People are bombarded with options and information from every direction. Consequently, the average time spent on a website is only 45 to 54 seconds, and users will form their first impression of a website within 0.05 seconds. Most website visitors will be gone in 60 seconds. While design plays a major role in the overall impression of a website, performance is key to a good user experience. Simply put, a website that has anything less than stellar performance in terms of speed and accessibility will lose its visitors within seconds, no matter how great the product, service, or information is. Website performance testing is crucial to ensure that users have a great experience and stay on a website long enough to learn more about what it’s offering.
The Importance of Website Performance.
Great website performance is vital for a positive user experience. A website with slow load times means fewer people visiting your site, less revenue, and lower search engine rankings. In fact, Google has said that slow websites can negatively impact your ranking. Slow website speed will also negatively impact visitor satisfaction and intention to return.
You not only have just a few seconds to convince visitors to your website to stick around before they might be lost forever. When a bad user experience turns visitors away from a website, they often only return up to three months later. There are many facets to user experience but, according to Google, there is a common set of signals namely loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
Users are increasingly interacting with businesses across multiple platforms and devices, and it is of utmost importance that they have a positive experience across the spectrum. A user might be enamoured with your beautiful Instagram posts but will quickly lose interest if your website doesn’t perform once they click through. A website needs to load fast, be easy to interact with, and not react weirdly to things like popups no matter the device it is viewed on.
The Benefits of Website Performance Testing.
There are several benefits to website performance testing. First, it helps you identify issues before they become major problems. Second, it allows you to fix any potential issues before they affect your customers which is vital in protecting your brand reputation. Third, it allows you to ensure your site loads quickly so visitors will stay longer and spend more money. Fourth, it provides insight into your site’s performance across different browsers and devices. Finally, it lets you see how your site performs when there are high levels of traffic.
Why you need a web performance assessment
There are many free tools available to assess web performance. These are great indicators not only of what you can improve but also of the things you’re already getting right. While many tools will only offer an indication of page speed, a more in-depth tool (such as our own Web Optimisation Report) will provide detailed information on issues affecting load, interactivity, and page stability. The more information available to you, the better you will be equipped to decide whether web performance testing is a task you could handle in-house or should outsource.