What is the importance of website speed?

Hear me out, I’m not crazy. Well a bit but that’s not the point


min read

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What is site speed?

Slow site speed can have adverse effects like poor search engine rankings, diminished site traffic, and unsatisfactory user experiences.

Website speed, also known as website performance, pertains to the speed at which browsers can fully load webpages from a particular site. Websites that load slowly can deter users, while those with faster loading times generally attract more visitors and achieve higher conversion rates.

Why is site speed important?

Conversion rate:

Numerous studies have shown that site speed directly influences the conversion rate, which reflects the frequency of users completing desired actions. Fast-loading websites not only retain more users but also lead to higher conversion rates compared to slower websites. Many businesses have observed that even a slight decrease in page load time can result in increased conversions:

  • Mobify noted a 1.11% rise in session-based conversions by reducing their homepage’s load time by 100 milliseconds
  • Retailer AutoAnything saw a 12-13% boost in sales after halving the page load time
  • Walmart identified a 2% increase in conversions by enhancing page load time by one second

Consequently, enhancing site performance plays a significant role in optimizing conversion rates.

What factors affect site speed?

Image by Matteo-vella at Unsplash.

Page weight

The volume of resources required for a website to load significantly impacts its performance. Elements such as large JavaScript files, video content, bulky CSS files, and high-resolution images all contribute to the ‘weight’ of a webpage, therefore affecting its loading time. Drawing a parallel to the restaurant scenario, just as a waiter takes longer to serve a table with 10 dishes compared to one with two or three, a webpage necessitating more resources will take longer to load.

Maintaining light websites, characterized by small file sizes and fast-loading pages, has become increasingly challenging with the advancements in web technologies and the growing complexity of websites. From single-page applications with numerous JavaScript functions to pages featuring third-party pop-up ads and dynamic homepage backgrounds, developers now have the ability to incorporate more features into webpages than ever before, leading to a rise in the average total page weight.

Image by Matteo-vella at Unsplash.

Network conditions

Despite being configured for lightweight design, a website may encounter slow loading times on browsers as a result of network sluggishness. Factors such as the local networking equipment employed and the service quality of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) influence network connectivity. Moreover, mobile devices utilizing 3G or 4G connections, as opposed to WiFi, generally experience slower network speeds. While this aspect is predominantly beyond the control of developers, there are strategies available to facilitate the swift delivery of web resources, even under sluggish network conditions. These techniques encompass processes like minification, compression, and content hosting via a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Image by Matteo-vella at Unsplash.

Hosting location

Keeping websites lean, marked by compact file sizes and rapid loading times, has become more demanding due to advancements in web technologies and the escalating intricacy of websites. With the prevalence of single-page applications boasting numerous JavaScript capabilities, websites showcasing third-party pop-up advertisements, and dynamic homepage backgrounds, developers now possess the capacity to integrate an unprecedented array of features into webpages, consequently contributing to an increase in the overall average page weight.

Image by Matteo-vella at Unsplash.

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