Lets say you're waiting for a bus one day, the bus takes forever to arrive. So what do you do? Eventually you come to the conclusion that the bus isn't going to arrive and call a taxi instead! The bus company has lost out on your custom by taking too long to arrive, and an alternate, faster method of transportation was chosen.
Websites are no different in this respect, why wait around on a website that takes forever to load. Impatient browsers would in turn visit another website that runs much quicker, hence finalising a purchase from that website instead.This link (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/mobile/?country=United%20Kingdom) clearly illustrates the differentials in income based on the running speed of the company website. Here at Peters Web, we pride ourselves on the smooth and efficient running of our server, so your website will run as quickly as possible. In order to reinforce the optimal running of our umbrella websites, we use (and would recommend using) Cloudflare. I have included a link here which gives more information regarding Cloudflare, and how to set it up should you wish to use it. For now here are 5 unexpected effects, that a slow loading speed can have on the success of your online business: -
1) Visitors are impatient - This first point is fairly self explanatory, the mindset of people today have adopted an 'I want it now' ideology. With access to websites, possible from seemingly everywhere (phones, tablets...) the internet can be accessed with ease, quickly allowing users to make purchases on the spot. If a website is slow to load, the user will simply skip back to a search engine and find another website which will load much quicker. This alternate website will inevitably get the sale. It is of paramount importance, that your website is up to date with the latest versions of available software and plugins. It is always worth doing this essential 'housekeeping', as you will be rewarded with more visitors (and hopefully more sales!).
2) Low SEO rank - Another important point to note is that a website will rank lower within a search engine (e.g google) when it isn't running at an optimum rate. Search engines love a website that is efficient, speedy and well constructed (e.g featuring an easy to read site map). Again, this leads us back to the point of good housekeeping and ensuring that you make regular updates to any software attached to your website. Its worth noting that when referring to speed, this can point to how quickly readable content appears upon the page, rather than the overall and completed loading time (full website to load up). Some overall slow websites may have the illusion of loading more quickly than others.This is due to the fact that content close to the page header may appear more quickly on some websites, however, this does little for the google ranking.
3) Using a different viewing platform - The speed of a website load can vary greatly depending on the platform which is used to view the website. Typically a website will load quicker when the platform is connected to a better internet provider. For example, a home PC connected to broadband will generally perform a website load much quicker than a mobile phone used in an area with limited reception. On this occasion, rather than the fault lying with the website, this factor is entirely down to how the internet signal is performing for a visitor in the area where they are viewing the site, and also from what type of device they are viewing the website. It pays well to have as mobile friendly a site as possible to ensure that your website continues to run smoothly on portable devices. Statistics from 2018 show that the majority of visitors to pages now gain access to a website via a mobile device, hence the importance of making websites mobile friendly.
4) The location of your content - The location of a website's primary server, in respect to the location of the visitor, has a big impact on load time and how well the website performs it's general duties. For instance, if a server is based in San Francisco (U.S) and the majority of visitors are based in the UK, the content is going to be delivered to them slower than if the server was also in the UK. A way around this 'lag' is to make sure that your server is located in the country/region where most of your visitors are, this insures the data has less of a distance to travel to the client and cuts down on the load time/improves performance of the website. Don't be afraid to ask a web host where their servers are located as this could help you out in the long run. It should be mentioned that webhosts that utilise Cloudflare, such as Petersweb, route traffic through the closest datacentre to the visitor, mitigating this loss of speed.
5) Are you too Razzmazztazz?! - The content of a website has a huge impact on how long it takes to load, hence how quickly a transition from page to page takes place. If your website is jam packed with graphics and moving images, the visitor has to retrieve much more information from the server - this takes time! With certain websites this is pretty unavoidable, especially if you have a website that is multi-media based (high quality video/audio essential). If you feel that you can reduce the quality of some of the media on your website such as images and designs its certainly worth the effort to render those down to a lower resolution, your load speed will certainly benefit from it.