Speed is of the Essence

Once upon a time, there was the World Wide Wait. Today, speed is of the essence.

It took, in some cases, minutes to load each page (remember the good old “Please wait while we upload art” from AOL?).

Go back even just a decade and your internet browsing was a frustrating experience. Now, of course, we have come to accept fast downloads of media as large as a film in double-quick time.

But there’s no room for complacency if you run your own website. Now that we’re all used to broadband, few people are prepared to wait for your page to load.

That two or three second load time for your fancy home page, can it really make all the difference? Well, yes it can.

There is a general rule of thumb among most webmasters. This rule states that you must be able to show your visitor what your website is about within seven seconds. It claims that this includes load time and that you take much more risk of having them leave your website if it takes much longer.

Showing this within seven seconds is hard enough, even if the website loads instantly. But if you have a website taking four or five seconds, then that is even less time you have to accomplish this.

A bad web hosting company can lead to lost conversions, whether that is converting the visitor into a sale or a return visitor. A good web hosting company with quality web servers will be able to give your visitors a lower load time. This is invaluable really for your overall goal of conversions.

You can typically tell what kind of load time the web hosting company might offer by looking at their own business website. More than likely they host their own website from the datacenter. If you see that their website is loading slow, or perhaps not loading at all, you should steer clear.

Another good thing to look for or even ask for is a download test. Many companies are putting up relatively small files so that you can see what kind of speeds you can expect.

If they do not have one up publicly you can always ask their sales representatives.

In fact, this is a good way to see what type of support they have which is also a factor you should take into account when finding a web hosting company.

 

Alex Corcoran has spent years setting up and running her own portfolio of websites, ranging from small personal blogs to larger commercial sites, and now takes advantage of her vast experience in the industry by writing articles, news, and web hosting reviews for a number of high-profile online publications. She currently favours WordPress hosts but does try to keep an open mind! All views expressed here are her own independent opinions.

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