Is your website’s page speed putting your customers off?

Web page load time is an important factor to any website’s user experience however, it is often overlooked in lieu of a more aesthetic design featuring larger image sizes and interactive JavaScript based functionality. These kind of embellishments can dramatically increase the time a web page takes to load if the necessary steps to optimise the website for speed are not taken.

Two of the most important aspects of a website that will be hampered by slow page speeds are it’s bounce rate and it’s conversion rate. If a user navigates to a website from a search engine result they only need to click the back button to go directly to a competing website if they are unhappy with time it takes to load the content they are looking for. Optimising a website for speed will reduce this affect, reducing it’s bounce rate and improving it’s conversion rate.

Below are a few ways that a website can improve it’s page speed:

  • Upgrading to a premium VM or Dedicated Server hosting package that allows access to configure speed related modules such as GZip compression and the installation of server-side caching modules such as APC and Memcached.
  • Using subscription based Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) from suppliers such as Amazon to host static resources such as the layout images of a website. CDNs will distribute the static resources on servers across the globe to ensure that they are downloaded quickly irrespective of where a user is located in the world.
  • Combining of all CSS and JavaScript files to reduce the amount of HTTP requests each page makes on a server.
  • Lossless compression of all image content to reduce to the amount of data that must downloaded to display a webpage.

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