Why Poor Website Performance is Hurting Your Bottom Line

Concept art with people literally handling elements of webpage to construct a website.

Today, most businesses run their operations online because of the benefits it avails. The internet is bursting with life, and there’s a lot to show from it. Also, most buyers spend much of their time online, and that simply explains the power in your hands as a website owner using this resource. To achieve success as a business owner, you also need to achieve success with your online presence.

One of the crucial aspects worth considering, in this case, is the performance of your website. If your site is slow, it bears a negative impact on user experience, which ultimately affects your entire business operations. The reason is that slow-loading web pages result in unread content, and that implies that seizing business opportunities becomes a challenge.

On the other hand, you need to optimize your site to ensure that it loads the right content in the right place and at the right time. Therefore, running speed tests will help you understand how your website ranks among others in line with essential metrics. If you want to improve user experience, you also need to consider page speed.

What Is Page Speed?

First, you need to differentiate between page speed and site speed.

  • Site Speed — refers to the page speed for a sample of page views on a website.
  • Page speed — refers to the time it takes to display content on a particular page fully. It also relates to the duration it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from a web server.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights can help you establish the page speed of your website. Google relies on site speed as well as page speed to rank various sites. When your website suffers slow page speed, search engines crawl fewer pages using the budget available for such a task, which may cause your indexation to decline.

You will also experience higher bounce rates and lower average time on a page if your site pages have a lengthy load time. A reduction in conversions is the other challenge you are likely to encounter due to longer load times. Here are some tips for increasing your page speed.

1. Reduce Server Response Time

The factors that affect your server response time include the hosting solution you use, the volume of traffic you receive, the technology your server uses, and the resources each page uses. Identifying and fixing issues like the lack of adequate memory, slow database queries, and slow routing can improve your server response time. Typically, the optimal server response time is under 200ms.

2. Optimize Images

Compressing your images for the web to ensure they aren’t larger than necessary, and selecting the right file format are critical if you want to increase page speed. JPEGs are ideal for photographs and PNGs are a better option for graphics with less than 16 colors in the case of file formats.

Also, opt for CSS sprites when creating a template for the images you use often on your website. These templates include icons and buttons. CSS sprites are ideal because they combine your images to make one large image that loads at once. By using CSS sprites, you won’t need to make multiple HTTP requests for every image. The large image will then display only the sections you want to show when you use CSS sprites.

3. Minimize Redirects

People visiting your site will need to wait longer for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete whenever a page redirects to a different one. You should prioritize minimizing redirects if you want to improve your page speed.

4. Leverage Browser Caching

Images, JavaScript files, and stylesheets are part of the information that browsers cache. That means that the browser does not need to reload the entire page when someone revisits your website. YSlow is one of the tools that helps you know whether there is an expiration date set for your cache. Once you access the details, you can set your “expires” header to last the period you want to cache specific data. One year is a reasonable period when setting the expiry in this case.

5. Remove Render-Blocking JavaScript

Parsing HTML before rendering a page is necessary for browsers when building a DOM tree. Your browser stops whenever it comes across a script during this process so it can execute it before proceeding. Every time this happens, it takes time to run a script which adds that much more time for your users waiting on a page to load. So, you should look for any opportunities to remove (or at least reduce) the use of any render-blocking JavaScript.

6. Use A CDN (Content Distribution Network)

Content delivery networks or content distribution networks (CDNs) refer to networks of servers that distribute the load of delivering content. The implication, in this case, is that the storage of copies of your site is in multiple, geographically diverse data centers. That enhances access to your website, which significantly increases page speed.

7. Minimize HTML, CSS and JavaScript

Removing commas, spaces, and other unnecessary characters optimize your code, which, in turn, improves your page speed. Getting rid of unused code, code comments, and formatting can also help you achieve this objective.

Conclusion

Website performance, accessibility, and keeping with SEO best practices directly impact the user experience. Stay consistent and look out for irrelevant content, outdated information, 404 errors, and broken links on your website. When you do find these issues, resolve them as soon as you find them.

Websites that prioritize user experience attract more traffic, which, in turn, yield higher conversions. Every new page you create on your site may present a unique set of issues. Assess multiple pages at a time to identify the ones with the most substantial problems. This way, you can prioritize and address challenges promptly when optimizing for page speed.

The performance of your site directly affects the reputation of your organization. If you want to improve your brand image in the current business environment, you can’t afford to overlook the importance of improving user experience.

Implementing the tips above can help you deliver the best possible experience for your future customers going forward.

Looking for help with your website? Talk to our website performance team today!

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