Pagespeed , the velocity of your business. Part I

Large numbers of books, articles and tutorials have been written about pagespeed. Many of these describe the technicality and how to improve the pagespeed of your website. In this post I will explain how we at AppSaloon see pagespeed, what it means, how to optimise it and how to keep everything fast on your website.

What exactly is pagespeed?

Pagespeed by definition is the measurement of how fast the content on your page is being loaded. We can define it in ‘page load time’, which means how long it takes to completely display the content of your webpage, or by ‘time to first byte’ (TTFB) , which means how long it takes for your webbrowser to receive the first byte of information from your webserver.

PAGESPEED = HOW FAST YOUR WEBPAGE IS LOADED

Why do I need to care about it?

Having a fast loading website has an impact on 3 different aspects :

  • It has an impact on your Google ranking
  • It has an impact on your visitors
  • It has an impact on yourself

The impact on your Google ranking

1. Google has indicated that page speed is being used by its algorithm to rank websites , further research has found that page speed in this case is primarily defined as ‘time to first byte’ or TTFB. The time to first byte speed metric can be affected by 3 factors :

  • Speed of content generation by your website’s backend
  • The load on your server
  • Network latency between server and your visitor
Image result for time to first byte

How do you improve TTFB?

  • First of all it is important to have a decent server infrastructure, hosting your website on a server hosting 500 other websites on the same disk has a negative effect on speed. Does your website cater primarily to a certain country? Try finding a good server host in that country and don’t forget to do a speed test before you sign up.
  • CDNs or Content Distribution Networks. They lower the network latency and deliver content quickly, based on the closest geographic location. At AppSaloon we are a big fan of keyCDN.
  • Optimising your application code and database queries. Don’t let badly optimised code be the culprit of an unsuccessful website! This is often overlooked, but a decent technical partner can boost your business immensely !

2. Google indexation. Every website gets allocated a crawl budget by Google, which is defined as the time the Google bot is allowed to ‘browse’ your website. Having an optimised pagespeed means the bot will crawl more pages on your website, which will consequently positively affect your indexation.  

IMPACT ON GOOGLE : BETTER RANKING AND INDEXATION

The impact on your visitors

There is a relationship between site performance, conversions and overall user satisfaction. A lot of research and many studies have been done on this matter, and all evidence points to the same conclusion:  it matters.. a lot

In 2009, Amazon discovered that for every second of latency they lose around 10% of revenue. Walmart reported a 2% increase in conversions for every second their page load time improved.

The study done by Walmart concludes that pagespeed is important.

Faster sites will have fewer bounces, a higher average visitor time and more conversions. It will also boost the likeliness of people returning to your website and referring your website to other people. 

In general people expect a website to be loaded in 3 seconds or less.

IMPACT ON YOUR VISITORS : MORE VISITS, HAPPIER VISITORS, BETTER CONVERSION

The impact on yourself

This is relevant if you work on your website often, front or backend. It is relevant for me and several of our clients and is not always considered when talking about pagespeed.

Having a fast website will not make you dread updating 50 products,  editing a few blogs or adding a few hundred form entries. It will make you or your team more productive on your website and will lead to a better business.

IMPACT ON YOURSELF : BOOSTED PRODUCTIVITY

Part II of this blog post will describe in detail HOW to improve your pagespeed. Stay tuned!