When was the last time that you waited in line at the Post Office for a package pick-up and thought, “This is nice, I don’t get to see enough of the other residents in my neighborhood.” Or maybe you stopped by the grocery store for your favorite soy yogurt and were told it was unavailable for a week because of a delivery snafu. You weren’t miffed about having to come back another day, correct?
Such a patient demeanor is of course not the reality for most of us since we’ve become accustomed to getting what we want, when we want it. Whether it’s the same day delivery services recently implemented by Amazon, or the delivery drones being developed by Google. There’s little doubt that a driver of our increasing on demand, no time to wait outlook has been fueled by the instant gratification aspect of the Internet.
The ever present “faster Internet speeds” advertising that cable companies, wireless and Internet providers bombard us with would lead one to believe that we’ll soon be living at the speed of light. However, a lesser-known and little publicized reality is that the Internet is experiencing some speed bumps. If you feel like website pages aren’t loading onto your screen as fast as they used to, you can stop worrying that your attention span has shrunk to that of a gnat.
And the likely cause of the slowdown is the increased size and structuring of websites. According to HTTPArchive.org (the repository of information on web performance) the average website has doubled in the last 3 years to 2.1 MB in size. Among the factors underlying such increased size as well as an accompanying slowing of load times:
websites are adding tracking and analysis tools to gather oodles of information about visitors. The tools not only add weight to the site but also increase the amount of its data grabbing tasks (both of which add to load times).
Visual Content & Interactivity:
Websites are adding video, eye-catching images and interactive features and components such as real time feeds and ability for visitors to share content on the site. Such involves dense coding and scripting on a site, which in turn jams up the bandwidth highway.
Photos & Videos:
They continue to make up the majority of a website’s content (almost 75% of the average site). As sites have grown in overall size, the aggregate amount of photos and videos has made up the largest portion of their increased size. Which of course is another clogger of the overall Internet highway in addition to increasing the load times of an individual site.
Some might come away from the above with the impression that the slow down is an overall Internet issue that will eventually be resolved by technological advances. But a smart business owner must be concerned with the user experience (“UX”) of visitors to their site here and now. When has it ever been good business practice to hope that somebody else will eventually resolve the issues that your customers are having today? And any successful E-commerce business understands that slow load times for product catalogs or during the checkout process is a very important customer issue.
What you can do today is take a look at your website’s performance when it comes to UX issues and loading speeds. A detailed analysis of such is beyond the scope of this article and in reality probably best addressed with your website design & development firm. But even a cursory trip around your website should provide an idea of your visitors’ current user experience. Ask yourself, are the pages loading in a reasonable time in relation to the purpose that they serve? For example, is the “Contact and Directions” page for your restaurant loading super slowly because it’s weighed down by inclusion of a video?
Regardless of traffic jams on other segments of the bandwidth highway, you control what happens on the exit for your website. There’s even the possibility that by taking a few small steps now, you might gain a competitive business advantage while others await some down the road technological leap.
LAD Solutions has a team of website development and design experts that can assist you with improving your website’s performance as well as providing a positive user experience to visitors. To learn more about our website development services please call (888) 523-2926, or click the button below to submit your request, and one of our representatives will be in touch with you shortly!