How much money are you losing due to slow website speed?

by Chris Massaro

Most business owners are just becoming aware of the importance a quick loading website has on your online presence, yet many don’t know just how vital it is. We hear the question all the time: “How much money am I losing due to slow website speed?” The answer, unfortunately, is much more than you think.

Just think of it this way: how do you feel when you visit a poorly-performing website? Are you willing to wait around while a slow site loads? Are you less than impressed when elements fail to appear? If you are, you’re not alone. According to recent surveys, nearly 90% of customers say they are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience. More than 75% of people reported leaving a slow-loading website for a competitor’s site.

To improve the user’s browser experience, Google has reportedly made site speed a factor when it comes to ranking websites. This means that a slow website may no longer show up at all for those valuable keywords that your business relies on.

Calculate Your Losses

So, is there a way to calculate how much business you could be losing due to a slow website? To find the cost, use this formula:

(Monthly Traffic * Est. Visitor Loss) * Conversion Rate = Est. Conversion Loss

Let’s say, for example, you convert 5% of your traffic, your traffic is 10,000, and you’re losing 10% of your visitors:

(10,000 * 0.10) * 0.05 = 50

If 20% of your website conversions become cases and the average case is worth $10,000, then:

(Conversions * Case Rate) * Average Case Value = Est. Speed Cost

(50 * 0.20) * 10,000 = $100,000

Cost due to slow website = $100,000 per month

 

The Money-Draining Culprits

So, now that you know how much money you might be losing due to slow site speed, how do find out what’s causing it, and more importantly, how do you fix it? First, make sure that the company that manages and hosts your site performs a site speed test to identify any issues that might be slowing it down.

Your provider will likely run a basic site speed and maybe more detailed load time tests. We’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the most important reasons your site is loading slowly.

JavaScript and CSS are both code that help your website stay engaging and stand out from other websites. A website without these will be restricted to basic functionality and a lackluster appearance. If the code is left without optimization, it can unfortunately cause delays in your site’s load time.

When a browser makes a request to download your site, it must load every JS/CSS file before the site can be shown, or be rendered. For this reason, it’s recommended to combine external CSS files when possible. Switching to inline JS and CSS can also help some websites. However, many have seen the best results deferring JS until the rest of the webpage is viewable.

A CDN allows you to host your website on a network of physically spread out servers, diminishing the time it takes for distant visitors to load your site. By using just one main server for all your traffic, you are adding unnecessary load time to your website.

You can also load some of your websites code, like jQuery, on a CDN just like you would with other media. Popular solutions like Cloudflare will work for the majority of websites.

Your database holds all the information needed for your site to work. The files in your database can vary from logs to plugins or theme files and folders that can accumulate over time. This excess, or “overhead,” can cause database queries to increase load time. If the overhead goes unoptimized too long, your visitors could start experiencing server time-out errors.

Server maintenance is an important factor to keeping your site at top speed. This is something your website managing/hosting company should do regularly, as it only takes access to the phpMyAdmin tool to start optimizing your tables.

A “cache” of your website is a copy that has been downloaded to your web browser, so that the next time a user visits your website, the browser re-loads the cache instead of having to download the entire website again. The cache stays on the browser for a short time and is forced to reload after any changes have been made to your site.Plugins are a common method of adding caching to websites, and some web hosts offer the service as well.

As cameras continue to get better, image and video files will continue to get larger. Hosting high resolution images and video on your site can make it look more clean-cut, but it could also be slowing down your site. Luckily there are many ways you can optimize your images via compression.

Some plugins for your site help you compress images that are delaying your load speed. There’s also free online tools like TinyJPG that accomplish the same thing. Compressing video files is more complicated and not recommended. For this reason, hosting them externally on sites like Vimeo or YouTube are commonly the most efficient solutions.

Code can get messy. The more code a browser has to load, the longer it takes for your website to be viewable. If your website’s code is too messy or contains unnecessary characters and line breaks, your load time will likely be slower.To combat this, you must clean up, or “minify,” your code by removing unnecessary elements. On a WordPress site, there are plugins like Autoptimize and WP Super Minify that will minify your code as well as inlining and optimizing some CSS and JS files.

Long loading times, timing out, and 404 errors can be signs of some missing files in your WordPress installation.Recovering these files means having to track down which ones are missing – which can take a lot of time. It’s usually simpler to revert your site to a previous version or a backup that had all files intact.

Plugins, while helpful in most cases, can occasionally slow your website down or cause it to malfunction. It only takes a few oversized plugins to have an impact on site speed. Removing unused plugins is the best practice for this scenario.

 

Turbocharge Your Website

If you’re ready to get your site up to speed, contact The Search Engine Guys today. Our web designers have the expertise to boost your site’s speed so you can retain more of your income. Contact us at (512) 394-7234 or online to get off to the races.