Why does Website Performance matter?
Great website performance is the pillar of a successful website. Website performance refers to how quickly the page of your website loads and displays content for users.
Improving your website performance will skyrocket your user experience and also your SEO rankings.
In 2010, Google announced that page speed would be a ranking factor.
Fast forward to 2018, now landing pages and mobile search speed also affect your ranking.
First impressions count as they influence users’ decisions to convert, purchase, or leave the website. Poorly optimised websites can be driving your users away, taking their business somewhere else. Website performance should not be overlooked as real-world data suggests that faster websites receive more conversions.
Top reasons to consider optimising your website:
- Faster websites on average increase conversion rates
- A faster website improves brand awareness
- Gives you a competitive edge
- Google uses it as a ranking signal
How can you measure website performance?
Conveniently there are websites, apps, and desktop applications to test your performance.
Here are some common website performance mistakes to avoid:
Problem 1: Bad Web Hosting
The results of choosing a bad web host can stick around even after you switch to a better host.
The web hosting space has become crowded and fracted, and all thanks to 1.8 billion websites online as of 2020. The ever-rising demand for hosting has caused an increase in cost-effective providers that are willing to take advantage of their customers.
Mediocre hosting comes in form of low-cost tiers to attract crowds of unsuspecting individuals and businesses looking for a good deal.
What may seem like a good deal but turns into a nightmare of website spikes and slow speeds.
Problem 2: Too Many Plugins
Often you need that extra functionally and features, but having too many plugins can have an impact on your website performance. The more plugins you add, the higher the chance of bloating your website.
Even sign-up forms and analytics codes have the potential of bottlenecking your performance. As a result, the more plugins you add equals more HTTP requests and code lines. While plugins might add certain functionalities, the end-users have to load the code and wait longer to access your website.
It is best to keep add-ons to only the essentials to maintain optimal website performance.
Problem 3: Too many External links
Having too many ads or external links may cause your website real-estate to fill up quickly. Any links that are loaded from a third party can drastically degrade your website performance.
The possibility of financial losses that come with high bounce rates far outweighs the benefits that ads or third-party external services offer. If your user is loading external services on every page, it could slow their experience or even interrupt your page display.
Problem 4: Bloated Design Theme and Media-rich content
The theme design is often overlooked in regards to website performance. Tempting as it may be, feature and multimedia-rich content can harm impatient visitors. Your design may seem fast, but there may be unused code being loaded.
Fast performance and functional multimedia are essential for any website, be careful when deciding on your design as every second counts to drive conversions.
Problem 5: Mobile Mistakes
Mobile searches are well above more than 50% of searches, meaning the need for a mobile-friendly website is more crucial than ever.
It is said that websites should load in less than 3 seconds, and another problem is that a fast desktop website does not always translate to a fast mobile experience.
Your website should include a mobile version but make sure they are being served in the correct format. Doing so makes sure that mobile users do not receive files that would otherwise slow them down.
Problem 6: Caching problems
The fastest way to load the website element is by utilising cache. It might be hard to believe, but some websites still make this mistake. The cache is like a “loyalty card”, do you expect to receive a new card every time you go back to your favourite coffee shop? In saying that, the cache is a saved version of your website that gets stored so that user’s loads your website faster the next time they visit.
The cache can also be set on a period basis, such as setting a far-future cache for static elements to improve performance. Setting up cache is an easy problem to solve, especially for repeat visitors.
Problem 7: Not using a CDN
A CDN or Content Delivery Network is a group of servers that hold the elements of your website (multimedia, CSS, etc.) in different regions.
This network allows for fast access to your website data in any part of the world.
Let’s say you have a fast website in Australia, do you expect the speeds to be the same in different countries? CDN’s take your important data and stores it in different regions, making sure users across the world have the same fast experience.
Images play an important part in all websites, and they also can affect your website page performance. One high-quality image can be larger than 3MB, and while that may not sound big, it is recommended that your whole web pages size should be under 3MB.
The common problem with images is uploading and using them unoptimised. Scaling an image to a smaller size doesn’t change the file size of an image. Optimising images is very simple (you can read more on our image optimisation blog), and doing so will reduce the file size dramatically.
In conclusion, your website performance should be at the top of your priority list. Improving your website performance will increase your conversion rates, boost brand awareness, give you a competitive edge, and boost your SEO rankings.
Check how your website performs and see if you find any of the mistakes discussed.