You may have heard the scary stats that rattle around the internet, telling you that if your website takes longer than 5 seconds to load, you’ve lost giant swaths of web traffic. I wish we could tell you that this stat is overblown, but the truth is,
Websites that have the highest conversion rates have load times of between 0-2 seconds.
Think e-commerce stores that you have shopped from: those screens load quickly, because they lose 5% of their traffic with every additional second of waiting after that. And we're not just talking about e-commerce sales sites. “Conversions” could mean anything: obtaining emails, getting bookings, getting donations, or any other action that you hope a visitor would take on your website.
So 0-2 seconds is the sweetest spot, but most websites take many times this number of seconds to load. Mobile is even worse than desktop. According to a recent Google report, the average load time for a mobile site is 15 seconds. After that kind of wait, you can imagine that most people would assume your site won’t load at all.
Why? What is causing slow load times?
Well, there can be a number of factors, but the number one issue for most websites is too many large images. By large we don’t mean the amount of visible space that an image takes up: we mean the number of bytes that the image has, almost like an images “weight.” Have you ever picked something up that looked light but it was really heavy? Kilobytes and image size are like that: they can be totally separate and surprising.
A lightweight image will have around 50 kilobytes. If all of your images on your site are high resolution images but under 50 kilobytes each, you probably are not reading this blog right now!
Most people upload images to their websites that are thirty times as large. It is not unusual to discover that a header image on a website is 1.5MB (ie. 1500 KB). Most people have more than one image of this size on their homepage, and they also have a blog section with featured images that are this large or more…and voila. In no time at all, instead of having 250 KB to load on a homepage, you have 25MB of content that needs to load. The seconds tick by and the visitor bails.
What’s the solution?
Hey, glad you asked! There are always manual solutions, but we are pleased that the tools available to deal with this issue have finally caught up to our needs. We specialise in easily updated websites, so it is a conundrum to ask people to open up every image in Photoshop, save it as a new file type, ensure that the size is reduced but the dpi stays the same…I’m sure we’ve just lost you.
So, we now have a way for you to upload whatever image you want, not worry about the size AT ALL, and your website load time will be cut way down. How? Image compression, that’s how! You don’t need all the ins and outs of how it works…suffice it to say that we will ensure your website looks exactly how you want it to look, but all the images are identical copies of themselves. The real images, with all their big meaty kilobytes, will live on a separate server.
Best of all, it’s a super affordable solution.
We can set all of this up for you for just a couple of hours of labour, and, depending on how large your site is, less than $10 per month.
An added bonus of installing image compression software on your site: search engines will love you more as well! Google and Yahoo and all the other search engines reward fast-loading sites, so if you improve your load speed, you’re getting even more bang for your buck. How nice would it be to get on the first page of Google, and see your site traffic soar as a result?
Get in touch with us if this sounds like the right solution for you. And thanks for reading, you closet nerd you!