As far as modern business practice is concerned everyone knows that e-commerce is one of the fastest and smoothest ways of completing transactions, but the down side to that is that the web its self is populated by a goodly number of very impatient people who have a zero tolerance level to slow loading sites.
You may think you have the greatest product in the universe, but it won’t matter a jot if your website pages load so slowly that interested parties lose the will to live and make a quick exit searching for faster and indeed more commercial sites. Given that over time the speed of the internet will continue to increase, so will the tolerance for slow sites continue to decrease, especially amongst online shoppers. Therefore if you want to make money online you have no choice but to make sure you display a sleek, well designed website that above all loads fast.
Due to the proliferation of programs that let you build your own website without knowing anything about code, many e-commerce owners are building websites that may look the part, but are let down by a slow loading ability. This of course should be put right and thankfully, it isn’t as difficult as you might think. All it takes is a bit of savvy allied with a willingness to spend some time familiarising yourself with the basics of website performance to optimise your site and make it load faster.
Remember too that if your site is slower loading than your competitors’ sites your business will quite simply go backwards, especially given now that Google actively penalises slow sites and if you are slow will soon drop you off those all important first few pages.
So to begin making your website go faster, if you suspect it is slow, you will need to simplify, learn the Technology and what is more keep up with it. Keep your site simple, for while there are many ways to optimise your website, one of the simplest ways any owner can make their site load faster is to make sure that the pages are simple, while remaining effective.
It is a well known fact that any website can take time to load; especially the first time someone visits it. This is before it has been cached in their system and some security-concerned consumers won’t even cache their websites. It therefore make complete sense for the e-commerce owner to ensure that their website loads fast, while still getting all the necessary information onto their front end.
You may have spent considerable time and effort designing a stunning all singing all dancing front end, but you should remember that it’s too easy to clutter up the storefront windows with an overload of stuff. Bear in mind that when customers have to wait to effectively ‘window shop’ they will simply move on to a faster site. If you find your website is loading too slowly, consider cutting down on some of the bigger images, or even cutting them out altogether. Also avoid large Flash images unless they are vital to your site.
Make sure you are keeping up with the latest technology. It is not difficult to slip into old patterns and habits of working which mean that you can lose track of how the latest technology is constantly moving ahead and therefore your site risks falling behind. This complacency could be costly to your business
In the modern high-tech world even if you’re a small business owner who has hired an outsider to do your coding, it makes complete sense for you to understand the technology that runs your site, this way you can be certain that your website is running as fast as it should be.
No webmaster is going to be as interested in your business as you are so if you have a basic knowledge of things like HTML and CSS, even if it isn’t a working knowledge, you will be able to tackle your webmaster if the site pages are loading slowly. Knowledge is always power, and while learning code may seem too much to learn in addition to your other responsibilities, you should have a grounding in webmaster skills, so that if things aren’t running smoothly you can ask questions from a position of strength.
One thing you may not be aware of is that first appearance can matter and a page that is clean and uncluttered often appears to be loading faster than it is and can sometimes be every bit as effective as one that actually does load very quickly. A page which seems to have a multitude of banners of different colours and fonts can be irritating and look like it’s going to take forever to load and drive customers away, while a simple page gives the visitor hope that the page will be fully visible in no time at all.
To recap then, remember that as a small to medium sized online entrepreneur, at the end of the day your website is your responsibility and yours alone. Having a site that loads fast reflects well on your company. Whether you code your site yourself, use the services of a webmaster, or use a ready-made programme, you should know enough about the latest trends to keep up with the technology that is going to keep your site to the forefront. All technical know-how is power and will prevent you from falling behind, getting duped and above all having a slow website.