Gone are the days of people who were new to the web and happy to wait for a website to load. It was something new…now not so much.
If your site does not load relatively quickly, you will lose customers. This is a fact. It is critically important that you get your site up to speed.
Google will use your site speed and site size as a ranking signal. Meaning if you have a website that has lots of large images that slow the site right up, you will lose ranking points from Google. Obviously, the quicker and lighter on resources your site is, the more Google will like your site.
There are a variety of things to check on your site. The most important ones are images and hosting. Do not use lots of large (file size) images. You should always serve your visitors with scaled images – meaning that the visitor is getting the best user experience in terms of speed as well as not being detrimental to the look and feel of the website. You can read more about scaled images here: https://gtmetrix.com/serve-scaled-images.html
If you must serve lots of images however, for a shop for example, then we highly recommend using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) as this will help enormously in saving load speeds and helping your site perform as fast as possible. Again, you can read more about CDN’s here: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/CDN.html
We could always recommend using a host that has really good reviews and is based in the same country. Cheap is not always good, as hosting your website on servers based in India or the United States because they are cheap will definitely impact the loading time of your site. How much exactly, we can’t measure that too accurately, but on sites that we have moved from a US host to our UK servers the load times have definitely improved, in one case by at least 30%.
You should also make sure that you communicate any speed issues you have with your developer. A lot of times there are things we can do to speed websites up but sometimes not unfortunately. There are times where we have to turn around and explain that our client needs to invest in a good CDN or better hosting, it’s as simple as that.
If you want to test your site speed, you can do this here with GT Metrix. Simply paste your site URL into the box and click ANALYZE: https://gtmetrix.com/
You will be presented with a list of results, if you want to know what they mean you can click on the “What’s this mean?” button and get a brief explanation.