So, you’ve launched your first website, or you’ve probably revamped your old website and published it again. With all the indexing and SEO integrations completed, you probably are expecting tons of traffic flocking right to your amazing home page and see what special you’ve to offer?
But things don’t go as planned. Even if you do get decent traffic visits, you observe that the bounce rate is just too high, something not ideal if you really want to get some real customers streaming down that funnel.
More often than not, your website is just taking a wee bit more time than ideal, and with the attention spans people have in current times, they have already closed your website and moved on to the next link. What’s the point in spending all your time and effort in making the perfect website if people are not even getting to see what it has to offer?
Page Load Time Is the Key
- What is page load time?
It is the time it takes for the visitor to see any content once they land on a web page.
- So, what should be my ideal page load time?
According to Google Developers and Google Search Central, the ideal time for a web page to load is less than half a second, i.e., the page load time shouldn’t exceed 0.5 seconds. If you have an ecommerce store, then this threshold increases to 2 seconds, give or take 0.5 seconds.
- Factors influencing page load time
It’s not all black and white. There are 2 practical factors that come into play when it comes to web page speed or page load time:
- Consider the webpage as a jigsaw puzzle, it loads piece-by-piece. It doesn’t load ‘fluidly’ on your screen.
- Moreover, the web page speed also depends on which device the user has employed, the browser they are opening it in, its version, and of course their internet speed.
- But is there a way I can monitor or analyse my page load time?
There are several ways in which you can do so. Some reliable and easy ones are:
- You can use metric trackers like Google Analytics
- You can also use the Chrome extension: Page Load Time
- You can use Page Speed Insights by Google
- You can use GT Metrix
Is that all there is to it when it comes to web page speed? No, not really. If you want to delve deeper, page load time is further categorised into 2 types.
Two Categories of Page Load Time
- First Contentful Paint (FCP)
As the name hints, First Contentful Paint (FCP) is nothing but the time it takes for the visitor to see the very first piece of content on the web page once they land there.
You must have come across this type a lot when you see some of the elements loading a little sooner than others when you visit a web page.
- DOMContent Loaded (DCL)
Simply put, DOMContent Loaded (DCL) is the time it takes for a website to load completely, which means each and every pixel, data, and bit from top to bottom of the web page. It’s basically FCP followed by everything else.
What Data Suggests
One recent study highlighted these findings:
- Approx 75% websites take more than 5 seconds to load
- Approx 50% websites take 3 seconds or more to load
- Approx 75% websites take more than 1.9 seconds to load
- Approx 95% websites take 0.9 seconds or more to load
What Should Be My Page Load Time Then?
Though you can follow Google’s recommendations and aim for a 0.5 second or a 1 second page load time, but let’s face it, this is not possible to achieve in all situations. Does this mean that your website performance is poor if it takes 1.2 seconds to load, or it’s supposed to be great if it takes a mere 0.3 seconds to load? The answer is: Not at all.
If your website has basic HTML pages then it’s easy for them to load in 0.1 seconds, that doesn’t mean it would appeal to visitors or be of any use to you. On the other hand, an ecommerce website may take 2.5 seconds to load everything but it might provide high value to its clients through its user-friendly experience afterwards and unmatched products it offers.
When all is said and done, just keep one thumb rule in mind: of course it’s ideal to keep the page load time as minimum as possible, but on the other hand, aim for a page load time of less than 3 seconds as the upper limit, which is the average time taken for a relaxed breath.
It’s logical that even if your website doesn’t open in the blink of an eye, that should be completely fine, but it doesn’t mean at all that it can take its own sweet time to make an appearance in front of your prospective customer, like 7 or 10 seconds. That’s definitely not ideal at all and should be avoided at all costs.
All our website builds have the website speed optimised after going live.