Slow page loading.
It is one problem that can cause online marketers to tense up their shoulders and lose their peace of mind.
Because slow site page load time means high bounce rate. And high bounce rate means fewer sales or in the case of nonprofits, fewer donations.
After all, if customers or donors don’t stay on your site for more than a few seconds, where would you get the opportunity to convince them that your products or services are worth a try?
Statistics also show that slow site speed is an anathema to growth. According to a report by HostingTribunal.com slow webpage loading time is the main reason for 51% of online shoppers to drop a purchase. The same could apply to consumers wanting to donate to their favorite cause.
But the damage doesn’t end here.
Nearly half of unhappy customers vent out their grievances on social media, warning hundreds of others, if not more, against engaging with online businesses that deliver poor customer experience. In other words, slow site can dent your sales as well as brand image.
So take the cue and make amends before it’s too late.
Here are a few tips that help you improve page load time, deliver better customer experience, reduce your bounce rate, and increase donations or sales.
Let’s dive in.
Pick the right hosting option
New online marketers usually opt for the hosting option that’s cheapest. When you are just starting, this option might prove sufficient. However, as your site traffic increases, you probably will need to upgrade.
There are three types of hosting options:
Shared hosting costs the least, but it also gives you low bandwidth because you share the server’s resources with others.
In VPS hosting, too, you share the server with others, but, unlike shared hosting, it allows you to have dedicated resources. For instance, other hosted sites can’t use the RAM meant for you. Naturally enough, you get more control and better performance with VPS.
When you opt for a dedicated server, you get more space and better bandwidth. Needless to say, it is also the costliest option.
In case your traffic levels are delaying server response time, you should consider switching to a better hosting option.
Minimize HTTP Requests
A web page comprises of different elements, like stylesheets, images, and scripts. When a user types your site’s URL, her browser submits a separate HTTP request for each of these elements. So the greater the number of on-page components you have, the longer your page will take to load.
All these files are very important because they influence your website’s appearance. However, they also increase the number of HTTP requests. Reducing the size of individual files and the total number of files can help you improve site page loading time.
There are several WordPress plugins that can make your files more compact and reduce the total number of files. You can use one with a good rating and positive reviews.
WordPress users can defer Java easily. Just download a suitable plugin and tick the box before “Load JS files deferred” or a similar option.
Videos embedded in your pages can delay page loading, especially on mobile devices. Removing videos is not a good solution because visual content does increase your engagement.
So what you can do?
The most effective, and not to mention easy, fix is to defer videos embedded from Vimeo, YouTube, Wisita, etc.
Unfortunately, no plugin is available for deferring videos. You will have to do some coding, or if that’s not your cup of tea, hire a good web developer.
With web speed being crucial to your bottom-line, as the following infographic shows, this is one investment you’ll not regret making.