Most businesses weigh the value of page load performance with functionality and design aesthetic. The problem is that one tends to overshadow the other because it is difficult to formulate a balance for the ultimate user experience. Businesses are often looking for ways to improve page load times because webpage users prefer fast load times rather than functions once a page loads. Search engines also rank a site based on load time speed. Here are a few suggestions if you’re looking to improve page load times to boost website traffic and sales.
Statistics You Need to Know to Improve Page Load Times
Sites like Pingdom will help analyze pages and find solutions that improve page load times. It helps when you know the type of problems users experience, so here are statistics that matter:
- Half of internet users visited a site that froze, crashed or encountered errors
- More than seven out of 10 mobile users experience slow page load times
- For each second of load time, it costs a business 7 percent in sales conversions
- A 1-second page load delay affects customer satisfaction by 16 percent
- Roughly half of the online consumers think two seconds is the average load speed
- Four out of 10 users abandon a webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load
- Half of the online consumers say quick page load performance builds brand loyalty
- Nearly 80 percent of shoppers are less likely to return if dissatisfied with site performance, which is a great reason why you should improve page load times
- It takes 2 seconds to achieve conversion; yet, at 4 seconds, you lose 40 percent of it
- A 4-second page response delay costs a website 25 percent traffic abandonment
Why Is Page Load Performance Important?
In a world of instant news, fast-food delivery and shopping on-demand, consumers have little patience for websites that have slow page load performance. Factors like website layout, calls to actions (CTAs) and page content will affect website performance and, by extension, user experience. If consumers are not happy about load speed time, it will affect traffic, conversions and sales.
Taking steps to improve page load times also reduces the likelihood that your shoppers will feel dissatisfied with your website. More than six out of 10 shoppers admit to taking their business to a competitor when they felt let down with a website’s load speed performance. As this is the first thing a consumer notices about a website, an underperforming page will risk traffic losses.
What could cost a page a second? Function becomes a factor, so files, videos and images need to be optimized so that your speed load performance is under two seconds. Images are costly as they consume about 60 percent of bytes per page load, unlike other resources like video and scripts, which take up much less in comparison. They also result in the most HTTP requests.
Photo Size Is Important
Especially if you download images from stock photography sites, check to see how big a photo is before adding it to your pages. You also need to optimize them for website usage. It could very well be the reason for your slow page load speed. Also, remove all the extra image resources and duplicates, fonts or icons from your library to free up any extra server space.
The next way to improve page load times is to lessen hypertext transfer protocol requests (HTTP) that account for the number of times a browser asks a server for an image, file or page.
Studies on these type of requests account for 80 percent of a page’s load time. The more HTTP requests you have for a page to fully load, the longer it will take for a user to view them all.
- Decrease the number of images on a webpage
- Use conditional statements based on the user’s viewing device
- Use a cascading sheets style (CSS) sprite file for favorite images to reduce space and loading times
You can also utilize a content delivery network (CDN) to deliver content based on which one will have the fastest response time. Each time a request is made, a CDN routes the data to the closest path, which causes a hop to occur. While larger companies usually have a dedicated CDN in-house, medium-sized companies use a CDN provider while smaller companies vary.
You can also look into browser caching as a means to temporarily store files on a user’s system. As a customer returns, it will speed up load times and user experience satisfaction considerably.