As a theme author I get to see hundreds of businesses use my themes. Even though I spent hundreds of hours perfecting theme to make them super quick, users are making bad choices that are destroying their site speed. And as a result flushing their profits down the drain.
They spend hundreds of hours or pay thousands of pounds only to have 80% of their customers hit the back button because their site takes to long to load. These are customers or potential leads.
I kid you not, I’ve been to customer’s site that have taken several minuets to load and you would think that’s why they’ve opened a support ticket right? Nope! They’ve opened it because they want to change something like a button colour, so it’s more eye catching to their visitors…
If you read between the lines, you can see what the real problem is. No ones clicking on the button because no one is waiting 2-3 minuets for the website to load!
Now I could go ahead and give you some charts about how many people leave your site if it takes x time to load ( it’s a lot by the way ) but let’s use some common sense here. When you open a website and it doesn’t load in a couple of seconds, what do you do? I bet you click your back button. Even if you’re more patient then most, you get that quite a few people would leave right? You’d need to be pretty keen to wait around. But visitors are a pretty fickle bunch and the reality will be a high bounce rate. A bounce rate is the number of people who click the back button really quickly without interacting with your page. These could be lost customers.
It’s really import that you don’t make the mistake of assuming the website loads quick because it loads quick for you. This is no yard stick because you’ll have visited before and your browser will have remembered the site and it will load much quicker the second time. You also could be missing other issues like location based speed problems and well as not taking inconsideration that other users may have a slower internet connection then you.
So why is speed not being taken seriously? Two problems I see regularly is DIY websites and freelancers and agencies who don’t know how to optimize their WordPress website ( they may be great at other things, but just not this part )
Optimization of WordPress should be a standard thing for every website and not just as a once off thing. There are monitoring tools that will show your speed over time (gtxmatrix, pingdom) these tools can take a speed test automatically for you every day or week and you can see if there is a problem.
When you do see a problem, you can employ an expert to do a speed audit for you and advise you of what needs to be done to resolve it.
So about that bottom line. Well, I should hope that’s pretty obvious right? If your customers are bouncing they aren’t buying, signing up, filling in your contact form or doing any of the things you want you visitors to do. The less obvious reason is it taken into consideration with google’s page ranking, which results in less visitors to begin with.
Your aim is to get that bounce rate down and a big part of that is getting your page load time down as much as possible.
If you have a high bounce rate, say 80% ( not at all uncommon ) and your website is responsible in one way or another in making you money, then you are flushing money down the drain.
Want to find out if your site speed is holding back your business? Get in touch for a speed analysis of your website.
Performance can need something a lot deeper than installing a optimizer plugin. Problems can run much deeper and be much more complex to resolve.
Kirki is a fantastic plugin made by the talented Aristeides Stathopoulos. It is a plugin that is used to add theme options.
I found Kirki was causing a theme to load x3 slower. So I set to work to find the root cause. After some digging I found the cause and submitted the fix to the author. Now every theme running Kirki benefits from this 300% speed boost!