Website performance: how it affects metrics and how to improve it
In the modern digital age, site performance is the topmost priority for anyone who wants to compete in the online space and receive positive user affirmation. And today’s users want to get the information they want as quickly as possible. Therefore, they want all sites to load no slower than 2-3 seconds. And on mobile platforms, they want it the same and without dropping in quality.
However, user experience is not the only thing that is affected by site performance. Although it is sometimes considered as part of it, brand perception is actually a separate matter, still affected by the site’s performance. And taking both into account, it also affects the potential income the web project owner will receive.
Website performance 101
Technically speaking, performance is a comprehensive assessment of a number of metrics that affect website loading speed. It’s obviously determined not by some numeric value, but by the experience your site provides to its users. The faster your site is loading on users’ devices, desktop or mobile, the higher the site performance evaluation is and the better the experience of its users will be.
Therefore, it is essential to optimize your site so that its loading time will be as short as possible for every single user, no matter where and on what device. Mobile platforms included. And the vital starting point for performance optimization is site monitoring. For instance, monitor website uptime on host-tracker.com along with other metrics that can affect performance, and fix every issue and potential slowdown the system will show you.
Optimizing the site will lead to two main benefits for your site and your business or project in general. First, of course, is low conversion/bounce rate – more visitors will become frequent users or consumers, and fewer visitors will leave to competitors. This is critical for any web project, and especially vital for business sites, literally referring to overall user satisfaction.
The second benefit is an approval of your site’s reliability from related development and promotion services, starting from search and advertising engines, and up to partnership programs. For instance, such services as Google Search and Google Ads, the leaders in their respective fields, highly rate only sites with short loading times and high uptime percentages.
To sum it up, maintaining the site performance in high numbers is the vital thing to achieve success in any web project. And monitoring the metrics that affect it, along with uptime and using blacklist monitoring service – host-tracker/en/ic/dnsbl-check to prevent site blacklisting just in case, is the main part of the routine to ensure that the site is running at its peak.
Website performance important points
Site performance improvement, as it was stated before, has a leading role on the road to web project success, especially if it’s about business. There are four main points to consider when evaluating performance – overall users’ experience, retention, conversion/bounce rate and perception of your brand by users and third parties like potential business partners.
A well-made and well-optimized site will, by any means, lead to a positive experience for its visitors who will most likely stay and engage with the quick site. The result will be an increase in the conversion rate and a decrease in the bounce rate. And a poorly designed, poorly optimized, slow-loading site will have the opposite effect. Simply put, it will have a negative impact on potential sales.
As stated by Google, any site should load in less than 3 seconds to satisfy users. And Mobile First rule states that it should be optimized in the completely same manner, but with a weight that is 50% less than its desktop version. It is crucial to maintain both full and mobile site versions to ensure that your project delivers a positive experience to its visitors and leaves its users satisfied by its performance.
Website visitors’ retention
On the same note with users’ experience and satisfaction, retention must attract visitors to stay on your site, therefore increasing conversion rate. But it will be rendered ineffective if the site performance is bad, its loading speed is low, and it shows no catching content as soon as loading starts.
Visitors simply will lose patience while waiting and then leave for competitors’ sites. Extra seconds will raise the bounce rate by a quarter, two seconds will double it, and more than three seconds will make it as close as it can be to 100%. Therefore, meeting performance expectations is crucial for retaining visitors, particularly first-time ones.
Website conversion rate and sales
As was stated already, poor performance will be followed by a lower conversion/bounce rate. It doesn’t matter if conversions mean nothing to your project. Low conversions will still mean low user satisfaction. And unhappy visitors will be less likely to interact with the site at all. That’s a fail mark for every business, even if it’s a niche one or even, if that’s realistically possible, if it has a one-of-a-kind product to offer.
Therefore, it’s important to understand the connection between the site performance, its conversion rate, users’ satisfaction and overall web project and its related business success. The better the site performs, the higher conversions will be, and the higher interactions and sales it will lead to.
A slow site can negatively affect a business’s reputation, as visitors may perceive the business as lacking competence, security, and good customer service. In addition, slow sites can impact search engine optimization efforts as search engines prioritize fast-loading sites.
Slow sites may be penalized in search rankings, reducing the chances of potential customers finding the business in search results. This can harm the brand’s image and credibility, hindering growth in the competitive online market.
Website performance improvement tips
As it should be obvious, the site performance is affected by more than just server response time. And site owners need to know how to fix any issues affecting their performance. Because only setting up a monitoring is not enough to ensure a site’s optimal performance. From a casual user’s point of view, every site is a solid thing, so it’s essential to understand all the factors affecting its overall performance.
Web server, reliability, bandwidth and location
Reliable web server performance with appropriate bandwidth is vital to avoid slow loading times due to server issues. However, server location can impact loading times. For example, a server in New Zealand may cause slow loading times for users in London. Just add site on hosttracker ping tracker tool and choose a location far away from your server, and you’ll understand. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help by shortening the distance between users and the server.
Maintaining content size on web pages
The size of the site, or its weight, is determined by its resources. This includes everything from the web page’s code and to integrated third-party services. And, to put it simply, the heavier everything is, the longer the site loading time will be. That means that lightweight sites will obviously load faster. Therefore, it’s vital to balance your site between its elements’ lightweights and quality.
Compressing files on web pages
Site file compression is one of the vital parts of lighting up its weight and speeding up its loading. Simply put, it’s a way to lower the size of every image, video or any other active element before it loads on users’ devices. The most common method is GZIP. And its popularity is understandable, because it’s lossless, and it works fast with any modern browser decompression method.
Setting up the caching
Properly setting up site caching is vital to increase performance and lower loading times. Especially when your site has a lot of completely identical content that’s on multiple web pages or even on all of them. As users’ browsers will save this content locally, caching will remove the need to fetch files from the website storage space with every loading. And it is also vital to remove constantly changing elements from caching data to ensure that everyone will get the updated version of the site.
Bad and unoptimized CSS and JS site code will cause loading issues for sure, especially without sorting out the proper elements’ loading order. Without sorting, those elements will load before all others, even if they are unimportant. This can easily be fixed by removing everything that messes up the proper loading of the main part of all useful content users should see. And if some problematic elements are actually needed, they must be moved to the end of the loading queue or made to load in parallel with the main part in order to speed up the main loading time of everything else.