Multiple studies have shown that slower websites have fewer visitors, generate less revenue, and rank lower in Google.
Fractions of a second could cost you tens of thousands of dollars each year.
- Google ran a study where they slowed down their website by half of a second, and their revenue dropped by 20%.
- Amazon did an experiment where they slowed down their website by one tenth of a second, and revenue dropped.
How fast is fast enough? #
Amazingly, despite the varied power and bandwidth of mobile devices, users expect them to be faster than desktop computers.
Forty-percent of users abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load. That number skyrockets to 74% after five seconds.
So how fast is fast enough?
At a minimum, your website should load in three seconds or less. Ideally, that number should be around 1 second for a high-speed cable connection (your laptop), and closer to three seconds for a 3g mobile connection (your phone).
Your whole site doesn’t need to load in one second for it to feel fast. It just needs to start displaying content in that amount of time. In other words, perceived performance is more important than actual performance.
Is your website too slow? #
The first step to fixing your website? Figuring out if it’s broken. This is really quick and simple. Let’s find out how fast your website is.
- First, head over to http://webpagetest.org.
- Next, enter in your website’s URL.
- Leave everything else on it’s default and click “Start Test”.
There’s just one number we care about: Start Render Time. That’s how fast your site starts to display content. Ideally, it’ll take around 1 second for your site to start displaying content (that’s 1,000ms or “thousandths of a second”).
Take a look at your number. Is it higher than 1,000ms?
You might also repeat the steps above, but instead of leaving things at default, click “Advanced Settings,” and then change “Connection” to “Mobile 3G.” This will test your site’s speed on a mobile device. You want the Start Render Time here to be 3,000ms or lower.
If your site is too slow, don’t panic. There are a ton of little things you can do to make it faster without changing anything about the design of your site.