Since its inception, the loading speed of websites and apps has gotten so much faster. We get content faster, and for many of us, our tolerance for slow internet is questionable at best. Amazon found that slow loading speed directly affects their bottom line, people don’t want to wait.
Please Load Faster
Picture this, you’re in a car, bur or train, going somewhere, and you’re looking on your phone. And then nothing seems to load, you click something and nothing happens. And you think to yourself “I’m doing this wrong,. Panic!”
We get used to the speed in which things load, and quickly get that “please load faster” feeling. For many of us this is just a minor inconvenience.
However, as more public services and access to the world has gone online, for some of us it can be more detrimental to lose or have slow internet. This became abundantly clear in the pandemic, when businesses and schools went remote.
Time Is Money
Several years ago Amazon calculated the price of loading speed, and found that for every 1 second of loading time, they could potentially lose 1,6 billion in sales each year. At risk of sounding alarmist, asking people wait for content to load can literally costs businesses.
Amazon’s sales may not comparative with all online sales, but it shows a value that speaks to why speed can matter. Google also estimated in 2016 that “53% of mobile users abandon sites that take over 3 seconds to load”.
Optimizing For Google
One of the major factor in visibility, both in SEO and SEM, is the loading speed of your websites and landing pages.
In 2018 Google made a big push for this when it announced how important loading speed would become, to its algorithm, when determining the ads and content for its mobile users. Now when someone Googles from their phone, they are more likely to interact with results that load in less than 3 seconds.
Along with good content, SEO and accessibility, the website loading speed can now be considered one of the most important aspects to rank high and be found by the right audience at the right time.
Simple Fast Loading Designs
This is why, for me, optimizing websites for fast loading speed is so interesting for me, it seems like one of those things you can do to get “Big bang for your buck”.
When working with Elementor, I find that I get so excited about animations and movement in web design. Whilst pleasant to look at, I have to constantly remind myself that it won’t be presented so snappy for many visitors from different locations. And I’ve become more aware how I’ve unintentionally have slowed down loading speed.
Most of my learning so far as been through Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Fast or Slow. Getting helpful tips on how to improve speed, and directly seeing the results on a global scale.
My momentary bliss is from the latest WordPress update, in which they added support for WebP next-gen images. These can sometimes be 90% smaller than more traditional formats such as JPEG and PNG, and I can confirm I’ve been able to see a big difference.
Apple added support for WebP in iOS 14, released September 16, 2020, and with that became the latest to provide this support. Following Chrome, Firefox and Edge.
Smarter people, who know much more than me, have told me much of fast loading will come from cashing on the server side. Because this is not my area of expertise, I can’t much go into detail, but this is how I understand it.
Instead of having to reload content upon request, servers have content pre-loaded. It means it’s less flexible for design and content updates, but will drastically improve loading speed by having it one step closer to the user. I have been recommended CloudFlare and Kinsta.
Personally I believe that finding the right balance between a fast loading speed, and high quality content, is a continuously practiced as innovations to technology enter the market.