Time Is Money
I’m driving through Sweden, and websites stop loading because I’ve lost a connection. It’s rare, cause the country has pretty good coverage, but sometimes it happens. That’s fine by me, but I can’t help but this “please load faster”.
Several years ago Amazon calculated the price of loading speed, and found that for every 1 second of loading time, they could potentially lose 1,6 billion in sales each year. At risk of sounding alarmist, asking people wait for content to load can literally costs businesses.
Amazon’s sales may not comparative with all online sales, but it shows a value that speaks to why speed can matter. Google also estimated in 2016 that “53% of mobile users abandon sites that take over 3 seconds to load”.
Optimizing For Google
The aim is to score high in search engines, but to do so can be a cat and mouse game with search engines. Some have described it as Google changes as they learn from users, as those users learn these changes and adapt, and then Google learns from that, in a vicious circle.
However as of 2021, along with good content, SEO and accessibility, a website’s loading speed has been noted as one of the important aspects of scoring high in search. You can use tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights and Fast or Slow to see how your website scores.
In 2018 Google announced how speed also became a factor for Google Search and Ads for mobile devices. Now when someone searches from their phone, the favored websites are those that load in less than 3 seconds.
As a former colleague of mine used to say; speed optimizing your website could be “A big bang for your buck”, in your digital strategy.
Simple Fast Loading Designs
When working with templates and drag and drop, I find that I get so excited about animations and movement in web design. And whilst pleasant to look at, and I have to constantly remind myself that it won’t be presented so snappy for many visitors, and unintentionally am slowing down loading speed.
But there’s also good news. The popular CRM WordPress recently released support for WebP next-gen images. These can sometimes be 90% smaller than more traditional formats such as JPEG and PNG.
Much can be accomplished with cashing on the server side, as your webhost about options that could work for you.
I think by focusing on a fast loading website, you can focus on what matters most; having a balance between speed with good quality content, visually pleasing, functional and accessible design.
As internet speeds have increased massively over time, our patience waiting for pages to load seems to diminish. Amazon researched the cost of loading speed, people don’t want to wait. In 2021 it’s easy to suggest that a fast loading website is a part of customer service.