Your website is a crucial part of your business. It’s your 24 hour salesperson, the face of your brand, and one of the first things people see when they search for your company.
Unfortunately, after investing time and money in creating your website and sharing it with the world, it can then become overlooked and neglected. Not maintaining it can end up hurting your business.
Think of your website like a car.
Every year you take your car for an MOT. You get it checked over by a professional who ensures that everything is working properly and is safe, and then you give it a service to make sure it’s going to keep running optimally.
If you don’t keep your car maintained, it becomes more prone to breaking down, and can often cost you more money to fix than if you had kept up a regular maintenance regime.
Your website is exactly the same.
If you don’t maintain it regularly and check that it’s firing on all cylinders then it can become slow, it can develop issues, and it will lose you customers as your site visitors leave quickly because things aren’t working properly.
This becomes a big issue when you consider how people are accessing your site, and how speed has become a crucial factor on whether they stick around or click away.
Google now processes more than 3.5 billion searches per day, and over half of overall web traffic is now done on a mobile device: this trend is only going to grow more and more each year.
When you also factor in that 53% of mobile website visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load, you can start to see that having a slow loading website is a big turn-off and will impact you if you don’t give your website a regular tune-up.
It’s also not just about the visitors to your website. Since last year, Google have been counting page loading speed as one of their core ranking factors, so if you’re not revving on all cylinders, you’ll appear lower down on the search page.
The bottom line is simple: you need to keep your website maintained and firing on all cylinders.
It makes perfect sense when you think about it - we live in a mobile-centric world where immediacy is key so if you’re slow then you’re second best and it reflects badly on you and your brand.
So what slows a website to a crawl?
There are a few things that you can focus on to get a quick speed boost, like making sure the server your website is hosted on is fast and secure. Enabling an effective caching policy to store persistent slow-loading items like images and stylesheets will help, and you could also use a content distribution network (CDN) to distribute your static assets to local servers.
These three things might already be available with your hosting provider, so switching them on could give you a quick boost.
Another thing that slows your site down is time.
Over time you’ll add new blog posts, upload new images, add new pages, integrate extra plugins, and all of these ongoing things add bloat to your website’s database and generally slow things down.
When it comes to images, these are often uploaded at a size that looks great on the screen, but haven’t been optimised for mobile devices which, as a result, can kill your page load speed and have a massive negative effect.
Having a regular maintenance plan in place to regularly tune-up your site is critical as it will make sure you stay speedy and keep visitors on your website, rather than have them click away to one of your rivals.
How can I see my website’s current performance?
There are a few tools around that allow you to quickly check your site’s speed stats, and one of the most popular is Google’s own Page Speed Insights tool.
This will give you a quick overview score of how your site is performing on both desktop and mobile devices, and also give you a list of things you can focus on to improve your scores.
If you’d like to get a more in-depth view then why not grab a free MOT?
Simply pop in your website and your email address in the form below and we’ll put together a report on the areas your site needs to look at in order to get firing on all cylinders.