Website loading speed is one of the most important features of your website. To much load time and you can lose a potential customer entirely. A study released by Akamai Technologies, Inc. in September showed that “2 seconds is the new threshold in terms of an average online shopper’s expectation for a web page to load and 40 percent of shoppers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a retail or travel site.” This threshhold is only going to continue to be pushed as customers speed expectations grow.
Search engines are also adding speed to their page ranking requirements, this is evident with Googles upcoming Caffeine update. In a recent interview Matt Cutts, the man in charge of Google’s Webspam Team, said “speed hasn’t played a role in rankings in the past, but that may very well change.”
So how do you speed up your website? The best fastest and easiest way to speed up your websites performance is to look at the websites design. Are there large bulky images, tons of java & flash script? These need to be eliminated and at the very least optimized for performance.
Another variable to look at is your Websites hosting company. Are the severs they provide made for the type of site you have?
Many times the performance issue has to do with age. Code builds up and is outdated, the website platform hasn’t been updated and is vulnerable to bugs and hacks, and like most things the newest version is just plain better. Instead of updating these issues one by one, many times a complete website redesign would be the better and cheaper alternative.
For eCommerce sites a high performance option would be Magento. The Magento platform combines performance, ease of use, and awesome looks into a seamless package. This platform is used by many major retailers for these many reasons and can be parred down or expanded depending on your needs.
For websites that require good looks, speed, and the ability to be updated from any PC WordPress is an excellent platform. With almost endless styleing possibilities, lightweight code, and a host of free plug-ins that can boost performance and functionality this platform has set the standard in Content Management Systems (CMS).
Whether you need to go through your sites code line by line to streamline its performance or your going to opt for a complete redesign one thing is for certain, speed will effect the success of your website and its importance will only continue to grow.