There are many causes for slow loading in websites many of which are avoidable. This comes with far-reaching implications that spread tentacles to your revenue and brand. This may mean bad business, since many customers look for alternative providers of your service. A slug in the general performance of the site generally means you are worse off in other areas not visible to your business associates and customers. Choosing a managed hosting provider can help prevent the following potential ways slow sites can hurt your business.
10 Ways Slow Sites can Hurt Your Business
1. It is costing your brand!
Many customers will despise or abandon your brand in case of pages loading in more than two seconds. Nobody wants to trust a company that has a website that loads in 10 seconds. Remember many internet users are wary of fraud, being swindled and are basically extremely defensive. Think about this, for every cohort of shoppers who have a bad experience on your website, 64% will go to competitor sites for alternative purchases. 88% will never return to your website and you just failed to make a great impression. 66% of the same will tell others about the poor experience with more than half doing it on the social media. Things may never get worse for your brand!
2. It costs sales
This is as plain as it is. A visitor comes to your landing page to buy a product. They open up several others from competitors and yours loads 10 seconds later. The client already bought the product. This is a dangerous repercussion since many web owners will never get to know of the bounces. Research indicates that for every four seconds in loading time, it will cost you 7% of conversions. This is a big deal! To put it to perspective, if you sell $2 million annually, this means that you get to sacrifice $140,000. Quick tip – choose a managed magento VPS hosting provider who can install NGiNX and Varnish on your hosting. This will massively decrease page loading time, and stop your site from hemorrhaging money.
3. It costs you direct traffic
Most visitors are not patient. As much as they will come to your pages to look for particular products, they will end up leaving for another better rendering website. Easy site navigation and faster loading will give them motivation to keep coming to your website. Remember that any bouncing traffic could mean loss of millions of advertising revenue or direct sales.
4. It costs you great search engine rankings
To put it flatly, Google hates slow websites. Google is the highest referrer to most websites, sometimes bringing in more than 70% of the traffic in many sites, so this is a great consideration to have. The loading speed is used in determining the SE ranking of your website so using their unique algorithm. Remember the faster the loading the better the rankings which will translate into direct business. Building up a great SEO campaign is often watered by simple things as loading speed so it is good to be keen on this matter.
5. Very high bounce rate from your pages and Low stop-over time on site
Stop over time simply refers to the amount of time a client will take to peruse other sections of your website after going through the landing page. Generally, much traffic will bounce off as fast as it came if the first page is slow to load. Keep your visitors motivated to peruse other sections of your website.
6. You get to lose potentially great employees!
This may sound weird but employees actually visit websites of prospective employers to assess the quality of their stay in their possible future job. Talent will obviously be attracted to great companies with great brands as it will help them ascend the corporate ladder quickly. Your slow page loading will most likely demotivate great people from signing contracts with your company. This may translate to millions in form of patents and intellectual property rights down the line.
7. Destroys your business networks
Like potential employees, potential business partners will most likely attach great weight to your website loading speeds and ingenuity. Remember the web is the only remote contact many multi-million dollar offers will get to your offices, so keep it efficient. Many partners will not prefer an associate with an inefficient website as it will destroy their credibility too. Bottom-line: keep your pages fast!
8. Eats into employee productivity
Think about this. If your website takes and extra second to load, this could translate to hours in employee time at the end of the week. If employees are taking two seconds instead of one for instance to access the intranet, it means half their productive time will practically be blown away. The matter gets exponentially complicated due to issues such as fatigue and demotivation due to the slow speeds. If one employee loses two hours daily out of eight, it means you are wasting a quarter of your wage bill each year. Speed up your pages.
9. Destroys your exit strategy
For entrepreneurs who plan to exit the industry at some point in the future, this is a big deal. You will want to build up a brand that will sell in future capitalizations, IPO’s and mergers. The only contact many prospective buyers will have with your is the website, so keep it efficient. In the end, it will pay off with oversubscribes IPO’s and competitors fighting to merge or acquire you.
10. Countless anonymous losses
Finally, there are many losses that go unnoticed in the course of a business life cycle. With suppliers, employees, partners, associates and customers relying on the website as the only point of contact, you will be amazed at how many unknown effects loading speed will have on your business. Talk of that cancelled $1 million contract cancelled to an unreliable brand, that award winning employee you just lost because your brand did not look cool and countless other possible incidences. The trouble with this class of losses is that there is no feedback given and most probably they will remain your unknown blind spot for a life time, and cost you millions.
How to fix this menace!
It pays to get a better host if the one you are on is costing you your brand. In most incidences it is always a great idea to upgrade your hosting plan to VPS. Try to compress your images and render them differently on different browsers and use combined layout with CSS sprites. This is awesomely efficient on bandwidth. Related to this, make some good use of HTML5 and CSS3 and avoid flash movies and shockwaves. Tracking codes must be reduced to minimum or placed as footers if it is really necessary to have them.
For CMS sites such as WordPress and Drupal sites, be very careful on your host choice. Get the right product as limited bandwidth slows traffic especially when traffic is intense. Do not install excess plugins as this affects loading time significantly. Choose your theme rationally and not based on how beautiful it is. Compress your images so that clients will not have to load a 2000 x 2000 pixel image on a 2G dial up network. In case of large traffic, this is a really good problem that many long to have. Consider upgrading to VPS hosting to allow wider non-shared bandwidths.
With all these measures, your brand new visitor-centered site will be good to go. Have fun as you set yourself up for millions through a great brand.