In this blog, we will answer the question of how fast a fast website really is, and we will explain why having a fast website is so important, so that you will know whether you need to get cracking on upping your WordPress website’s speed!
A fast website loads within 3 seconds
Ideally, you want your website to load within 0.1 seconds. This is the perfect loading time, because visitors to your website won’t even be consciously aware of the fact that your website takes any time to load at all. Regrettably, a loading time of 0.1 seconds is not feasible because it depends not only on your own website, but on your hosting partner and the visitor’s Internet connection as well.
A loading time of around 3 seconds is a more realistic target. With a loading time of 2.9 seconds, your WordPress website will still be faster than 50% of the Internet.
Why this number of seconds?
In short, your WordPress website qualifies as a fast website if it loads in less than 3 seconds. But why is this particular number used as the upper limit for qualifying a website as fast?
To answer this question properly, we first have to explain what makes up the total loading time of a website and the desired loading times for each of these components:
- Time to first byte (TTFB): the time needed to load the first byte. The TTFB value represents not just the speed of your website, but that of the network and the server as well. On top of that, the TTFB is related to your website’s ranking on Google. A good TTFB is around or below 0.2 seconds.
- Start render: the time needed for the first bit of information to be displayed on the visitor’s screen. A good start render takes between 1 and 2 seconds and decreases the odds of visitors leaving your website because they feel the wait is too long.
Your website’s loading time influences the user experience and your conversion rate. Depending on the content on your website, it can be difficult to ensure a fast loading time. If you want to improve your website’s loading time, then check out our five tips for reducing your website’s loading time and keeping it that way.
What are the positive effects of a fast website?
A fast website sounds great, but what are the actual benefits thereof? To answer that question, we have compiled this short list of the positive effects of a fast website for you:
- Fast websites end up higher in Google’s search rankings. People use Google to find what they are looking for as fast as possible, which is why Google considers loading time to be an important variable in sorting search results.
- Make sure your mobile website is optimised in terms of speed as well, so that your website will be quick to find even when your visitors are using mobile devices! From July 2018 onwards, Google will be taking websites’ loading times into consideration for its mobile device search rankings as well. This change is intended to ensure that your mobile website and desktop website contain the same information.
- A fast website prevents your visitors from leaving because they suspect your website might be offline. If it takes more than 4 seconds for your website to load, the patience of 25% of your visitors will have already run out. They will have left your website and perhaps have already made it to a competitor’s website!
- Website visitors will return more often if your website is a fast one. A considerable 52% of online shoppers have indicated that the speed of a website is an important factor in determining their loyalty to said website. If they feel they had to wait too long, they may even tell their friends about this negative online experience (44%).
How fast is your WordPress website?
Now you know how fast a fast website needs to be and how to reduce your WordPress website’s loading time by making some small changes. If you want to know how to test the speed of your website yourself, keep an eye on this website and our social media channels, because we will be publishing a new guest blog on this topic very soon!