The speed of your websites makes the world of difference not only to your search engine rankings, but also to your bounce rates and conversions. On average, a website that takes 3 seconds to load will have a 38% bounce rate.
What’s a bounce rate?
A bounce rate is when someone lands on your website, and rather than navigating to another webpage, they leave. Research shows that in todays modern age, people just don’t have the time or patience to wait. If your website takes too long to load, people will look elsewhere.
Speed is a ranking signal.
Back in 2010, Google first released its speed algorithm that measured how fast a website took to load and in 2018, that same metric was applied to mobiles. You need to have a fast loading website on both desktop and mobile if you wish to get decent rankings. Whilst there are hundreds of factors that determines where a website ranks, if you ignore the big things such as speed and user experience, the smaller factors makes no difference. You can have an amazing website, but without amazing speed, it’s all for nothing.
What’s a good loading speed?
On average, you want to aim for a maximum of 3 seconds, though ideally, sub 2 seconds is where you should be aiming.
There are several ways of speeding up your website such as browser caching or gzip compression, but the first thing you need to ensure you have, is decent web hosting.
That market is a saturated one to say the least. There are hosting providers left right and centre. But not all provide the same service and prices vary widely.
A lot of businesses get caught by choosing the cheapest web host, not realising that the companies oversell their servers and resources per website become minimal.
Think of a web server as a PC that never gets turned off. You can have loads of programmes installed on it, but if you start opening all those programmes at the same time, the RAM gets full, and the computer starts to lag. This is the same for web servers. Most shared hosting plans are oversold meaning hundreds if not thousands of websites live on the same server. The problem with this is that it means you’ll always have a slow website.
On the other end of the scale, you can get dedicated servers. Whilst these won’t have speed issues, they will be very expensive, but is there a decent compromise? Thankfully there is.
I use SiteGround not only for my own website, but also for my clients. They provide a level of hardware, software and support that is simply unmatched by others in the field.
Their servers feature cutting edge hardware on all plans which is normally unheard off. For example, all their hosting plans feature SSD (Solid State Drives) which means data is loaded much quicker than a conventional hard drive. If you’re PC or laptop has an SSD, and you’ve seen how quick Windows boots up compares to your old conventional HDD computer, you’ll know what I mean.
Their servers also utilise NGINX technology which helps with speeding up the loading of static content. They have what’s known as SuperCacher for various well-known content management systems including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Unlike other caching plugins, you don’t need a degree to configure it. It’s a series of sliders which makes enabling things like browser caching, super simple.
They offer a free CDN through Cloudflare, which will help if you’re targeting international traffic compared to national or local. A Content Delivery Network, places static files on servers worldwide, meaning your users load the data from their nearest server location. If your website is hosted in London for example, but your client is visiting the website from America, rather than make that long connection, the static files would be loaded from a server that was near them, and remember, speed is key when it comes to rankings and conversions.
Their servers are also HTTP/2 enabled, though to use this you will need an SSL certificate. Thankfully both are free from SiteGround. HTTP/2 is a big change in the way the HTTP protocol works. It basically means that the browser can request data in parallel over a single TCP connection. In short, HTTP/2 servers can fetch and render data much faster though not all hosting providers have this feature, especially on their lower end plans.
SiteGround were also one of the first hosting companies to offer PHP7, whilst it was in beta testing in fact.
There are other speed benefits, but let’s move on. What about uptime? Well, their servers feature 99.9% uptime. They do this through a range of technologies and are often one of the first hosting companies to introduce advancements before it hits the mainstream.
Their hosting plans also feature other benefits such as daily backups for 30 days, backups and restores on demand, staging tools for testing updates before being pushed to your live website, 24/7 premium support via ticket, telephone or live chat, and they even offer free website migration from your old hosting provider to their own.
If you’re serious about increasing your conversions, and you don’t have a super-fast hosting provider, they’re defiantly worth considering.
60% off SiteGround RRP.
You’re probably thinking this sounds expensive, but you’d be surprised at the pricing. I’ve teamed up with SiteGround to offer my readers 60% off their RRP. Their top end shared plan (It’s worth paying that bit more for the extra resources) is available for just £8.95 per month. And if you have multiple websites, don’t worry. You can host as many websites on your plan as you want. Unless you’re getting more than 100k hits per month, you won’t have an issue when it comes to resources on this plan.
With a 30 day money back guarantee, there’s nothing to lose, but a lot to gain. We personally recommend SiteGround to all our clients who are looking for a better hosting provider without breaking the bank.