Why Speed Optimization Matters

Okay… If you’ve read any other page in this website, you know the message:

Slow websites lose money. They lose customers. You lose customers, if you have a slow website.

But… why? How does a slow website lose money, exactly?

Let’s just imagine that you search for a chocolate cake recipe. You find a website, and the page takes 9 seconds to load after you clicked on the search result. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tic–oh here it is.

Let’s rewind. You search for a chocolate cake recipe, and you find a website. The page takes only 2 seconds to load. Tick. Tock. Hey there.

Now, in which scenario you felt slightly agitated before the page opened? In other words, which page did you open with a “kind of stressed” state of mind?

That’s the “pain point” we’re here to solve.

When your pages are slow, visitors start navigating your website agitated, stressed and distracted. Sure, they’re not “angry” (unless your pages load in more than 30 seconds), but they’re a bit annoyed, even if they don’t realize it. If you want to relate, go on and visit a slow website. Gauge your feelings when the page finally loads.

That feeling of slight annoyance causes people to refrain from clicking ads, filling out a form, purchasing something or even clicking another page in that website. If the visitor’s opening that page from a small, handheld device, the feeling multiplies.

Worst case scenario? They don’t even wait for the page to load, and close the tab! (You know you’ve been there.)

Anyways… What about fast loading pages? People should love them, right?

Not exactly. People don’t say “Gee, that page sure opened really fast.” They don’t notice. They don’t notice that the page loaded as fast as they expected. And that’s the reason: They expect the page to be loaded fast, so they only notice when there’s something wrong.

If nothing’s wrong, they read the page. Click the next link. Click the ad. Fill out the subscription form. Buy that sweatshirt.

One more thing: Existing customers/users also hate slow pages, and it affects their usage. Their satisfaction rates plummet, and the likelihood of them using that website decrease. With fast-loading websites, keeping people happy is (obviously) easier.

You don’t believe us? Here’s some data, research and even experiments that will convince you.

What Google says…

On September 2016, DoubleClick by Google reported that:

  • More than half of mobile users leave the page if it takes more than 3 seconds.
  • A fast web page (5-second load) earns x2 in comparison to slow web pages (19-second load, which is average).
  • On fast websites, people tend to stay in the website 70% longer than slow websites.

CTO of Trainline says…

Mark Holt is the Chief Technology Officer of Trainline (an ecommerce website for ticket sales). In a presentation, he shares some valuable information:

  • When Trainline reduced page loads by just 0.3 seconds, they’ve seen a £8 million (~$10 million) revenue increase!
  • Their CEO told him that in the previous company she worked, “a significant percentage of growth just came from performance improvements”. (That company was eBay, you might have heard of it.)
  • He said other stuff but we’re still on that “slice 0.3 seconds and gain $10 million” thing.

Web Performance Today says…

On “Web Performance Today”, a blog on–you guessed it–web performance, Joshua Bixby remarks:

  • There really is a such thing called “web stress”, which activates on slow web pages.
  • In a set of lab experiments, they saw that participants had to concentrate up to 50% more on badly performing websites.
  • Participants frequently cited their speed as a top concern.

Some more interesting facts

We took these data from WPOstats.com, and they’re pretty valuable if you read it right:

  • TRAC Research found out that if a web page loads slower than 4.5 seconds, it loses $4,100 every hour.
  • Financial Times artificially slowed down their website, and they saw that a three-second delay meant a %7.2 drop in article views.
  • Optimizing the speed of Staples.com resulted in a %10 revenue increase. They reduced page load by only one second.