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Why is website speed important?

Ian Kennedy - Optima Digital
Co-Founder Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy - Optima Digital
Co-Founder Ian Kennedy

Your website speed will have a dramatic impact on your overall performance. We live in a world where we expect things to happen immediately and browsing the internet is no different.

In fact, browsing websites is probably where we are the least patient. Studies by Google show that over 53% of people will leave a website if it does not load in under 3 seconds.

Here is a good rule of thumb. If you think your website is too slow, it probably is.

From Amazon same-day delivery to Netflix’s endless content on-demand, we as humans are more impatient than ever. 

Website speed impacts at both the user and technical level. If it is too slow users will get annoyed. Additionally, search engine crawlers will also detect a slow website and push it down their rankings.

Why is Your Website Speed Important?

Site speed is important from both a search engine perspective and a user perspective. However, they are intertwined. User behavior is picked up by search engines like Google and used in the ranking data.

Therefore, they are both directly correlated. Google also stated page speed is an official ranking factor. Below, are some of the factors in more detail:

Bounce Rate

Google Analytics

Conversions

User Experience

Search Engine Crawlers

What affects website speed?

There are various factors that will affect your website speed. However, it is usually a combination of multiple elements. Often the best way to improve your website speed overall is to optimise each element individually.

Image File Compression

Minify CSS,Javascript, HTML

Hosting/service times

Where your website is hosting will have a direct impact  on site speed. We know site speed and conversions directly correlate so it is important.

Hosting is not expensive and you can find some really good packages for €10-15 per  month. We have made a list of some of our favourite hosting providers.

Optimise images

Theme

Every WordPress site is run using a certain theme. These themes allow you to customize the appearance of your website. They also allow you to edit the layout, typography, colour as well as many other design elements.

A theme is a group of files that work in unison to create and design your website using HTML,CSS and JavaScript files.

It is also worth noting that your choice of theme will affect your website speed. There are lightweight and heavyweight themes. 

A lightweight theme like Astra is often quicker than a slightly heavier theme such as Divi.

Ensure you do some research before choosing your theme. As often they can do as much (or as little) as you would like.

How to test your website speed?

There are various tools you can use to test your website speed. We like to use a combination of the following:

GT Metrix

GT Metrix - Website speed

Pingdom

Pingdom - Website speed

Google PageSpeed Insights

How to make your website faster?

We have looked at why your website may be slow and tools to test your site speed. Now it is time to look at ways we can improve it.

Improving by a second could be the difference between a conversion or losing a customer.

CDN Cloudflare

Hosting

WordPress Plugins

WP Rocket

W3 Total Cache

WP Super Cache

Conclusion

There is no one single element or magic formula to improve your website’s speed and performance.

You must look at the whole landscape and analyse different elements. However, there are several tools and free plugins available to help you. Start by running your websites URL through one of the tools.

From here you will gain a better understanding of where and how you can improve. Remember, even 1/10th of a second can make a difference.

If you are in the doldrums or feeling overwhelmed, we are always on hand to help. Feel free to contact us at any stage. We would be glad to help.

We would love to help grow your business.

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