How quickly does your website load? Page load time is a hugely important factor to keep in mind when designing or revamping your website. You might get caught up in the excitement of updating the look and feel of your site with your brand new and shiny imagery and amazing effects, however, its crucial that your website design finds that all important balance between good looking features, website speed and user experience.

There are a few main factors that are influenced by page load times on a website:

User Retention

According to research, a large percentage of online shoppers that have been dissatisfied with a website’s performance are unlikely to purchase from the same website again, and they will share that information with their friends.

Search Engine Optimisation

Website speed has been a determining factor in the way Google ranks a website for a while now. For Google, it isn’t solely about user experience. Google will crawl fewer pages on slower websites, which in turn will have a negative effect on the pages it returns in search results. Add to that, slow websites tend to have a higher bounce rate which can lead to lower rankings.

User Experience

Its a phrase we often champion when talking about web design but its one that should always remain at the forefront of a website manager’s mind. People might love the way your website looks but if its not easy to navigate or use, then its unlikely that they’ll return. Every second matters – a large number of website visitors will abandon a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load!

So with those three factors in mind, we’ve put together a few methods that can be put into practise before you decide to overhaul and re-design your entire website.

Keep things simple

Remove anything that you really don’t need from your website. Ideally you shouldn’t have heavy pages with all of your content on your homepage. Instead, think about and map out a customer journey and create a website structure. Take your time and really determine which pages and pieces of content fail to add value to your website.

Optimise Images

Images are typically the largest files on a web page. Compressing and scaling your imagery will ensure they take up less space and that the uploaded pictures are the same dimensions as referenced in your HTML code. Make sure that your images are hosted locally so that the website your server sits on isn’t making numerous requests to other servers, therefore increasing page load times.

Clean up your code

When it comes to code, less is more. A lot of websites use redundant code and contain a lot of unused code in the CSS (Cascading Style Sheet). Unnecessary code make files bigger and results in slower load times as the code attempts to match up with its HTML.

Unplug some Plugins

If you utilise Plugins on your website, its a good idea to keep an eye on them and get rid of the ones you no longer have a requirement for. A lot of plugins require your website to load CSS and Javascript files on top of your web page which can slow down your site.

If you’re unsure about how to go about testing or increasing your website speed, get in touch with us today for more information.

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