How Web Page Loading Speed Affects Customers

June 25, 2021

Can the loading speed of a business website really have that much of an effect on its success?Yes, it can.

Slow loading can be a put-off for users, especially as most top sites load very quickly these days (of course in the presence of equally good internet connectivity). So, a website that loads even a bit slower than the usual “fast-loading” ones demotivates users even before they have seen the web page’s content, and they stop visiting such sites, or bounce off them, and don’t think about making any purchases.

According to a research by Google, more than 50% of mobile users bounce off a site that takes more than three seconds to load or open. And if the page takes more than 8-10 seconds, it is written off by most visitors as “slow”.

Popular search engines also are said to impose penalty on sites whose loading speed is not up to the mark. In fact, such websites sometimes may not even appear in the first page of the search results even if their content is impressive and matches with the search topic(s). According a recent survey, about 40% of users said that performance is more important to them than the functionality of a site.

So, businesses will lose out on sales and visitor traffic if they do not pay heed to the loading speed of their site or web pages.

But you can work on this and enable fast loading for your website easily, so that your website doesn’t fall under this “slow-loading” category anymore. There are plenty of tools and ways you can implement these to help your site and pages load faster, and improve the traffic and eventually, your business.

Here are a few tips that can help with upping your web pages’ loading speed –

1. Compressing Content (text and media) on the page

Decreasing or compressing text (number of words) and media (file sizes) to the possible extent can help to a great degree, as well as removing any media content that isn't really necessary for your web page. In case certain files still seem to need a little more time to load, you could also implement “lazy loading” – this will enable media to load as and when the user scrolls down the page to the part where these are added.

2. Reducing JavaScriptandStylesheets

JavaScript and CSS codes for your web pages can be optimized or reduced by inserting plugins to minimize JavaScript code, which will increase page speed by eliminating "code bloat." 

3. Minimizing Plugins used

You also need to keep in check how many new plugins you have been installing to integrate required new features, because you could be overloading the memory of the site.

There really is no exact number as to how many plugins are considered to be too many, but 20 can be taken as a safe upper limit. However, the lesser you can use, the better. So, if you have anything close to this or higher, then it is advisable to delete or deactivate any plugins that are not really being used, or can be done without.

4. Minimizing code on top

The code on the top of the page is always loaded first, so the user will first see only the top of the webpageproperly while the browser is finishing loading the other parts – the code near the footer being the last to load.Sometimes there may be a complex or huge part of code on top, which would make the loading a bit slower. Deferring such code from the top of the page into the footer can decrease the initial loading time, and the extra time will be added to the footer part to load, and this will then not affect the overall speed, making it quicker for the user to access the web page content.

But this is best done by someone who has an expertise in the subject, because if it goes wrong, there is a chance for parts of the web page to lose some functionality or load incorrectly.

5. Optimizing the webpage(s)for smartphone/mobile screens

In other words, mobile-friendliness! Making your website mobile-friendly is one of the most important things you will need to do for your website, as it is well-known that a majority of consumers/internet-users now access websites on the net via a mobile phone. So, it is crucial to make sure your website is responsive to every mobile device and screen size.  

6. Caching

Creating a “cache” (that saves a copy of the data/page content and retrieve it immediately when needed) for the latest version of your pages is a good practice. It displaysthe page to the site visitors so that the browser doesn’t have to generate that page dynamically every time it is requested.

Business websites thrive on the visitor count, so you need to take maximum advantage of all the aforementioned optimization techniques and make them work in your website’s favour. This not only helps create an optimal experience for all the visitors of your site but also gives you an edge over the competitors and result in more customers for your business.