Underestimating the impact of a speed on a website’s traffic, conversions and revenue can spiral into a costly catastrophe. Out of the millions of online users surfing the internet, 47% expect a faster Website to load within 2 seconds or they might resort to abandonment. About 40% of the users are known to abandon the website if the pages take 3-4 seconds to load. In another study, it was found that increase in the loading time of the website from 2-10 seconds can potentially increase page abandonment to 38%.
A research published by the Aberdeen group revealed that even a second’s delay in the loading time of a website can be devastating to the store conversions. It recorded a 7% decrease in conversions for a 1 second delay in loading time, while 16% drop in customer satisfaction and 11% decrease in page views.
With the new updates in Google, speed has become one of the prime factors for a website’s ranking. If the rankings drop, then your business will most likely experience a nose dive.
A slow website can affect your online business on several levels. For one,
- Your traffic and page views you get
- The Conversions that make your products sell sold
- Sales and Revenue you earn from your store
- And Ultimate, it reflects on your brand image and perception
In this article, we have compiled a list of 9 speed blockers and their fixes to help your slow website get the speed it deserves.
1. Remove Unnecessary Plugins and Extensions:
A common misunderstanding among many website owners is that the more sophisticated your website is, the more customers you get. Making a website sophisticated is not something that sits well with your customers. Every plugin you add in your website drains a certain usage capacity, while slowing down your website and deterring its optimum performance.
The trick is to avoid those plugins that load unnecessary scripts and styles when better alternatives can be used. Such plugins generate a lot of remote requests and add extra database queries at the cost of your website’s loading speed.
It’s true that plugins enhance the functionality of your website, but at a price that can cost your revenues.
2. Non-Caching Website:
Sometimes the reason your website under-performs its benchmark is due to something that you might not be aware of. There is a lot of technical knowledge that most website owners are completely oblivious hence recognizing their mischief becomes equally difficult. One of them is non-caching in a website. Caching maintains a consistent loading speed for your website regardless how many times you open it. It basically stores a version within the user’s browser so data is not required in greater capacities to open it. By enabling caching your website can reach a loading speed of 0.0 seconds from a 2.4 average. However, there are several methods of enabling it depending on which platform the user has.
3. Social Media Buttons:
4. Asynchronously Loading of Analytics and Ad Networks Code:
The same practice can be done for analytics tracking codes and networks’ codes. These two culprits are capable of impeding your website’s speed by a significant margin if left unattended. This can happen too often if the remote server is facing issues of slow speed or is down for some reason.
Like we mentioned above, you can ask your website developer to configure the tracking codes and network codes so they can be used for asynchronous delivery. By doing so your website will no longer get slowed because of any server outage or Ad network delays.
5. Excessive and HD Images:
Images that are absent of optimization can be quite troublesome when loading a website. While adding visual content is imperative for your website conversions, spamming them on every inch of the screen can make your website sluggish. Opening HD images take a lot from the server’s resources to load, but by then the customers will be long gone purchasing products from your competitor’s store. Tools such as WP Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer, and Kraken are quite effective in reducing image size without significantly compromising on the visual detail. On an average, your website image size must never exceed the 1mb threshold.
7. Broken Links:
8. Limit the Number of External Requests:
Having a fully functional website ready for action is what it takes to secure conversions and generate revenues. But for that to be possible, you must trust files and resources from other websites as well. This means embedding videos, images, infographic, files, presentations and other multimedia content. This allows your website to produce top quality engagement, but if that comes from a slow website, it can be at the cost of your conversions. Your load time becomes quite proportional to the loading time of the website you share content from which ultimately impacts on the website speed.
You can limit the amount of external requests on your website while at the same time host as much content as you can on your own server. This will boost the loading time when a customer interacts with them and restore an optimum user experience.
9. Find a Better Web Hosting Provider:
This is the last resort. If everything you have done doesn’t work out or gives you compromised improvements that do not suffice, then you can always move to a better web host. The only problem with that is the risk of losing data and functionality when you migrate. It really depends on the platform you choose and the hosting services, but it’s never too late to start off fresh.
The host you choose is the majority stakeholder of your website’s speed so always do your homework on the hosting service before making your decision. You can read reviews, reach out to other users and contact the host as well. We took the liberty of testing a list of hosting providers and A2 Hosting at 200ms, A Small Orange at 500ms and MDD hosting at 450ms were found to be the best.
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