Impact of page speed on user experience

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We create our websites or landing pages and advertisements with the objective of reaching out to more people and letting them know about us. But wouldn’t it be inappropriate if the cover page of your company or the service page you offer gets ignored and turned down without even seeing it because it takes a lot of time to get displayed to your user? This is the point where the factor of page speed comes into play. It critically affects the user experience and performance of a website. Page speed has become one of the ranking factors for large companies and search engines like Google. But before jumping into the tips for good page speed, let’s understand what is the meaning of Page Speed.

Now let’s see how Page Speed has an impact on user experience. 

When you search for any query or problem on the search bar, the search engine provides you with a list of all related websites. You choose a website and tap the link. But when you click it, you come across a white loading screen. You wait for sometime, but the loading takes much longer and you give up waiting and go to the next one. The reason is that the page speed of that website is very large and hence it takes a lot of time to get loaded. 

Page speed determines the way users feel about a brand and its products and services. Slow page speeds negatively affect the viewers and increase bounce rates. The average time on that webpage is lowered. Time limit ranging between 0.1 to 2 seconds is considered instantaneous by users and makes their movements across links or sections within the webpage quick. But time-limits greater than 10 seconds make users tired of waiting and performing other tasks. Practically, many users don’t even wait for this long and switch to move to other websites. This leads to a bad impression of your services to users.

Some of the common reasons for slow page loading are:

The server response time is the time taken by the server to load the required HTML and display the content on page. The loading time of data should be within 200 ms. But their are factors that can slow down the server’s responsiveness like slow network connection, limited hardware resources like not sufficient CPU, storage, RAM etc. and slow applications like not optimised codes, queries etc.

More number of redirects in your page makes your user wait for more time as each redirect from one page to another includes the additional time needed for the HTTP request-response cycle to get completed.

Heavy files take more time to get loaded and hence affects the page speed of the webpage. So you must check for the file size of your code. Whichever language you use to write code, CSS, JavaScript or HTML, if the size of your file is greater than 150-200 bytes, you should compress the files and reduce their size which helps it get downloaded faster from the resource. 

JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG and other images or visual formats occupy a large space of internet’s traffic. Although images should be made captivating but the large size of the designs affects the loading speed of the website. Hence the image size must be reduced by compressing them without affecting their quality. Tools like TinyPNG can be used to compress the size. CDNs (Content distribution networks), which are a group of servers, can also be used to deliver your content. It helps provide content in a faster way and also ensures reliable access to users.

In the end, we would like to infer that besides giving the best services, it is also important to show them on time. Realise the importance of page speed and its influence on your users. 

Get a full report of your website and how well it performs. PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix tools can be used to analyse the content of your web page as these tools also generate suggestions on how you can make loading of a page faster. Look for the areas which take a lot of time to get loaded and affect the working of the whole webpage. Compress the files and images with heavy size. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are some other tools that help you see what all objects are getting loaded on your webpage and what are the unnecessary things that you can remove. 

Hence make the efficient use of all these tools and construct websites that meet your user’s requirements. Keep in mind to build well structured, well-formatted and fast web pages or sites as it would not be reasonable to lose the number of your viewers just because they could not see your services timely.

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