It’s an exciting moment. The client of your dreams has clicked a link to your website! Perhaps they read your clever post on LinkedIn, or your website popped up in relevant Google results, thanks to your investment in search engine optimization. The point is, they’ve clicked!
But nothing is happening. Four seconds pass, then five, six. Eventually, with a roll of their eyes, your lead hits the back button and continues their lunch break browsing. They’re gone!
What went wrong?
Studies have shown that users will leave a site if it doesn’t load in as little as three seconds. Your otherwise awesome website has become another casualty of modern user behavior.
You might be wondering, what’s going on with my host? Bargain hosting companies promise fast and reliable hosting. What they don’t tell you is that for anything but a static html site, the starter plans (at five to twenty dollars per month) don’t have enough resources to run a content management system like WordPress or Magento with any speed or reliability—especially at peak hours.
The solution is as simple to implement as it is to justify, and it’s the first piece of advice we give to new customers searching to improve the speed of their website: evaluate your hosting plan! While cost is no guarantee of quality, you’ll generally need to plan on a $25-$40 hosting plan to get the resources needed to make your site load quickly, every time, and on every device. If you have high traffic or run resource-intensive applications, there are many options suited to those needs.
Yes, good hosting costs more than entry-level plans, but you’ll recoup that cost the moment your web development team sets out to do maintenance, backups, or updates. Because if your site is slow for customers…it’s also slow for the people working on it by the hour.
Signs it’s time to look at your plan:
- Noticeable wait times as pages load
- Pages load partly—such as with all the text but no formatting
- Video doesn’t buffer
- Forms and other functions timeout before completion
If your website is running slowly, talk to your web team. A hosting change or a service upgrade—like a content delivery network or caching solution—could make a measurable difference.