web design

Speed Matters – Website Performance and Perception

Every organization wants a beautiful website and there is no question that a well-designed website has a huge impact on how your business or organization is perceived. Something that is not as obvious at first glance is how much of an impact the speed and performance of your website can have on its ultimate effectiveness. Here is an overview of the real world impacts of good performance and what you need to know when striving for the best web experience for your visitors.

A fast and well-performing site might seem like a foregone conclusion, but you’d be surprised just how big of an effect it can have on your organization’s success:

  • Amazon looked at the issue and found that each additional 1/10th of a second of load time corresponded with a 1% reduction in sales.
  • Walmart found that for every second they improved their page load times they added an additional 2% to their conversion rate.

These numbers reveal that even a small change in your website performance can improve its effectiveness significantly.

Web performance isn’t only about improving the conversions on your site. Did you know Google uses the performance of your website as a ranking factor in search results? The perceived speed of your site has a direct connection to how users feel when they use your site. The faster it is, the happier they are. Google wants to give their users the best search results possible, and since a faster site gives a better user experience, Google ranks it higher in the search results.

Faster site = better user experience = higher search ranking = greater success!

So, what can be done to improve page load times?
Many factors come into play when it comes to the performance of your site. It makes sense to evaluate them all when working towards the best possible user experience.

Key areas to consider are:

  • The design of the visual aspects
  • Optimizing the user experience
  • Optimizing the site’s interface to provide instant feedback
  • Keeping graphics optimized for speedy loading
  • Reducing the amount of initial content load

Beyond visual design, it’s important to ensure all systems behind the scenes are optimized as well. Fast servers, fast databases, content caching, and content distribution networks can all be optimized to get that content to your visitors in record time.

Website performance is crucial to your organization’s success. Every member of your web team — from the designers and content strategists, to the copywriters and graphic artists, to the folks running your hosting and programmers coding the site — all have a vital role to play in achieving the best results possible from your online presence.