Is Your Web Page Load Time Dragging Your Business Down


We live in a time when search engine giants like Google think nothing of investing millions of dollars in ever-faster data centers just so that they may shave a few microseconds off the time it takes them to perform searches (which are already measured in fractions of seconds). For every extra millisecond that they make the searcher wait for his results, Google estimates that the searcher feels less and less satisfied with his search results.

Imagine then how today's users would react to the dial-up modem of the early 90s that delivered crude text to screens at breathtaking 1200 baud speeds. Well, to business owners who actually remember the way things used to be 20 years ago, the web page load time on their business website today seems practically unbelievable. They see no room for improvement there.

Unfortunately, this is not how young consumers out there feel. For the most part, broadband is the least that they have ever experienced. Any web page load time that's longer than a second seems too long to them. The problem is that the amount of time a webpage takes to load often has a direct effect on how long the visitor chooses to stay and look around. If the first page he comes on takes a few seconds loading, he's right away going to feel that since all other pages on the website will take just as long, that it's just not worth sticking around.

It is provable that when faced with his slow web page load times, visitors will often just click away and never come back to the website. Websites can demonstrably lose visitors for good if they have slow load times. But that isn't even the biggest problem.

Search engines, when they send their spiders out to crawl every website out there so that they may index every webpage, also learn about how long each page takes to load. Search engine algorithms are beginning to use these load times in how they rank those pages. The search engines don't want to push pages to the top of that aren't likely to make visitors happy. That's the way the search engines stay popular – by making sure that searchers are happy with their search results.

How do you make sure that your webpage load time is as tight and is quick as possible? Well, there are a few simple rules.

You need to make sure that your website uses code that is compliant with every major standard. Any nonstandard stuff is going to slow things down. Every picture that's on your webpage should be compressed. That's the best way to send data out as quickly as possible. You also want to make sure that you make it easy on visitors' browsers when they load your page. Make sure that every image has its width and height attributes spelled out. Without this, the the browser will have to work it out on its own; it takes time.