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The actual dollar cost of having a slowed website

The amount of time it takes for a website to load is directly relative to its success, independent of industry. Websites that are not optimized for speed are being left in the dust by consumers and with the rise of mobile, speed is becoming even more relevant every day.

Slow website, no big deal?

In a 2011 report1 that studied 1 billion web pages globally, it was determined that the average website takes six seconds to load and that the success of a site is directly relative to its speed. Additionally, it was reported that consumers notice a delay after only one second, and that most delays were on a browser level (as sites interpret HTML, download JavaScript, etc.) which is why your web designer tried to tell you that you can’t have 8,392 separate buttons littering your site.

New studies2 show that in a Google-obsessed culture wherein 34,000 questions are answered via Google per second, that consumers are quickly becoming less tolerant of websites that are slow to load, and why wouldn’t they? Would you go back to a sandwich shop that took 30 minutes to get you through the line, 10 minutes to transcribe your order, an hour to make your sandwich, and 20 minutes to deliver it to you? No, you wouldn’t.

Consumers’ tolerance levels are slipping

In fact, one in four people abandon a website that takes more than four seconds to load. Half of all mobile users abandon a site that takes over 10 seconds to load and three in five will opt to never return to that site which is critical, given that one in four web users browse the web exclusively through their mobile device, never using a computer or laptop.

Amazon.com makes $67 billion in sales every day and with just a one second delay, it could potentially lose up to $1.6 billion annually. No company would brush off that kind of loss. To be fair, most of you are not Amazon.com, and many of you are not even retailers or offer e-commerce, but the facts remain that consumers spend so much time online now that they know a slow site from a fast site and consumers are much more easily frustrated with waiting.

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Web developers are implementing hundreds of methods to speed up sites, and code has become quite sophisticated today. Some will not find speed optimization a worthwhile investment, which leaves those of you that know the true cost of a slow website in the advantageous position.


1Infographic on load times
2Infographic on the culture of waiting

Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Roshan

    March 20, 2012 at 7:18 am

    and to add to that, website speed is considered as a parameter for ranking the site on search engines such as Google. So slow sites are prone to go down the search results as well, causing further loss.

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