We’ve all been there.
Have you ever wanted to quickly check a restaurant’s hours while you were out and about? You do a quick Google search on your phone, track them down, and click on their website. All you need to know is, “Are they open right now?” But, instead of getting the information you need, all you get is a white page and loading bar that ever-so-slowly trickles across the top of your screen.
“I’ll just wait, it can’t take that long,” you think to yourself. Ten seconds pass by. “Huh. That’s odd. Maybe I should try refreshing the page.” Twenty seconds have now elapsed. “Okay, I’ll go back to Google and click the link again.” But, alas, the page spins and spins and spins while you slowly start to slip into insanity.
If you have a slow website, you have a severe problem.
When you build a new website, you’re probably thinking about everything except how fast it loads. You focus on the design, the colors, the layout – and, trust me, those are all incredibly important. But, if your site is slow, you might as well throw all of the time and effort you put into the design, development, and content right of the window.
What is a slow website, anyway?
Subjectively, we all know what a slow website is. However, as a website owner, you should be concerned about when site speed starts impacting your site’s performance. According to Google Engineers in 2012, it’s roughly 400 milliseconds – the length of the blink of an eye – that longer load times begin to impact your site’s efficacy detrimentally. Others, such as Microsoft, believe it to be 250 milliseconds.
In 2018, the average mobile page load time was 22 seconds. That, my friends, is entirely absurd, and it’s time to do something about it because there are massive rewards to be reaped.
You can always check your site speed over on Pingdom.
Okay, fine. Slow websites are annoying, but how does that impact business, money, or things I even remotely care about?
If you see a $20 bill laying on the ground, are you going to walk past it or do you stop and pick it up? By having a slow site, you’re leaving money on the table.
Let’s start with the most straight-forward – Slow sites drive users mad, especially on mobile devices
47% of users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. A 1-second delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16%. 44% of users will tell their friends about a bad online experience. Check it out.
We all hate when things don’t work as they should, and slow websites are perceived to be broken, even if they technically work. A slow website is lousy customer service.
Conversion rates on a slow website are terrible
Various studies demonstrate how vital page load times are. It’s estimated that every 100 milliseconds added in page load times reduces conversion between 2% and 10%. The most common number cited is a 7% reduction in conversions.
So, why does that matter? Well, let’s take a look at an example scenario. Let’s say you’re running an e-commerce store that sells boutique shoes. Your yearly sales, for easy math, are $100,000. Your site, however, takes 4 seconds to load. If you were to reduce that load time by 2 seconds (2000 milliseconds), you would be looking at an increase in conversions by between 40% and 200%.
In our example, this means this boutique store could be earning between $40,000 and $200,000 more per year.
You’re losing users left and right, and most will never return
Did you know that one of four users will straight-up abandon your site if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load? And, worse than that, of users who do get to your website, 46% will never return.
If you can’t get users to even get to your site in the first place, how do you expect them to convert?
Let’s do a quick number crunch here. Say you’re running a Facebook ad and it costs you $10 to get 100 clicks. For every 100 clicks, you make one sale. Now, if you’re site takes longer than 4 seconds to load, you’re losing 25% of all of the people that click on your ad. This means that you’re overpaying on your ad spend. You could be paying $7.50 per 100 clicks instead of $10.
Now imagine that you’re spending $1000 per month in ads. Suddenly, you’re spending $250 more than you should be. Whoops!
You’re never going to be on the first page of Google with a slow site no matter how much money you throw at the problem.
Yup, that’s right, Google takes page speed into account when comparing you to your competition. You can pour a ton of time and effort into fantastic content strategy, keyword research, and targeted marketing. But, it may not matter if your site loads too slowly.
If you’re not ranking well on search engines, you’re going to have to increase your ad spending to maintain the same level of sales or conversions. Ranking well on search engines is essentially free advertising once you get it right.
Work with us to do things the right way
Aside from the quick fixes above, we have spent years upon years solving the problem of slow site speed. That’s why sites on our managed web hosting load faster than 98% of other sites out there. For example, our homepage loads in about 400 milliseconds.
Let’s go into what makes our managed web hosting better than just about anything else out there.
We use VPSs that smoke the competition
VPSs are Virtual Private Servers, which should be contrasted with shared hosting, which is what’s provided by companies such as GoDaddy. They can be scaled quickly, easily, and cost-efficiently as you grow. Their processing power is massively better than any shared hosting solutions. The RAM available allows for quick server response times, so you don’t have to worry.
We leverage CDNs to make sure your site loads fast everywhere in the world
CDN stands for Content Distribution Network. These allow your site’s content to be stored all over the world, meaning that a user in Frankfurt, Germany, will have your site load as fast a user in New York City. We use CloudFlare, a CDN company, for our managed hosting plans.
And, not only CDNs speed up national and international access to your site, but it caches it as well. Caches are “snapshots” of your pages that can be sent to users without requiring your server to process any data. Long story short, it’s another way to speed things up.
We build everything correctly from the ground up
There’s a laundry list of tasks and optimizations that go into making fast sites. Most of these start with fundamental decisions in both the code and the server architecture that’s used. By building custom sites and hosting it on our managed hosting service, we control everything and ensure that it’s done right.
You should get started on speeding up your site.
If you’re at all interested in speeding up your site (which, by this point, you really should be), you should get in touch with us. We take the time to analyze your website from top to bottom and provide you with a list of our recommendations on how to proceed. We even tell you how to get the best bang-for-your-buck if you’re working with a limited budget. Oh, and by the way, our consultations are free.