How important is the loading speed of a website?

We all know that a slow loading website does not offer the most enjoyable browsing experience. In today’s online environment, speed is everything. Nobody wants to stay on a website that takes too much to load. In fact, your website has a timeframe of just 3 seconds to capture the attention of a visitor when he is accessing your site. If your website takes more than 5 seconds to load, chances are you are losing customers. According to specialized studies, 80% of online buyers believe that the most important purchasing decision maker is the loading speed.

Websites that load faster are preferred not only by visitors, but also by search engines. Both Google and Bing have admitted that the loading speed of a website is an important factor for its page rank. Any loading speed longer than 3 seconds is considered inacceptable.

 

My website is slow. Is there something I should do?

In case you are dealing with a slower website, there are some things you can do to help it load faster. Those that use WordPress can add several plugins that help improve the performance, such as a plugin for cache and a plugin for optimizing the images. All other add-ons that you don’t use should be deactivated, because they are wasting your bandwidth and add a greater risk of insecurity, which sometimes can lead to various problems. We recommend that you only use the plugins that are mandatory for your business.

Sometimes, the template you are using can affect the loading speed of the website. Testing a new theme might help you reduce the response time of your site. Simplifying the design of the page can be done by reducing the number of items on the website, using CSS instead of images whenever is possible, and reducing and simplifying the page scripts. When it comes to a website, flexibility is a basic element.

When it comes to images, there are three things you have to consider: the size, the format and the src attribute. Storing large images may even worsen the loading speed. That is why, it is recommended that you try to compress images as much as possible. The most used and recommended format is JPG.

Another thing you can do to improve the website loading speed is performing a virus scan. If your website has a virus, this can be one of the reasons your website is so slow. Use a licensed scanning program to discover all your issues fast and easy.

 

Should I change my hosting provider?

In order to have an increased loading speed, you need to consider the various technical aspects that influence your website response time. The server running the website must be as powerful, secure and well maintained as possible. It is very important that it is located in the area and country where most of your visitors come from.

Therefore, sometimes, the hosting provider can be the cause for why your website takes more time to respond, especially if you are using a shared hosting service and you own a website which receives a lot of visitors on a daily basis. In this case, a package upgrade is necessary.

In other cases, the issue might be even with the company that is giving you hosting. If your provider doesn’t have the most performing servers or overcrowds them with shared hosting accounts, the only solution is changing the provider.

Hosting plays a very important role in the loading speed of a website. Shared hosting will always take longer to load than a dedicated server. In the best-case scenario, you should choose a hosting company that is renowned for its services and insist for a dedicated server, if you want your website to have the best response time it can have. For monitoring your website loading speed, you can use online tools like: Yslow or Google’s PageSpeed Tools to learn more about the requirements of your site and how to improve the response time.

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