A slow site leads to bad user experience and bad user experience leads to frustration and loss of business. The speed of your site can also have an impact on SEO which cause you to appear further down the rankings on Google.
First, let's look at user experience. According to research done by Kissmetrics, 40% of users abandon a website site if it does not load within three seconds. This can have a huge impact on sales and customer interaction.
The SEO of the site is also a concern when it comes to site speed. Google uses Page Loading Speed as one of the ranking factors that will have an impact on your site and where it appears in the search results. This is checked on both desktop and mobile for best results.
How to test site speed
There are many tools out there to check site speed but at Gecko we use:
A tool developed by Google to give users feedback on the issues found within a site and how to address them. It uses a lot of the same tools that are used when a website is crawled by their search engine so it can give good indicators of what is useful to improve SEO.
The most popular tool on the market for testing site speed. It integrates both YSlow and PageSpeed. It will also give you detailed guidance on how to speed up your site speed. The clarity of this tool is the main reason it is so popular. When testing a site you will get a score. Anything below a B is too slow and should be addressed.
How to speed up your website
When we build a site there are a number of things we do. Most of them centre around making the files smaller and easier for your browser to the cache.
CDNs (Content Delivery Network) are a network of servers across the world that are used to host some of your site's content such as JS, CSS and even media such as images and videos.
CDNs are not something we often use as many of the companies we work with are within the UK and the servers we use are very well optimised for delivery of such content.
Compressing your images for the web is very important. We have a few tools imployed within Umbraco that will reduce the size and dimensions of images but it is always best to start with the most optimized image possible.
If you would like to learn more about this, check out our article on How to optimise images for the web without losing quality.
Deferring parsing of content
The future of things to come
With the internet becoming more and more mobile and sites becoming more and more complicated as technology develops, it is vital we find a way to decrease the size of the webpages to deliver the smallest package possible.
With this in mind, Google has come up with a framework for building sites called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). This is a framework to reduce the amount of code needed and to put the user first with regards to content delivery. At Gecko, we have not implemented AMP pages yet at but we are looking to do so in the near future to improve our site speeds even further!
Got any more questions about site speed? Tweet us, @wearegecko!