It’s 2021 and more business than ever before is done online. Your TV, movies, music, taxis, food and pretty much all you could need are at the touch of a button, on demand.
People expect everything, immediately. Next day delivery was deemed insufficient, so Amazon started offering same-day delivery. Google Maps and Waze trim that extra couple minutes from your journey. Deliveroo allows us to re-order the same food as last time, in a few clicks.
53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds.Google/SOASTA Research, 2017
So why do so many still think that it’s ok for websites to take several seconds to load? I believe it comes down to a misconception that the fastest speeds, come at the greatest costs. That to optimise the delivery of your website requires more money to be thrown at the hosting companies. It’s simply not the case.
Over the past few years, I’ve spent an increasing amount of time focussing on not making websites but delivering them as fast as possible. In the past, we used to have to manually optimise our code, configure our services with nerdy software to cache our responses and compress our files. Manually tweaking every split second of performance, like a race mechanic tweaking an engine. This was complex stuff and it took time.
With services like CloudFlare offering many of these tools, automatically and free of charge, the tweaks that used to take us ages to configure manually, are available within minutes. All without the need for years of experience or even access to code / servers themselves.
Why are websites still slow?
I think it’s just awareness that services like these exist. That with a bit of tweaking, your site can load rapidly, without breaking the bank. We can make user-experiences that load instantly, not only retaining the visitors to your site but truly engaging them.
No matter what, faster is better and less is more.Source: Google/SOASTA Research, 2017.
Changes to Google Search
In May 2021, Google are changing their search algorithm, focussing on listing websites with strong user experience first, based on what they call “signals”. These signals include how fast a page loads, mobile friendliness and web security. So being slow will damage your position in the search engines, reducing the amount of traffic being directed to it and ultimately diluting its value.
This updated algorithm means that if you and your competitor have similar websites, with similar content and designs, but your website loads quickly, you’ll start to see that your site appears higher in the search results than theirs. Higher search results, mean more traffic to your site.
Having a fast website in 2021 is more important than ever. Check out the PageSpeed Insights tool for a quick indicator at how fast your website is or get in touch for a website speed audit. (The slowest pages on higgster.com are on average 97% on Desktop, can yours beat them?)