Nobody likes a slow website.

When building and maintaining websites we should take inspiration from the MotoGP and whizz through the race track faster than the eye can see.

40% of online shoppers will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds for a product page to load, according to the Forrester Research. There’s no doubt about it, page load speed matters.

In the fast paced environment that is the internet, browsers have no reason to hang around a slow website. Sure you could flick onto a different, faster website in the same time it could take you to load a slow page.

When researching for our Cart Abandonment E-book we found that there was an increased drop off rate after 3 seconds of page loading. But only 37% of brands achieved page load speeds of fewer than 3 seconds.

International brands scored an average of over 3 seconds for their page load speeds, with Irish brands scoring an average of 2.5>3 seconds (Woo! Go Ireland!).

How fast is your website?

You can find out how fast your website is with this week’s quick and easy Friday Freebie by Pingdom. Simply go to the site and type in your URL, or any URL for that matter, and your results will be coughed up in a matter of seconds. It’s that easy.

Pingdom Free Page Load Speed Tool

After taking this test you’ll either be popping a champagne bottle or be left in dismay due to being informed that your website is crawling in slow motion.

So what do you do if you have a slow website?

How to speed up your page loading speed

Here are a few quick tips to improve the loading time of your webpages. We didn’t bother with the technical stuff as only web developers would understand. But if you are in fact a techy then we’ll point you in the direction of the Google Developers site where you can learn the more technical details.

So here’s a few things you can do (or avoid) to help your page load speed:

  • When creating images in programs such as Photoshop, make sure you “Save for Web”. This option will not only allow you to change the quality of your image but will also strip the image of any unnecessary metadata such as camera model, the time the photo was taken, white balance, etc.
  • Make sure your images aren’t HUGE. The larger the image the more time it’ll take to load. HTML will automatically resize your image to fit into the website template, so it will appear small. However, the full sized image is still saved on the server which must load the FULL image and THEN analyse and resize the image accordingly. Cut out the middle man and just upload the correct sized image. The more steps needed to load your webpage the slower it will load.
  • Caching your web pages will increase the load speed for browsers. If you use a CMS system such as Wordpress it will do it automatically. This will save the browser from dynamically loading your webpage each and every time it is loaded, therefore increasing the load speed.
  • Avoid 301 redirects. The more 301 redirects you set in place for your website the longer it will take to load your webpages. This includes link shorteners. When a link is shortened, such as with Bitly, it must first run through the Bitly server and then redirect to your URL. This will cause a delay in the loading of your page and possibly result in browser drop off.

So our advice to you is to first check your website pages’ load speed and then correct any issues with the above methods. If your load speed is still not optimal you can get in touch with us at 256 Media and we’d be more than happy to help you out. We believe a faster internet benefits everybody so do your browsers a favour and hop on board the speed bike.

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