When it comes to first impressions, one may believe that the top priority for their company’s website must be its initial design. While aesthetics are undeniably important, many business owners must prioritize page load time within their user’s journey.
According to an Amazon Web Services study, ecommerce businesses lose 35% of their sales due to poor user experience. That translates to roughly $1.4 trillion in annual sales.
So, what do you need to know to ensure that your website loads quickly for your visitors? Let’s start with three reasons why page load speeds are so important.
Customers will be lost to competitors
A poor user experience from the start can quickly drive customers away and back to their original search results, leaving you vulnerable and open to prospects visiting competitors’ websites from their previous results.
A modern-day business is expected to cater to the fast-paced world in which we live, where technological expectations are high. Almost 60%(opens in new tab) of customers said they would abandon a site if the page load time exceeded three seconds and would not return.
Businesses that fail to consider this risk losing prospects to competitors who prioritize their UX journey.
In the long run, it costs you more money
The main goal to remember when building your first WordPress site is to prioritize creating a website that speaks to your customers while also ensuring good user interface (UI)/UX practices in terms of layout and usability.
Incorrect website framework construction can result in page re-work. In the United States, the average hourly rate for a UX designer is around $48(opens in new tab).
And, with the average time to build a website using WordPress(opens in new tab) being around five weeks, or 200 hours, and a custom website taking at least 240 hours, doing this the second time around may result in significant financial losses for your business.
To avoid a costly redesign, it is critical that you prioritize the correct construction of your site from the start. So, if you’re wondering how to set up WordPress correctly the first time, look no further. Let us investigate.
What to remember during the initial construction process
When creating a website, your landing page is always the first and most important page. This is the page where your customers will first learn about you, so it is the most important to prioritize. Because of its significance, it will naturally have the most content.
However, these additional elements contribute to the page’s size, with each element adding to or subtracting from the overall size of the request your user must send in order for the page to load correctly and in a timely manner.
Serving your photos or videos in an optimal format, with adequate size and dimensions, will make a significant difference in the load time of your page.
As a result, any media you choose to display must be compressed in a format that takes up little head space before being added to your site.
To handle this process, you can use eww image optimizer (opens in new tab). This website enables you to compress media while serving it in a modern format without sacrificing quality, and to become a file optimized to allow for adequate page loading.
Custom fonts are another important consideration. While custom fonts look nice, they can significantly increase the weight of a page. Try to use as few custom fonts as possible; if necessary, use any.
Finally, the WordPress hosting(opens in new tab) provider for your site plays an important role in the responsiveness process. I recommend WP Engine (opens in new tab). It not only improves your site’s load time, but it also adds an extra layer of security.
When everything is up and running, it’s time to put its speed to the test.
How to Track Site Performance
After you’ve invested time and money into developing your website, it’s critical to run a performance test to ensure nothing has slipped through the cracks to cause problems.
Pingdom by SolarWinds can provide you with useful information about the functionality of your website as well as the issues that are causing it to load pages slowly. Web performance and speed analysis data include:
Every 30 minutes, Pingdom monitors uptime and speed from servers all over the world. From there, you can monitor the page’s speed and overall responsiveness to gain a better understanding of how your website and its pages perform.
View detailed metrics on server response times, render start times, interaction times, and other factors.
You will gain a better understanding of what factors may be affecting your site response times and overall speed by gaining access to data that can show you your overall site performance.
Finally, add a Content Delivery Network to the mix.
Assume I accessed your company’s website from the United States, but its host server is in China. Because of the distance it must travel, the likelihood of me, the customer, receiving a slow response time is relatively high.
The advantage of using a CDN (content delivery network) is that we have a network of endpoints that users’ requests can use from anywhere in the world.
So, if I am in the United States, the response time for my request will be quick because it is requesting locally to the CDN network in the United States because I am requesting from the CDN host rather than the host of where the site is physically located.
In a nutshell, it broadens your request network and enables your user to retrieve data closer to the originating endpoint. As a result, as you might expect, a strong DNS manager is the final key component to ensuring your site’s response time is exceptional.
I recommend Cloudflare, which acts as a layer between the domain and host, as well as a content delivery network, and also includes a web application firewall.
The final step would be to ensure that your Cloudflare setup is following best practices and that you have a regular testing and updating schedule.
In today’s competitive business market across many industries, it is critical that you leave no room for your customers to come across your competitors.
By providing an optimal user experience when prospects visit your website, you don’t give them the opportunity to return to their search results.
Following these simple steps will result in you proudly displaying a WordPress business site that demonstrates to the user that you value their time.