In addition to marketing, optimizing shipping prices and improving product quality, there is one huge factor that affects the amount of traffic that your website receives. improve page load speed. You can have amazing video blogs or nifty picture descriptions on your page but as far as consumers are concerned, the faster the websites load the better.
What is page speed?
When a web browser requests to load a web page, the media content on the web page gets downloaded. The length of time taken for this is called page speed.
Website loading speed is a primary reason that dictates what percentage of potential shoppers become actual shoppers. Recently, Google admitted to factoring in page load speed for web page ranking.
While page speed is one important factor, page security is another. In order to gain the customer’s trust and confidence, e-commerce websites enable SSL for main as well as sub-domains, using Wildcard SSL easily available in chep price buying from resellers.
How and why does page speed affect consumer behaviour?
Poor website load time causes shoppers to quit and visit your competitor’s website. A latest Harris poll survey reports that 67% of online shoppers don’t persist on a slow loading website. 70% said that they would buy from a shopping website that loads fairly quickly, even with the knowledge that they can acquire the same at a cheaper price elsewhere.
A large portion of internet users today have access to high-speed internet, whether using mobile phones or desktops/laptops. They expect websites to load within a few seconds and when they don’t, their frustration can lose you a lot of revenue.
Kick your website into overdrive! improve page load speed
Here are a few ways to speed up your website.
- Use caching to improve page load speed
Cache technology stores data in the RAM of the server. Whenever that information is called upon by the user, it can be retrieved 10 times quicker than when accessing a hard disk! Without caching, your customers are in for quite a bit of time lag. Cache files can store product descriptions, customer profiles and site search indexes, and recoup them at lightning quick speed.
Consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to improve page load speed
The delay caused while loading a web page is termed latency. Latency is caused due to the physical distance that exists between the user and the hosting server. So if you have a customer base that transcends national barriers, you are bound to have greater latency. So technically, if you have servers in every country you have a good customer base in, you should be good. A Content Delivery Network does exactly that. It is used to store content as cache files on different servers across countries.
Optimize your images
Every website is bound to have a few images. Compress your images so they can load quicker. Optimizing your images can help save a lot of bytes and improve performance.
Try to reach a good balance between image size and image quality. You can use image optimizers for this purpose. JPEGMini, PNG Gauntlet and Image Optimizer to mention a few.
You can also have your website designer alter image sizes for different viewing screens, such as mobiles, desktops and laptops.
Keep an eye on improve page load speed
Monitor the speed of your website and the time taken to load. Google has a custom-built tool for this, called PageSpeed Insights. It computes an optimization score for your web page, which is a number between 0 and 100. It also evaluates if you can improve the performance of your web page further if it is averageor sloww at loading.
You can also use other tools, such as Yahoo’s YSlow, KeyCDN Speed Test or Pingdom.
Reduce Round Trip Times (RTT)
RTT is one of the factors affecting latency. Round Trip Time or Round Trip delay Time is the time taken for a data packet to be sent from a browser, received by a server and re-transmitted back to the browser. RTT ranges from a few milliseconds to a few seconds.
Combine multiple files to reduce load time. This subsequently reduces RTT.
Cut down on page size
Page size, also called page weight, entails all the components that make up the web page. This includes the HTML text, images, flash files, CSS effects and other media. It is measured in kilobytes.
Cutting down on page size is one of the mainstream methods of increasing page load speed. You can cut down on image size to reduce page size. Optimum page load speed is about 3 seconds or less. So you need to target that.
Use a dedicated server
As your business expands and attracts a larger audience by the day, you will need a dedicated server to help load your page quickly. Typically, websites are allocated 1 GB worth of space on the hosting server. But since that server hosts hundreds of thousands of other websites as well, the processing memory and disk space your website occupies will be very small. If you can afford it, a dedicated server can do you a world of good.
However, not everyone can get one. So you should consider sizing your hosting server to meet your traffic requirements.
The above-mentioned steps are only a few simple ones to get you started. There are even more ways to improve your website speed. These include avoiding redirects, switching off unused plugins, optimizing platform configuration and so on.
Keep a close tab on your Page Speed Score using Google’s PageSpeed Insights, or any one of the other tools mentioned above. You will see that tweaking your website’s speed translates into a larger customer base.