Is web performance something you need to be thinking about? If you manage a website, definitely. Here’s why your performance matters.
Web performance refers to the speed that web pages are loaded and displayed on your device. It’s also the theme of our next Design/ Build/ Market event on October 23rd. Join us as we explore performance through the lens of design, development and marketing, answering your questions and offering practical advice for speeding up your site.
In the run-up to D/B/M, we’re publishing a specialist blog series to help you get to grips with the what, why and how of web performance.
Here’s why web performance is such a hot topic.
Why is web performance important?
Users are extremely sensitive to loading times. Even the slightest delay in page loading times will affect traffic considerably. And users hold a grudge – when Google slowed load speeds on certain sites as an experiment, user traffic took months to recover. Walmart discovered that when their page load times went from 1 to 4 seconds, conversion rates dropped instantly. The BBC loses 10% of users for every second their site takes to load.
Poor web performance deters users, reduces sales and damages your reputation. Of course, it works the other way too – Pinterest rebuilt their pages for performance, resulting in a 40% reduction in waiting times. This increased their signups by 15% and earned them more search engine traffic.
With potential customers making snap decisions about you in seconds, it’s crucial your website loads very fast across all devices. Here are some of the other benefits of putting effort into your performance.
Increased visitor loyalty
A Compuware survey found that 46% of mobile web users were unlikely to return to a website they had trouble loading in the past. Users are unlikely to notice when a page loads quickly – and that’s a good thing. Remove blockages and make the experience of using your site as seamless as possible and they’ll be able to get on with the task at hand.
Higher ranking in search results
Google uses page speed as a ranking signal, which means that faster pages rank higher in search results. They do this so websites that provide a better user experience are prioritised. Slower sites get dropped. Ensuring your performance is strong might not bump you up the ranks, but it will prevent you from getting penalised pointlessly.
Lower abandonment rates
A slow website can increase abandonment by 75%. And site speed is cited as a huge factor in the 97% abandonment rate on mobile. If you can get your site speed up, you’ll see your conversion rate increase too.
Cheaper for your customers
Bigger pages take longer to download and all that data is expensive too. Not everyone has an unlimited data package and when that data is all used up your users either have to pay more to browse or don’t browse at all. More optimised websites in general means more time that your potential users can spend on your site.
Better for the environment
A high-performance website is more efficient and doesn’t need to send as much data. This lowers a website’s power consumption and environmental impact.
How can I improve my web performance?
There’s plenty you can do to improve your performance. Some methods are simple and others a little more tricky. In our next post, we’ll be examining some of the factors that can affect performance – and what you can do to improve them.
Design/ Build/ Market is a meetup for people involved in the creative and digital industries who are passionate about design, development and marketing. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a developer, a creative, a business owner or just curious, you’re welcome to join us. It’s a great opportunity to get to know people, make connections and learn a little something along the way.
Our next event will be DBM #7: Performance Matters, on the 23rd of October at The Engine Shed, Bristol.