Load time is money

The aspects to consider when it comes to achieving a good loading speed for our site are several and include everything from construction decisions to the optimization of the servers that we are finally going to use.

Some of the most visible benefits of having a fast loading site are:

  • A reduction in bounce rates, thanks to the fact that we will be retaining all those people who, if they had had to wait a few more seconds, would have gone looking for another result.
  • A greater number of interested parties and clients, thanks to that greater number of people willing to browse our site.
  • If the fast load is due to a light site (as expected), our consumption of hosting service resources will be lower, which will result in lower costs, especially when our site starts to grow in amount of traffic.

It is very important to keep in mind that not everyone has the same connection speed, so many times we must put ourselves in the shoes of other users with slower connections so that, in the future, we do not lose them. An extreme test to verify the performance of our site is to visit it from a connection with a 56k modem, or access it from a smartphone via 3G.

The load of our site should never exceed 8 seconds, although much less than that is highly recommended. Keep in mind that, for sites where transactions are made, it is advised that the load is below 5 seconds. A fast site will load in two seconds and get a lot of benefits from search engines (read, better search ranking).

Tools to measure access speed

  • PingdomTools
  • GTmetrix: In addition to measuring the access speed, it will also show you the results of Google Page Speed and YSlow!

Another way to improve the times where a user fulfills his objective on our site (buy, get information) is minimize the number of steps needed to achieve a specific result (read, with fewer clicks). For example, if we have a 5-stage hiring process, we should consider whether we can convert it to a 3-stage process.

The possibility of incremental and progressive loading is also a good idea, so that the person can start consuming information even when everything else on the site hasn't loaded yet.

If we use specific technologies such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, etc., it is very important that we correctly configure their optimization options. Also, in the same sense, it is extremely valuable to have the support of our hosting to help us optimize the servers based on the technology we use.

In a world where times are shortening for everything, and people are becoming more and more accustomed to getting what they want right away, failing to live up to the loading speed of our site can cost us dearly, literally speaking.

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