Nobody has time to sit around and wait for a website to load endlessly, especially when allowed to navigate to a competitor’s website. Research has shown that users leave a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load in their browsers.
After all, bland website performance kills corporate profits when the agony of waiting for slow web pages forces visitors to look for alternatives – impatience is a digital virtue!
Importance of Website Loading Speed
Website speed is an essential factor in both website usability and search engine optimization. A slow website drives users away and forces them to take advantage of your competition. This is why it is one of the most critical factors in Google’s search algorithms.
In 2018, Google Speed Update was introduced, which makes page speed a ranking factor in mobile search and further increases website loading speed. This update affects slow-loading websites.
Top 3 Ways Page Speed is Measured
Even if they don’t have an official statement on how Google determines the loading speed of your site, they usually give the following metrics in their PageSpeed Insight Tool to show that they use a combination of page speed measures, including:
Time to First Byte(TTFB)
This is the time it will take for the page to start loading. TTFB appears when you click on a website and get a blank screen for a few seconds.
Fully loaded page
This is the time it takes for a website to load all resources fully. This is the simplest and easiest way to measure page speed. On average, a cellphone page takes 15 seconds to load fully, while a desktop website takes around 10 seconds.
First Contextual Paint/First Meaningful Paint
This refers to the time it takes for the web page to load enough resources to consume the content that the user can read. On average, the 10-12 seconds it takes to load a page is quite a lot, and this time translates into an unsatisfactory user experience. However, in the first context image, the user will interact with your page as it loads. On average, this happens within 1.5 seconds after switching to the page. In this way, it seems to the user that the page loads immediately, which provides a good user experience.
How Website Speed Affects Google Rankings
Website speed is an important ranking factor, and this is especially true for mobile webs. To improve user experience, Google is working to promote faster load times. Given that today’s Internet users want immediate and near-fast access to the information they want, slow-load websites lose their position as faster-load websites.
Even if your website has more relevant and compelling content than your competitors, with slow load times, your competitive WooCommerce private store will most likely take precedence and be higher than you if their load times are faster. Your audience may not even see this precious content on your site.
There are compelling reasons why Google uses website speed as a ranking factor. First, a fast loading website indicates a good user experience. Quality user experience is Google’s priority. Studies have shown that slow loading speeds increase user stress levels and cause a bad user experience.
Second, slowly loading websites have minimal interaction, resulting in a high bounce rate. If your site slows down, users will quickly click the Back button and not return to your site after visiting just one page. If you have a high bounce rate, it will tell Google that your site is of low quality and will lose your position. With fast loading speeds, you can save traffic and increase your conversion speed. Ultimately, it will help improve the trust and loyalty of your brand.
Top 3 Factors That Limit Website Speed
Your hosting company and the server your website is hosted on can significantly impact how quickly your website loads for visitors. If the server does not have sufficient resources, all users will be slowed down. While shared hosting is the most economical choice for many small websites, it is not the best solution for everyone. Larger websites may need to use a virtual private server or VPS that offers inexpensive shared hosting but allows you to control server resources like a dedicated hosting plan.
The largest websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, must use dedicated hosting, where they are the only server-hosted website with full control over resources. Sites of this size require more than one server to process the traffic they receive.
I’m not the first to say that many WordPress plugins can add functionality to your site with little effort, especially if you maintain the site yourself without much technical knowledge. However, having too many plugins on your website or using unoptimized plugins can significantly slow down your website.
Each plugin in the repository has different functions and capabilities like WooCommerce private store. Some make database calls while others load external resources. Plugins that perform a lot of database queries require a lot of resources to load slow downloading times.
If done correctly, you won’t notice much difference in load time, but if the server is flooded with multiple plugins with HTTP requests, you’ll see a negative impact on your user experience.
One malicious add-on can load more than ten files; several useful add-ons can only load a few add-on files. Well-coded add-ons minimize uploaded files, but ultimately it depends on the add-on developer.
Many websites have set a bandwidth. It refers to the amount of data transmitted over a while – usually six. If you have a lot of traffic, that’s a good sign, but if you don’t have that high bandwidth host, you risk not only slowing down your site but also closing it entirely until the period heals or you update your plan.
If Google paid for broadband, YouTube would only cost them billions of dollars a month. Add to that all the other qualities they have, and that’s an astronomical number.
If you have a trading business, then high traffic shows that the company is doing well. This is a signal that your conversion is high. Check your broadband connection and make sure you’re ready to adjust it to avoid slow performance.
Does Your Site Have Speed Issues?
If you find that it takes more than three seconds for your site to load, don’t panic. Follow the recommendations in PageSpeed Insights, and then try the speed again. The faster you can improve, the better for your customers and the result.
If you need help, get in touch – and we’ll take care of it for you.