Another interesting infographic found recently on Visual.ly. This one provides information about how our brains process website load times, something that’s really important to know as a blogger since we obviously want people to stay on our sites and enjoy them.
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Nearly 8 on 10 people feel angry or stressed out when visiting a slow website. This seemed a little bit shocking to me at first because it seems so absurd to get mad at a slow website, especially when “slow” is so fast compared to other ways of communicating or getting information. But then if I’m honest I’m sure that there have been times that visiting a slow website has made me feel stressed out. It’s not that common for me but it does happen and I imagine is something that may only happen more as we get increasingly used to faster load times.
I’m not one of those people who throws their phones in anger at slow sites, though. Actually, I just barely got my first smartphone within the past couple of years and it’s not one that’s really easy to use the web on so I barely ever access it and it’s slow when I do … doesn’t bother me a bit because when I’m out and about I don’t want to be online. But I suppose I can see how it can get frustrating for people who are using mobile technology regularly.
The Takeaway for Bloggers
This re-remphasizes something most of us already know – the speed of our sites and blogs matters. Readers have short attention spans and don’t want to have to wait around for a site to load. As someone who isn’t skilled at the technical end of things, I’ve often had issues with my sites being slow and had to get help to figure out how to speed up my site. Here are some things that helped me reduce site load times on my blogs:
- Limit the number of images/ videos on the home page. I used to always allow the full posts to go to the home page because I didn’t like the way the “read more” option looked but I’ve since started using “read more” to limit the graphics on the home page and speed up load time.
- Reduce the amount of content in my sidebar, header and footer. In particular, I have tried to reduce interactive content and content that has to pull information from other sites (such as a Twitter feed).
- Be picky about plugins. I’m a WordPress user. There are some plugins that actually help speed up a site but there are many that slow it down. I’m still learning this whole area and usually rely on my web guy for help to pick the right plugins for an efficient website.
- Get a good web host. Having had tons of web host issues over the years I’ve learned that it’s important to work with high quality companies that keeps your site running quickly.
- Stay on top of it. I check my site’s load time regularly using various free online tools. If my traffic drops, I look into load time as one reason why that may happen. I listen and try to respond when my readers say they’re having a tough time accessing the blog.
How do you keep your site running quickly? Share your tips in the comments below!
Another fun infographic - one that readers will like
San Francisco based writer/ blogger with an interest in how words can help heal individuals and connect communities.