Load time can be loosely defined as the amount of time between when a user requests to go to your site and when they actually see the content.
Slow sites drive visitors away. It's that simple. 26% of online users rate slow load times as the most frustrating factor in using the web. $4.35 billion in e-commerce sales have been lost each year due to user frustration related to slow downloads. In fact 48% of users report that they gave up trying to purchase an item online because the web pages took too long to load. Generally 8 seconds is the maximum amount of time that a web user will wait for a page to load. Consistently websites with load times above this had higher bailout rates than those with faster load times.
Know your audience
There are billions of internet users out there. Some have slow connections and some have very fast connections. So how do you know which one you are targetting? Look at your site, do you target younger families, or sell technology products? If so, chances are your target audience has high speed connections. On the other hand if you sell prescription drugs, or glasses your target audience is probably older and most likely has slower internet connections. For the technology site packing it with graphics and a cool design will probably not deter sales. But doing so on the prescription drug site may lead to many frustrated users who leave the site before it ever fully loads. Always pick a design that suits the lowest common denominator.
Reduce the Number of Images on Your Page(s)
Take a cold, objective look at your site. Try to view it through a visitor's eyes. Which graphics are necessary and which are superfluous? Can you manipulate the text with HTML (bold, italic, font face) as opposed to using a text graphic? Can a clickable image be replaced with a text link? Cutting expendable graphics can greatly speed page load time. Assess each graphic one-by-one to determine if it should stay or go; keep only those that are essential.
Reduce the Size of the Remaining Images
Smaller images load faster. After you've pared down your images to the essentials, it's time to reduce the size (byte-wise) of what remains. You can do this in two ways:
- Reduce image dimensions (Width x Height in pixels).
- "Optimize" the image.
Ways that Storesecured can help you reduce load times:
- Providing professionally designed templates with graphics that are already optimized and are selectable by connection speed
- Providing high speed reliable servers
Ways that you can reduce load times:
- Optimize your graphics using a image optimizer
- Know your target audience
- Use the correct image size
- Don't use to many external site references