Given the free market that currently exists on the internet in the form of e-commerce and e-news, which includes blogs, the competition for daily online traffic has never been more heated! While back in the 1990’s it wasn’t out of the norm for a webpage to take a long time to load, in today’s high-tech society things are different. If your page takes longer than 5 seconds or so to load, you may have lost your visitor’s attention!
Internet users today are impatient, agile, and have the ability to use the resources of the internet to quickly locate and pull up your competitor’s site in seconds. The main reason why users will leave a page in search of an identical page is if you make them wait too long. So it’s critical that your website loads as fast (or faster) than your competitors. There are a number of free tools available online that you can use to see how long it takes for a website to load. Once you find out how long it takes for your site to load, you might want to check the load speeds of your competitors, because it never hurts to know what you are up against.
So what slows down a web page? Well, the main culprits are large images and lengthy videos. The typical household has an internet speed of between 5 and 10 mbps, while the average business or government agency has a connection speed of 50 and 70 mbps. So you need to factor this into your web page construction plans. Take some time to think about whom are you marketing your site to? Are you marketing it towards businesses, or the average person at home?
If your market is businesses professionals or people stuck at work, then the size of image and video files may not be as big of a factor for you. However if your market also includes people sitting at home then you might want to spend some time on deciding how to cut down on these bit hogs. Either way, it’s probably a good idea to make sure that your site loads quickly on all devices and in all locations because you never know where your target audience may be accessing your site from.
If video and image files aren’t the problem then you might want to look at your HTML coding and your website hosting. Don’t confuse poorly constructed text with bad code. While bad writing might annoy your reader and cause them to go elsewhere, it won’t affect your loading speed. Code is the hidden process that your users don’t see, but their computers do.
When a person visits your website their computer browser reads and then interprets your websites code. Based on how it reads and interprets the code dictates how fast your site will load, and more importantly what will load. Now most bloggers and businesses owners don’t code their own sites, in general they hire programmers to do it for them. Or in the case of WordPress sites, the coding is done for you. So if images and videos aren’t the issue you might want to contact a developer to help you cut out bloated code and speed things up.
Lastly you need to ensure that your web host is reputable and that they provide you with a good connection. Be wary of smaller hosting companies because they tend to have fewer servers and are prone to squishing customers into already over stuffed servers where everyone is battling for resources. This can lead to downtime, and your site not just loading slowly but being completely inaccessible.