According to Google, slow-loading sites come with a warning: 53% of visits are abandoned if a website takes longer than three seconds to load.
Generating perfect leads is one thing, but being unable to convert those same leads because they weren’t interested in waiting for your site to load? That’s something entirely different.
Conversion rate optimization is a key driver for improving your automated sales approach. Why would you risk decreasing your conversion rates by more than 7% because you are not optimizing your site speed for lightning fast results?
Don’t lose potential buyers of your product or service by making them wait for your website to load.
Power your growth with these simple tips instead.
It’s critical to explore how your web hosting directly impacts your initial page loads. Outside of horribly slow plugins, your overall speed is mostly affected by hosting.
Truth is, you can get hosting for uber cheap and uber expensive. Either way: you tend to get what you pay for.
There are countless cheap web hosting options available for your website needs. And, to muddy the waters even further, there are also many types of web hosting, such as shared hosting, managed hosting, and cloud hosting.
Everyone shares shared hosting. Think of one web server with thousands of web hosting accounts sharing it. It’s cheap, convenient and costs less than a 100 dollars or so a year. But, sharing your site on the same server with 1000s of other sites is a sure road to slow-loading site performance.
Dedicated is, well: yours. Dedicated hosting works best if your website is generating a ton of traffic and requires more resources for your eCommerce or Direct to Consumer (DTC) product or services. In this case, it makes sense to go with dedicated hosting.
However, dedicated hosting comes with a steep sticker price and hella more costly than shared hosting.
Cloud hosting, on the other hand, is ideal for small–to–medium market businesses because it removes the need for a physical or dedicated server. It also scales with your needs since it is tied to usage.
It makes for a smart choice when you finally speed up your site and start converting on those missed opportunities. Not to mention, it is efficient and offers advantages, such as on-demand resources, backups and scalability for your future high traffic needs. You’ll appreciate the value of daily dedicated backups if you’ve ever experienced the sheer panic of seeing your website hacked or corrupted on the daily.
Don’t make the mistake of taking your hosting or its costs too lightly. See how much you are spending or how much you should be saving with your hosting by using this helpful calculator from Cloudways.
Beyond servers and hosting, your images and graphics are often the primary bottleneck for slow site speeds. In fact, images are the leading cause of slow-loading websites.
Optimizing your images and reducing file size before uploading goes a long way for increasing site speeds. Big, bold and brilliant images are ideal for a visual medium, such as the internet, and bridge your strategic communication for products or services or even use cases.
How do you dazzle your readers with great imagery and still maintain lightning fast page loads? By taking a strategic approach to compression and dimensions. Since images significantly impact performance, quality compression matters. Aim to keep your web images to 200kB—or even lower, if possible.
There is an non-exhaustive list of applications for reducing file sizes. Export for web in Photoshop, use an online application, such as Squoosh, or try a WordPress plugin that optimizes images for you, such as WP Smush.
Your dimensions are also important to look at for determining your maximum visible size for section layouts in your page builder. A good rule of thumb is to limit your images to 1920 pixels wide, and that includes full-screen images that stretch across even entire extra-wide monitors.
There will always be arguments regarding the necessity for larger dimensions for higher-resolution monitors. And it is a valid argument. But, for the most part, you can’t really tell the difference between a side–by–side comparison of a high-resolution image and a regular-resolution image.
In the end, make the decision based on what matters more: a faster loading site with big, bold and brilliant images that are properly compressed. Keep it simple and keep it lightweight or run the risk of a performance hit on your bottom line: increasing your conversion rates.
One more tip is to scale your images to fit the container. It doesn’t make sense to save images as 1920 pixels when 800 pixels are what’s called for in the section. In a nutshell: the displayed size is the required size.
There is no tried and true formula for how many plugins you use for your WordPress website. A golden rule to keep in mind is to only use as many as you need. At the moment, there are more than 50,000 WordPress plugins. It makes sense to prioritize your plugins based on importance and remove potential bloat from unused plugins.
Make a conscious decision to regularly update your plugins and do more than increase lightning fast site loads: take an extra step to prevent security vulnerabilities from out–of–date plugins or themes that slow down your site.
While you’re at it, look into lean and simple themes and page builders, such as Thrive Themes and Thrive Architect, and not only because of the simplicity—but also because of future scalability for quizzes, forms, eLearning, and oh so much more.
Putting it all into practice
Much like any skill in life, you can also become a great web designer with a marketing mindset by studying, experimenting, and building sites.
But, you may not have time for that.
You’re running a business, after all.
You can save time, money, and frustration with a site by Clickex. We manage the design, development, and ongoing monthly management to nail every single point outlined above.
We are on a mission to bring tens of thousands of hours and millions of dollars (actually) of web design and digital marketing experience to up–and–coming Alberta small businesses.
By keeping our pricing model incredibly simple and affordable.
We ask the right questions to uncover your business needs and unpick your marketplace.
We break down your project into clear and measurable deliverables with a unique brand voice and positioning, with real levers to scale your business.
Want to learn more about how Clickex is the next best click for powering your growth? Chat with our team today and let us show you how to build a legacy brand through the power of the internet.