Although it may sound cliché, it still needs reiterating that there can be no compromise on the page loading speed of WordPress websites. For optimal website performance, it is essential that the website speed is also optimal. It means that for providing an excellent online experience, websites have to open almost instantly by clicking the mouse. What expectations viewers have about website speed would be clear from the fact that 400 milliseconds, the time it takes for an eye to blink, might even seem too long for viewers. It would be great if the web page opening speed could be even better.
If you look at the elements that contribute to website speed, you will discover that it is not the website design alone that is responsible for speedy websites. Although the website design is a significant factor in determining website speed, there are other aspects that you have to consider. The hosting service is also responsible for influencing the page opening speed of websites. The internet network and browsers also affect the website speed. Web developers face the challenging task to ensure that the website speed stays up to the mark always so that viewers are happy. At the same time, the website owners have to ensure that they select the most efficient hosting service that supports the website speed under all circumstances.
The impact on business
So important is the page loading speed of websites, which is termed as website speed that you can hardly afford to take it lightly. Slow websites or websites that do not open up at lightning speed turn away viewers and defeats the purpose of creating websites. Viewers have the least tolerance for slow sites and do not mind to abandon it, never to revisit it. Since numerous other websites can meet the viewers’ expectations of speed and service, the website owners stand to lose everything. If there is a delay of just one second in page loading time, it translates into 11% fewer page views and the loss of conversion amounts to 7%. As winners take it all, websites that load faster also make heavy gains not only regarding business but also in search ranking.
It affects search ranking
Page loading speed is a ranking factor that Google had announced back in 2010. Faster loading websites have enjoyed a higher ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). According to the industry standard, two seconds is the maximum permissible time for page opening of e-commerce sites and Google pages, the aim is to achieve the target under half a second. The importance of page speed has grown even more ever since Google announced the mobile first index policy that emphasizes the need for mobile optimization, which in turn points to the need for faster loading responsive websites.
Factors that affect page-loading time
The time from the click to the time of display is the page loading time that we all know. However, on closer inspection, it would reveal that there are some different components to it besides the basic web design.
- How fast a web page opens up depends on the network speed and server time. The bandwidth of the internet connection and its speed is responsible for facilitating speedy opening of web pages and how quickly static assets like images and other reach the viewers.
- The time taken by the browser to parse the document and execute it for rendering the page to viewers is also a factor that affects page-loading time. The time that the page needs to open depends on the kind of platform or device used the type of browser and even the location of the data center.
- The hosting service can also affect the page-loading speed. Usually, shared hosting affects the website speed because another site’s problem can affect the performance of your website. Therefore, you have to look for some means to reduce server response time on your WordPress site so that the web page opening speed remains unaffected. Choosing a dedicated hosting service ensures that websites open at lightning speed regardless of the traffic load.
Look into the web design
Different pages of a website can have different loading times depending on the design of that specific page. Pages that have more functionality carry more content and have richer design elements comprising of images and videos would take much longer time to load than pages that have scanty design elements. Web developers must take into consideration the aspect of page loading speed when designing websites so that all pages are quick loading. However, you must do it without compromising on the overall quality of the site.
By using various tools to determine the average time it takes to load pages, web developers can work towards speed optimization of the web pages.
About the author: Derek Iwasiuk is a web developer who takes a deep interest in SEO. He has worked on several projects of improving website speed and can help to reduce server response time on your WordPress site. He operates a blog site on his own.