Daily breakthroughs in technology keep the world on its toes and the need for speed a priority. Consider your Wi-Fi connection at home. You need a fast robust internet connection to run your Netflix, power your smart tv, keep Alexa online, and connect all your mobile devices without the lag of buffering constantly. You need speed. Your website is no different. In today’s thriving cyber business arena, speed is the currency of success for any website hoping to rise to titan-status like Amazon or Google.
Attention spans are short and your website needs to grab the attention of users within 2 seconds. In fact, any mobile website that takes longer than 2 seconds to load will fail. A slow-moving site can be caused by a myriad of things. In order to improve the efficacy of your website, you need to employ the right hosting services and tools to give it the boost it needs to sit at the big kids’ table. Beyond keeping up with the competition, websites that load in record time ensures low abandonment rates by end-users and increases conversion rates.
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The statistics show that websites that load in 2 seconds or less are more attractive to users and ensures little to now bounce rate. The 2017 Google Page Load Time Study showed that:
- 1-3 seconds load time increase the bounce rate probability by 32%
- 1-5 seconds load time increase the bounce rate probability by 90%
- 1-6 seconds load time increase the bounce rate probability by 106%
- 1-10 seconds load time increase the bounce rate probability by 123%
Faster loading pages are more attractive. Consider that most users are on their mobile phones during their daily commute to and from work and they need websites that will load as soon as they click to engage. Any lag will just turn them toward your competition that has taken the time to boost their site.
So, What’s the Load Time Sweet Spot?
Research conducted by Akamai found that:
- 47% of website users expect site load time at less than 2 seconds
- 40% of website users will abandon pages that take longer than 3 seconds to load
You want to aim for under 3 seconds say experts, but 2 or less is the real sweet spot to keep your audience attention long enough to shop your products and convert.
How it Affects Your SEO
Your site’s visibility in results on major search engines like Google and Bing are dependent on your website’s load time. SEO performance is affected by how fast your website loads, so if your website loads slowly within 3-10 seconds then your SEO ranking will below.
If your website loads fast then you will have a high SEO ranking. The short of it is, keep your website speed boosted and you’ll keep your site visible on major search engines. A fast website can directly impact and drive new traffic to your site daily. Which means higher conversion rates and increases in revenue.
How fast is fast for SEO?
Optimising your page speed can be a long process but the payoff makes it worth it. There will forever be room for improvement, so when should we be satisfied? We’ve stated earlier, the sweet spot is 2 seconds or less.
One way to test your site is to use Ranking.name SEO tool to compare your site’s loading speed against all of your major competitors. Rule of thumb, aim to be the fastest of the lot.
Another way is to use the following guidelines:
Below 1 second = perfect
1-3 seconds = above average
3-7 seconds = average
7+ seconds = very poor
Dropping that Load Time
Now that you’re well versed in the way of website load time let’s discuss how you can ensure your website remains fast. Before looking into the top hosting services to boost your website’s speed, you need to test the load time.
You’re aiming to increase the mobile and desktop load time of your website. You can use online tools to help you see how your site is loading.
Page Speed Insights is a free tool from Google that enables you to test your website quick and easy. Enter your website’s URL and the tool will analyse and crawl your web content and generate a report on what you can do to speed up your website.
Now let’s get into the hosting tools and services you need to boost your website.
4 Top Hosting Services to Boost Load Time
1. The Server Speed of your Hosting Plan
If you’re trying to build an online empire then you need to have a web server that has the capacity and power to help you get there. A shared hosting plan is not going to get you there in the long run. The quality, technical specs and space of your server directly impact your speed.
Dedicated hosting is costly but the alternative of VPS hosting will meet all the server requirements to speed up your website. With VPS hosting you get a virtual private server for your website without having to share the resources with hundreds of other sites like in a shared environment. Upgrade and grow your business by boosting your website’s power.
2. Use a Reliable CMS
A Content Management System (CMS) is critical to your website’s functionality and performance. The most reliable and popular CMS on the market is definitely WordPress. But there are also other excellent CMS, such as Drupal and Joomla. If you use any of these as your website’s platform, you’ll do right by your site’s performance.
If, however, you’re using a less popular CMS or something you built for yourself or had built by another coder, you run risk having a slow website; make sure you run appropriate tests and do the right research to ensure that a CMS is fast and reliable before using it.
3. Use a CDN
A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of interconnected servers positioned across the globe that uses geographical proximity as the primary criteria for distributing cached web content and pages to end-users.
When you use a CDN service, your website’s content is uploaded to multiple servers around the world, making it easier to distribute that content to users according to their geographical location. This means that each user will receive the requested content from the nearest server, which will make the entire process a lot faster thus boosting your load speed.
CDNs use an assortment of different content networking techniques in order to optimise content delivery. Those techniques include web caching, server load balancing, request routing and content service protocols.
Using a CDN can be costly. However, there are free services like Google CDN, Microsoft CDN, jsDelivr CDN, cdnjs CDN and jQuery CDN, so you can begin using them now.
4. Optimise Images
Not a hosting service but an important strategy in faster page load times. Un-optimised images can be very bulky, take up space, and as a result, use a lot of server resources and take longer to load slows down the overall page load time.
Images take up a lot of bandwidth, thus it is crucial to have them optimised and resized to ensure quick load time. Optimise your images by:
Reduce the size of your images without losing their quality. Do this by using a compression tool that compresses your images without losing their pixel count.
- Tools for Photo Optimisation: Kraken (for everyone), WP Smush (for WordPress users), EWWW Image Optimizer (for WordPress users).
- Use CSS Sprites: A sprite is one file that contains all of your images. By using CSS sprites, you can greatly optimize your web page load time.
- Use JPEG image formats, while PNG is great, old browsers do not support them, so ensure that all your users are covered by sticking with JPEG.
Bottom line, you want to be successful and have your online business, blog, or community reach internet success and bring in revenue, boost your brand awareness and fatten your bottom line then you need to take your web page load seriously.
Having a website goes beyond building a responsive design, beautiful product images or visual content, creating curatable content and brandable domain name.
Ensuring the technical aspects of your website are optimised is crucial to your business’ success. Speak to your hosting provider today about the various tools and upgrades at your disposal.