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Utility Trade

Jul 16, 2019

A Good Website Design Isn't Just Essential for Aesthetics - It's for Performance Too!

Did you know the performance of your website is just as important as how it looks?
 
While the best practices of site building have surrounded design for ages, speed has emerged in recent years as a critical usability ranking factor.
 
Let’s examine how poor performance negatively affects sites and how to avoid it.Your site is at risk of encountering these three issues if performance isn’t up to snuff.
 
Drops in conversions and sales
Speed is crucial online. Customers expect pages to load in the blink of an eye as if changing TV channels. Slow loading sites experience high bounce rates and cart abandonment. Recent data indicates 2.5 seconds is the median time it takes for the first visible item to appear on a loading page—a performance metric called start render time. Top performing sites boost a start render time of under 900 milliseconds.
 
Now consider the effects of even a slight delay. Aberdeen Group research found each 1-second page load delay decreases conversion rates by 7%, page views by 11%, and customer satisfaction by 16%. A 2-second delay during checkout skyrockets cart abandonment rates up to 87%.
 
Nosedives in search rankings
Load speed has been a prominent Google ranking factor since April 2010. That’s nearly a decade of fast page delivery as a staple of SEO and usability best practices! The quicker your pages load, the better your search visibility. With keywords, content, and other SEO tactics becoming more competitive than ever, load speed could be the factor that lifts your site to the top of a crowded field.
 
Increased downtime
Your site’s performance is only as good as the web hosting quality behind it. Does your hosting service provide sufficient bandwidth to meet visitor demand? Are load speeds where they need to be? Do customers complain about annoying timeouts or resource issues?
 
Flaky hosting leads to unexpected downtime and critical service outages that hurt your bottom line. Of course, webmasters aren’t helpless against the perils of poor site performance. Here are a few tips to ensure your site loads lightning fast and is always available:
 
Balance design with performance needs
Elaborate style sheets, scripts, and images cost precious load time. Make sure your code isn’t compromising speed.
 
Minimising HTML requests and code files, using CSS and JavaScript asynchronous loading, and enabling compression are all ways to reduce page delivery overhead.
 
Frequently review site performance metrics
Metrics like start render time, DNS lookup time, time to interact, error rate, and bounce rate identify pain points in the loading process.
 
Rely on a reputable hosting service to be the backbone of your site
It might be well worth purchasing premium options such as dedicated servers, CDNs, ultrafast SDDs, unlimited bandwidth, and guaranteed 99.99% uptime. 

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