test this?
It’s not always easy to test the speed of a website yourself, it could be slow because Dave is streaming Netflix, or because there is work going on by your internet company.
A good test is to use a website such as http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/ which will independently test the website from your preferred location.
A Case Study from Google
Google did an interesting experiment with regard to load times. Google Vice President Marissa Mayer asked web surfers – would you rather see 10 or 30 results for your Google search? The users agreed that 30 results per page sounded like a good idea. So Google implemented it on some results pages.
Then the shock came.
Pages that displayed 30 results each had traffic to them drop an astounding 20%. Google tested the loading difference between the 10 and 30 results pages and found that it was just half of a second. If half of a second made that much of a difference in how long users were willing to wait, how much of a difference could it make to your site if you carved a second or two off of load time?
For this reason Google also rates the speed of your website against its SEO ranking, with quicker websites more likely to snatch the top spots.
How do I speed up WordPress?
There are many techniques you can employ to speed up WordPress and make your website load faster.
Techniques range from installing and configuring caching plugins to optimising individual images so that they are compressed and a reasonable size for the website. You can also go into the core files of the website and server to force compression and increase the level of local caching (how long and what files a computer will ‘remember’ so that it doesn’t have to re-download it next time).
We use clean, fast workflows with speed in mind, compressing data where possible and minimising the number of requests. We also have a Lighting Speed Package available to vastly increase the loading time of your website.