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Do you know how fast your website loads? You may have tested it on your own computer but how representative is that? Your page loading time is dependent on several factors, but the main contributing factors are the quality of the web design and the hosting package that you use.

Slow speed is affecting your business in more ways than you think

A slow loading website is not just a nuisance for page visitors as Amazon has learned the hard way. Amazon discovered that a drop in loading speed by 1/10th of a second will result in a drop of 1% in revenue! No wonder that Amazon has heavily invested in their own hosting platforms. Many studies have found that the modern web visitor expects a page to load in under 2 seconds on a fast line and under 5 seconds on a mobile device. If the page hasn’t loaded within that time, people assume the web page is not functioning and move away to another site. So slow loading websites turn potential customers away. But it gets worse. In 2010 Google has incorporated page loading speed as an important factor in their search ranking. Faster loading websites score higher on Google searches. And it should be of no surprise that your business needs to be high in the search rankings, to benefit from Google searches.

How to measure your site’s performance

There are several free online tools that provide you with insights on your website’s load speed. The most popular ones are:

Besides a lot of useful detail data for web developers, these tools give the overall page load time and a score (either F to A or a score out of 100). You would want a page load time of 2 seconds or faster and a performance score above B or 85/100. It is worthwhile to repeat these tests a few times as a poor score can also indicate a problem somewhere between your website’s host and the testing website.

How to fix poor performance

The tools mentioned above often provide the user with recommendations on how to improve the performance. It takes however an experienced web developer to make sense of these recommendations and to know which will yield the biggest performance boost. The causes of slow performance are often not just restricted to poor web design practices but can also be the consequence of poor performing hosting platform. Your first call of action should be to contact your web designer and ask him what can be done to fix the performance. It may just be a simple case of an image file that is far too big, it may require some work on your website or selecting a new hosting solutions. Either way, fixing the problem as soon as possible makes business sense.