Whether you’re a multinational corporation or a local business, it’s almost essential to have a website these days. But just having a site isn’t in itself enough. If the site doesn’t perform well or is hard to navigate, then it may well be worse than not having one at all.
You might think that sitting waiting for a page to load is something that disappeared with dial-up internet access, but unfortunately, it’s a problem that’s still with us even in the broadband era. The problem might be down to the site itself or it could be due to the host: there are a number of reasons why a site can be slow to load.
In many cases, slow load times are due to site design. It’s important to remember that not everyone has a super fast fiber optic connection. In rural areas and even in some towns broadband speeds can still be relatively slow. A site that’s overloaded with graphics or widgets therefore may take a long time to load. It’s particularly frustrating if users are left waiting for just part of a page to arrive.
Slow load times could also be down to the way the site is hosted. If there isn’t enough bandwidth to cope with the volume of traffic that’s being generated for example, or if your site is sharing server space with another heavily-trafficked site.
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The Impact of Slow Sites
You might think that a slow-loading website isn’t a particular problem. But in the online world customers are becoming increasingly impatient. If you’re selling online, people won’t wait for your site if it’s slow to load but will go off and find a competitor’s page that loads faster. What’s more, if your site is consistently slow to load people will visit it less often. A slow site can even affect your ranking on Google searches.
When you’re looking at setting up a new website or at moving your hosting to a new provider it’s important to take speed of response into account. Reputable suppliers of Web hosting Leicester-based company pixelutopia for example, will offer fast server response and also give you options to manage your bandwidth – increasing it at periods of high seasonal demand, say.
You also need to consider the design aspects of the site in order to balance how it looks against performance. Take a look at the sites of some of your competitors, see how they perform and look at how they’re designed. Not that you should copy their ideas, but as with secret shopping you can always learn from how they do things.
It’s still possible to have a stylish, attractive site that loads quickly. Beware of externally hosted elements such as adverts, videos or page counters that could contribute to slow load times due to factors outside your control.
Remember that the performance of your website reflects on the image of your business as a whole, and that can also impact on your bottom line. It’s therefore vitally important to take your company website seriously and make sure it meets the need of your customers.