The Need for Speed: Site Speed Optimization

There are a number of factors that can impact your website speed – the number and size of graphical images, how JavaScript is incorporated and/or called for, whether cascading style sheets (CSS) are externally located or present in the HTML, how your site is coded and even your web server configuration.

And while many webmasters are concerned with website speed as a search ranking factor, don’t forget about real live people who may be turned off and turned away by a lagging web site.

No matter what kind of sales, promotions or content you have on your site, if the page is not loading fast enough, there’s a good chance that your visitors are going to navigate away and not come back. Businesses that optimize their sites for speed had 17% fewer complaints about response time than companies that did not.

In the following infographic, looks at how website speed optimization can boost customer satisfaction as well as sales.

website speed infographic

[Click image for full size version] 13 Comments ▼

David Wallace David Wallace, co-founder and CEO of SearchRank, is a recognized expert in the industry of search and social media marketing. Since 1997, David has been involved in developing successful search engine and social media marketing campaigns for large and small businesses. In additions to his duties at SearchRank, David is editor in chief at Infographic Journal, a blog featuring some today's best infographics and data visualizations.

13 Reactions
  1. There is nothing worse than arriving at a site and just sitting there waiting for it to load. My first action is to click away and go right to the next site down the list on the search engine. For that reason alone, I always check my sites from every device possible and with every browser so that I can be sure they are fast and not getting clicked away from.

  2. Ed,

    A good approach. I also look for site template (I use WordPress) with great code design that is quick loading.

  3. I know that I’m not willing to wait more than a couple seconds for a page to load. If it takes longer than that I’m gone. I believe this is increasingly important as smartphone penetration increases. The data connections are often slower and you need to be able to deliver your content quickly to customers on the go.

    • Right. And you also need to optimize your websites to fit into the tiny screens of smartphones and tablets. Today is the age where the Internet is no longer reserved to personal computers. You can literally surf the Internet anywhere.

  4. I agree speed is very important especially for websites. People want information and they want it now.

  5. Nicholas Z. Cardot

    This is very true. I can’t stand waiting for a site to load if it takes a long time. And WordPress is notorious for breaking a lot of rules that slow the site down. For example, often times many plugins have their own CSS and/or JS files adding two more requests for a single plugin. I try to combine all my CSS and JS files into single files to reduce those extra requests. Plus, many background images can be combined so that they come across as one request and then simply adjust the background position to display the right section of the image. Just a few thoughts.

  6. Awesome infographic! Thanks for sharing!

    Speed optimization is no doubt the most important component for great website performance. It directly impacts the end user experience, transaction success, search rankings etc…

    One thing I would like to add to your list is “distance.” The greater the distance between the end user and where the site is hosted, the greater the latency (time it takes to deliver packets across the internet). Unless if your site is only targeting the local audience, latency can have a serious impact on your site’s load time.

    The two common solutions for reducing latency are building a bunch of data centers around the globe or leveraging a content delivery network (CDN). Since most don’t have millions to spend on building and managing data centers, CDNs would be the best bet. CDNs provide a network of made up of servers deployed around the world (reach may vary between CDNs). CDNs will either cache versions of the website on their servers (static sites) or provide a more direct route of delivery for content that have to come from the origin server (dynamic websites).

  7. “Research shows 57% of users will leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.” From using the right images (size, type, etc) to caching, it’s really important to perform site speed optimization to improve your website performance. Nice infographic. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Great infographic!
    Unfortunately some speed issues are related to the CMS that is used, but so many can be quick fixes.

  10. GetPageSpeed can dramatically increase server speed by installing all required software like mod_pagespeed and zend optimizer+.