Website speed is and always has been critical to the success of a website. Don’t think that just because the infrastructure in the US is improving and our home/mobile internet speeds are improving that this no longer applies. According to Kiss Metrics, “40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load”. As if you didn’t have enough pressure from consumers, Google and other search engines will even penalize you for a slow loading website and you can read more here. Combine these two together and you have decreased organic traffic and conversions.
How is my website speed calculated?
- Website Programming
- Domain Name Servers
- Website Hosting
There are numerous tools that you can use to measure this, and their scores are weighted and the metrics used can vary. Typically these tools will look at how quickly your page(s) are loaded in different: operating systems, devices, browsers, and locations. Many choose one standard screen resolution they are analyzing. The load time for various events/elements of the page will be logged, things such as:
- Image Loading Speed, Optimization, use of CDN
- Use of Caching
- Minification of CSS and HTML
- HTTP Requests
- DNS Lookups
- Number of requests
How can I test my website speed?
There is a plethora of tools available that are a quick Google away. I happen to favor GTmetrix, but I’ve also included a list of some others:
- Google Page Speed Insights
I think it goes without saying that the faster the better. Some will run into limitations of their current hosting plan and the platform the website was built on. Regardless, with the right hosting plan + setup, and properly optimized website, you can achieve a good result. If at all possible I would try to keep it under 4 seconds. Here are some interesting stats from a study that Moz did.
- If your site loads in 5 seconds it is faster than approximately 25% of the web
- If your site loads in 2.9 seconds it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
- If your site loads in 1.7 seconds it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
- If your site loads in 0.8 seconds it is faster than approximately 94% of the web
What if my website is slow?