The internet has drastically improved in the last two decades. Now, people have high standards for their browsing experience. We just don’t want great and informative content online, we also want the browsing experience to be as close to instantaneous as possible if not instant. So, the question is does your website load in under 3 seconds?
It’s safe to say that people have become more impatient with their browsing experience. Years back, it was natural for people to wait around 10 seconds for a website to fully load. Now, a majority of online users don’t bother waiting on a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
There are other things to take away from this other than the fact that people are more impatient. It also means that if you’re a website owner, a poorly optimised website is bad news. Whether it’s on mobile or desktop, it’s ideal that your website is lightning fast and properly optimised.
Now, what are the causes of a slow loading website anyway?
Why Your Website Might be Running Slow
Let’s talk about the backend of website management first. One of the common reasons why a website runs slow is because it’s running through a bad host.
Website hosting comes in many forms and some fit certain websites best. If you’re running a new website, then shared hosting is a cheap and efficient way to run your website. Once your website starts to get more traffic, however, you’ll need more resources to handle the visitors and this is where you should shift to proper business-grade dedicated hosting.
Large Media Files
Websites that are heavy on images and especially on videos are bound to have loading problems. Keep in mind that it takes a lot of resources to properly load these files.
On paper, it might seem like a good idea to have several videos and photos on your website to keep your visitors entertained. However, if it comes at the expense of poor loading time, it’s best to keep things simple.
For images, it would be a good idea to compress the files as much as you can using online tools. As for the videos themselves, you should opt to embed videos from YouTube instead of having the videos load directly on your website.
Believe it or not, bulky code results in a slow website as well. The bulkier your code is, the more materials that the website has to load – hence the slow loading time.
Plugins are vital for security as well as to allow for various features to run on your website. However, having too many plugins on your website is a bad idea, as these take resources to load.
If your website is running slow, it pays to have a thorough look into the plugins that are enabled. There might be some that you aren’t using so you can at least remove them.
Websites are made up of countless files that need to load to have your platform fully running. If there are missing files or if there are any issues related to your files, then it would take longer for your website to load them. In some cases, missing files also result in the dreaded “404 Error” message.
Problems like these often stem from the website development platform you are using. Make sure to update the platforms you are using, Check for files that need to be redownloaded to have your website fully functional.
Not Optimised for Mobile Viewing
This, of course, is only applicable to the mobile version of your website. In some cases, opening a desktop version of a website on a mobile device doesn’t just result in slow loading, it can also result in assets loading improperly.
Make sure that your website has both a mobile and a desktop version. Mobile web browsing is a lot more important than you think so don’t ignore the complaints of the average mobile user.
Is a Fast Website Necessary?
The short answer is “yes,” a fast website is necessary.
As we’ve said, a majority of people leave websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load. This results in more complications down the line. Aside from getting fewer views, you are also turning away potential conversions if you are running an online shop.
People don’t like it if they have to wait for a long time before they can buy whatever it is they are looking for online. If you want better engagement and conversions, then your website needs to load almost immediately if not instantly.
Another important reason for having a fast-loading website is that page performance is a direct factor that affects your SEO. To put it simply, websites that perform well could potentially rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP) as well.
If you are looking to build your authority online, then it’s time to consider maximising the potential of your website.
In truth, people aren’t becoming impatient, they simply have better standards for online browsing. Keeping up with the standards is vital for the growth of your website and business. You’ll be surprised at how valuable a fast website can be for your business.