This post is from a series that discusses the most important factors to understand before selecting a web hosting provider.  For all the tips, create a free account and download our Ulimate Guide: 15 Tips  to Understand Web Hosting.

Tip 3 of 15: Site Performance

Once you’ve got a handle on tracking your site’s uptime, you can begin to assess how well your website performs.  And I don’t mean as a clown on the local street corner. I’m referring, quite simply, to site loading speed. Let’s count all the ways this matters and whether you are positioning yourself to mitigate the loss of customers and revenue.

  • Reputation: Please don’t kill the messenger, but a site owner looks cheap if their website loads slowly in the century after the century the Internet was invented. This is more readily apparent if the aging site was built for desktop users while 60% of online activity is now accomplished over mobile devices.
  • Visitor Expectations: 49% of visitors expect a website to load in less than two seconds. 40% abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds.
  • Visitor Loyalty: 79% of visitors dissatisfied with site performance are less likely to use that site again. On the flip side, you look like an Internet God when your site loads instantaneously – like before they even knew they wanted to go there.
  • Search Rankings: With the mass migration to mobile, search engines (Google, specifically) use site speed as a factor in their search engine rankings. Google cares so much about site speed that they engineered a performance module that web hosting companies can use to automatically speed up their customer’s web sites in the ways Google likes.  Meanwhile, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights right now to see how well your site is optimized for speed.
  • Conversion Rates: Finally and perhaps most importantly, people who are left to wait for your site to load will eventually smash the back button. Each one second delay can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. For a company that does $100k in business per day, do the math. That’s a loss of millions of dollars annually. Every second counts.

How Do We Handle It?
Through a combination of reverse proxying and multi-layered caching techniques, Psyphire uniquely engineers its servers to perform like cheetahs running downhill with their derriere’s engulfed in flames. Pingdom’s speed testing tool has shown that some of our customer’s sites load faster than every other site tested by Pingdom. Not bad.

Test for yourself.  If you have a website and are curious, use
Pingdom and GTMetrix to test your site speed.  If your site looks like it might finish last in a race, don’t hang your head and take it behind the barn to shoot it just yet. Until you get around to building an optimized and responsive web site, a web host who specializes in speed can give that ol’ dog some fresh legs. Look for a speedy hosting service that has the tools necessary to perform a free website transfer. Do you have any questions about how you can improve your site performance?