Why is Website Speed Important?

Visitors to your website that use mobile devices expect your site to load in one or two seconds. How long does it take for your site to load, do you know? According to Google, when website visitors lose patience, you lose business. It is predicted that 70% of cellular network connections globally will occur at 3G or slower speeds through 2020, adding to site load time.

Google provides a website, Test My Site, where you can enter your site’s URL and in a few seconds, Google tells you how many seconds it takes for your website to load. Here’s the website address:

https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-us

How did your site perform? If your site took less than 4 seconds to load, you’re in good shape! If not, you might consider making some changes. First, request the free report from Google. You’ll find a link to it on the test results page. The report will detail the issues found on the site.

For this article, I’ll detail a common culprit of load time, images. Images are how we portray our business, the services we offer, and often, in the case of Montana, our beautiful surroundings. These images need to be big and captivating. How do you balance that with website speed?

First, size the image to fit. Images from a DSLR camera can be quite large. Using an app such as Photoshop, resize your images to a maximum width that is equal to the width of your web page. So if your site is 1100 pixels wide, you images should be no wider than 1100 pixels. Next, compress your images. Image file sizes should be about 100 kb. Also, be sure the image quality is not set higher than 72 dpi. If you do not have Photoshop, there are several free online photo editing tools.

The Takeaway: Mobile is here to stay. Make your website load as fast as possible.