Is your website’s loading speed damaging your online business?

We have all visited a website that is painfully slow to launch.  Perhaps like me, you have hit cancel before the page has launched in frustration or you have quickly navigated away?

If your business relies on its website to promote or sell its products and services, then it is important your website visitors don’t suffer that experience.

Do you know if your website is slow to launch?

With a million things to do that are urgent, checking site speed is not on most people’s list of urgent “things to do” and therefore frequently overlooked.

Also, a quick cursory check yourself may not offer the same experience that your website visitors get. Perhaps you check your website whilst sat in the office, on a powerful PC or laptop hard wired to superfast broadband. Spare a thought then for those visiting your site using a mobile or tablet device that is only connecting on 2G or 3G!

There are some free diagnostic tools to help check website speed, but they are not easy to interpret unless you have web development skills.  However, testing your website on multiple devices from multiple locations is a good starting point as is getting feedback from visitors and from Google Analytics.

How much do I need to worry about this?

If you are serious about promoting your business online then the answer is  “a lot”! Slow loading speed has two major effects on the performance of your website

  1. It creates a poor customer experience which puts off new and potential returning visitors. If you are familiar with Google Analytics, this may show up as a high “Bounce Rate”.
  2. Your website will not rank as high.  Search engines, like Google, penalise slow websites because they offer a poor service and they monitor this through their robots that crawl your website.

In either case, your website fails to successfully communicate your brand, product or service. A huge missed opportunity. It also allows competitors to reach those customers first!

So how do I speed up my website?

There are a number of key areas to concentrate on, although to be fair many of these are quite technical – don’t try this at home!

The key areas are:,

  1. Hosting – the server that your website is hosted on makes a huge difference – is it on a shared server or a dedicated server or a server located geographically a long way from where your visitors tend to be?  If the price of hosting you are offered seems too good to be true, then the real cost might be slow site speed (amongst other things)!
  2. The platform that your website runs on (e.g. WordPress, Magento) and whether that platform is being properly updated and maintained or if there are installation issues.  Like your computer, if updates aren’t installed, then things tend not to work as well or eventually grind to a halt!
  3. The way the website has actually been built and if it has been properly optimized.  This is a very technical issue to do with a website’s code.  However, web developers, like our team at Bix, can improve the code to enable the website to operate more efficiently and quickly.
  4. The size of the files that are on your website (e.g. images) and whether they have been optimised to improve loading speeds.  Very large images will take longer to load.  Adding images to a website, therefore, involves balancing the need for them to look good against the need for them to load quickly.
  5. Perhaps there are too many plugins that are running on the site and not really adding a great deal of value.  Functionality is important but only if it is something the customers really want!
  6. If caching technology is being used to limit the strain placed on the hosting server, thereby improving browsing speed for the visitor. Again, a technical issue which, when managed well, can have a real positive impact, especially on large websites with lots of pages, products or files.

If you would like to find out more about this issue or how we can give your website extra va va voom, then please call Jonathan or Andy on 01524 412167 or email us at [email protected] We are always happy to review your website’s speed and, if appropriate suggest ways to improve it, without charge or obligation.

Slow Site Speed