A speedy website ensures that your visitors have a better experience, you convert more customers & make more money.

In 2006, online shoppers had to wait 4 seconds for a web page to load. These days, people want them in less than 2 (Forrester Consulting). Amazon realised this, and found that it increased takings by 1% for every 100 milliseconds of improvement.  In real terms, if an ecommerce website is making £10,000 per day, a 1 second delay could potentially cost £250,000 in lost sales every year.

Here are our top tips to speed things up:

1. Reduce Requests

Every file featured on your website (e.g. CSS, images, JavaScript) needs to be downloaded from the webserver to your browser. Reducing the number of times that your browser needs to talk to the server can dramatically reduce loading times.

2. Optimise your Images

We all want beautiful, high-res images, but if they’re unnecessarily big they’ll quickly slow things down. Optimising your image sizes for their use will get things on track. In an ecommerce site, you may have three pages which use the same image; one listing a product, the product’s details & the original, with a zoom option. Resizing to the best minimum size for each of these ensures that the website doesn’t bother downloading a full size image when it isn’t needed.

3. Caching

Browsers & servers both allow for requests for images & styles to be remembered & stored. These allow your website’s speed to be improved, the user’s bandwidth reduced, and the experience enhanced.

4. Eliminate errors and missing assets

404’s are when you visit a page that no longer exists. These can increase bounce rate & most likely lose valuable traffic. You can still change, move or update things on your website, but when you do, be sure to implement a 301 redirect so people can still find their way. Fixing bad pages or missing assets, such as broken links & downloads, is one of the easiest ways to improve performance. You can diagnose these by using Google Webmaster Tools.

5. Use a CDN

Content Delivery Network’s sit between uses & your webserver. When things get busy they offload requests to dedicated servers, managing the flow of traffic & preventing your website from slowing or crashing. When configured properly, they will deliver content to users in the fastest way possible, allowing users to enjoy a seamless, speedy experience.

Fully optimising your websites performance may seem a bit daunting, but not doing so can catch you out & cost more in the long run. There's little point in having in a website that people don't bother with because it’s too slow & things don’t work.

If you want to discuss your options, give us a shout and we’ll get things working to full capacity for you.

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