From Usain to Google: Why Speed Matters For Your Business

Speed of Light

In this mobile age, website visitors are getting less patient. People are constantly looking for information online and the last thing they need is a slow loading web page. Customers cannot happily wait for sites to display web content.

They would rather go elsewhere – to a competitor that has a better speed, even if the difference is only a fraction-of-a-second. This goes to show how much we’ve become less tolerant to online inconveniences over the years.

You see, the reason why marketers and business owners need to take page speed more seriously than ever is that it’s going to affect every site metric they care about – page views, bounce rate, ad viewability, average sessions, and most definitely conversions and sales.

And by the way, page speed is a ranking signal in Google’s algorithm, which implies that optimizing it will mean better ranking and more organic traffic for brands.

Not so convinced about the impact of page speed on your web performance and users’ experiences? Let’s explore some quick stats.

Some quick stats on page speed

Based on an Amazon study, a mere 0.1s decrease in response times results in a 1% decrease in sales. In an article on Conversion XL, it has been mentioned that OrangeValley has witnessed the direct effect of load time on conversion rate. When their speed dropped by 1%, their conversions plunged by 25%.

Now that you understand how an improvement in page speed drastically enhances any site’s bottom line, what are the tools or strategies that businesses can use?

Using a website builder to increase page speed

If you decide to choose a website builder to help you deliver the best page speed possible, we need to look at some leading builders in the market. Let’s look into five leading site builders in terms of page speed. We’ve chosen the following: Duda, Wix, Weebly, WordPress, and SquareSpace

1. Duda

Duda is one of today’s site builders that automatically provides fast loading web pages within 30 seconds after a website is published and republished on the platform. By adhering to Google PageSpeed Rules and Recommendations, Duda ensures that any user’s browser would load all JavaScript code last to prioritize display of content. Image size will be reduced to a significant degree while ensuring topnotch quality.

Current Duda users can confirm that their site has been optimized for speed by checking the HTML source of their home page. They should expect to see the style code “criticalCss.”

We selected one of Duda’s sites http://amir362.multiscreensite.com/. After testing the site for page speed, it scored 91/100 for mobile speed and 97/100 for desktop speed.

Duda

2. Wix

Wix acknowledges the fact that websites in the past load much faster since they mostly contain text and less animations. Today’s users are quite different – richer content has become a high preference. That includes apps, slideshows, and high quality images.

To shorten site loading time, Wix automatically resizes any image that’s below 15mb. It also uses a CDN to optimize content delivery in less time.

Wix

3. Weebly

Weebly as a website builder offers recommendations for users to make their sites load faster. Though it doesn’t automatically resize or resample uploaded images, it advises people to choose beforehand the best image format with a minimal file size.

Based on Weebly’s web support, users can upload all their chosen images at once instead of doing it separately. They can then use the HTML code box to link to their images.

Weebly

4. WordPress

WordPress comes with tons of theme developers and this alone can cause variations in page speed. However, users have the total freedom to work on page speed whichever way they like on the platform. That can mean installing WordPress-friendly plugins that dramatically improve speed performance.

Users can also follow some practices while on WordPress such as minimizing post revisions.

Wordpress

5. SquareSpace

SquareSpace follows several measures to speed up all the sites it hosts. These measures include using a CDN to deliver content regardless of file size.

It also provides some recommendations you can use while hosting your site on the platform such as limiting your font styles to two and removing custom code.

Squarespace

Manually speeding up your website

Without using a website builder that’s pre-built for speed, marketers can work on their speed by themselves using the methods below. However, these strategies may take time and effort.

    • Reduce the file size of your images – Before you add your images to your site, make sure that you have them resized and compressed using a reliable compression tool so that your images don’t lose their quality.
    • Use a simple design – This goes to say that your site should be as “minimalistic” as possible. But this may not appeal to you if you plan to have richer elements.
    • Combine images using CSS sprites – This increases page speed by combining multiple images (buttons, icons, and more) into a single image or a few files. You can use a sprite generator tool to accomplish this.
    • Place CSS code at the head of the page and JavaScript at the bottom – If you remember, Duda automatically accomplishes this process as you use its platform. The problem with using the manual method on your own is that there might be scoping issues. Moreover, progressive rendering in several browsers may not be possible.
    • Uninstall plugins you don’t need – Know that not all plugins are created alike. Those that load a lot of scripts and add extra database queries should be avoided. Only use a plugin if you really need it.

    Final Thoughts

    Page speed matters today more than ever. Customers positively respond to fast loading web pages. Brands that place a high priority on speed can expect their other marketing areas to improve as well. Again, a single optimization on page speed impacts actionable metrics, especially revenue and user experience.

    While there are various methods for businesses to work on speed, using a website builder that adheres to the best practices makes all the difference. Brands can make critical aspects of their business operations right but with a slow loading page, results become futile.

    Can you beat the legendary sprinter Usain Bolt out of the blocks? If the world’s fastest man has made an impossible record, there’s no reason why you can’t – with a website built for speed. It just needs the right approach.

    This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.

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