A one second page delay has shown to cause a 7% loss in conversions and 11% fewer page views.
A three second delay will cost you a whopping 40% of the traffic!
Loading time has always been the largest contributing factor to site abandonment. Page load time is the average amount of time it takes for a page to fully load in the browser. It is made up of two parts:
- Network and Server Time – This is based on the speed of the internet connection and how swiftly static assets like photos and other files are served up
- Browser Time – This is the time it takes for browser to analyze and execute the document and render the page to make it available for user interaction
The same web page can easily have different page load times in different browsers, on different devices and in different locations. Different pages of the same site can also have different load times owing to the elements, functionality and content.
Why is Load Time Important?
Page load time is one of the metrics used in search engine algorithm to determine search engine rankings. Therefore, search engines are more likely to guide viewers to sites that load quickly. This also means lower bounce rates and greater conversion rates.
With so many websites at their fingertips, it’s unreasonable to expect viewers to stick to your site when it doesn’t satisfy them. It is in your best interest to speed up your website.
How to Decrease Page Load Time?
Here are a few quick tips on how you can reduce your page load time.
Enable Browser Caching
Browser cache is a temporary storage area in memory or on disk that holds the most recently downloaded web pages. Content management systems have plugins that cache the latest version of your pages and display it to your users after their first visit which dramatically reduces the page load time.
Oversized images take a long time to load so it’s best to keep the image size as small as possible. You can do this by cropping your images to the correct size and reducing color depth to the lowest acceptable level. When it comes to image format, JPEG and PNG are good options.
Each redirect creates an additional HTTP request and increases the load time. If you’ve created a responsive website it is likely that you will have redirects in place to take mobile users from your main website to the responsive version.
Google recommends to use a HTTP redirect to send users with mobile user agents directly to the mobile equivalent URL without any intermediate redirects.
Large pages are often 100kb or more, hence bulky and slow to load. The best way to decrease their load time is by enabling compression, using a tool called GZIP.
Compression reduces the bandwidth of pages and HTTP response. This cuts the page size by up to 70% without degrading the quality of images, video or the overall site.
Small online delays can cost your company big money. Make your business more valuable by saving your consumer’s time.