Why Page Speed May Be The Most Important Thing About Your Website

Posted on July 16, 2015

Just yesterday the Clay Pot Creative team was making a stop into the hole in the wall burrito place by our office. There were five or six people in front of us and as noon approached, the line swelled. By the time we were ordering, we had noticed at least a dozen customers leave because they didn't want to wait in line. Your website doesn't have a literal line of customers trying to get in the door, but this example proves what waiting can do to even highly motivated customers.

Numerous studies have shown that slow page loads have a detrimental effect on traffic. For example, you can read some here or here or here. The fact of the matter is, the slower your site, the least amount of time users will spend, the least amount of dollars they will spend, and the least they will trust you and your brand.

So what do you do if you do want to speed up your website load time? First you need to find out why it is loading slow in the first place. Some of the items to consider:

  • Unoptimized Images: The vast majority of websites have unoptimized images in some fashion. Typically .png or .jpg files that have unnecessary data or contain an inefficient deflate compressor to size down the files.
  • Plugins and Widgets: Some of the plugins and widgets that are on your site could be drastically slowing down your page load times. In terms of load times, fractions of seconds add up. A social media feature might add a half second and that interactive scheduler tool you found might tick it up a full second and then the three or four cool plugins you found toss on another few seconds and by the time everything loads, your site visitor is already gone.
  • Advertising: Don't get us wrong, your site can have ads and still load fine, but an overabundance of ads or even poorly built ads can bring your page speed to a halt as the influx of data loads.
  • Coding: Bulky code full of registration forms, poorly written CSS, scripts, and more can play a huge roll in your pages' load times.
  • Page Size: You may think your web page of 50,000 words, 20 instructional videos, oversized images and diagrams, and audio files about your subject matter makes you the foremost expert in your field on the entire world wide web. Unfortunately, it pretty unlikely anyone will ever visit your page as it will take figuratively forever to load it all.
  • Caching: The first time you visit a website, the various page elements all get stored on your hard drive in temporary storage. This means that on subsequent visits, your browser is able to load the page without having to regrab the page elements. Making your site load quickly for first time visitors is paramount, but enabling caching so repeat visitors enjoy even faster page loads is a top concern.
  • Flash: The use of Flash has dropped drastically in recent years, but still is out there and can have disastrous impacts on page speed.

These are some of the most likely culprits to why your pages may be loading slow. If you would like a full audit done on your website including more technical suggestions like minifying resources, optimizing CSS delivery, and reducing server response time, just give us a call at 970.495.6855 or contact us and we'll create for you a custom game plan on decreasing your page load times.

« Return to all Blogs