How fast does your website need to be?

by | September 11, 2013

A lot of research has linked website performance with customer satisfaction – for instance, Forrester Consulting’s study suggests 2 seconds is the average time a customer is willing to wait for a site to load. The fact that Google takes page speed as part of its search engine algorithm further points to one conclusion: nowadays, company websites need to be fast to survive.

But how fast? As fast as possible? Wouldn’t it be good if all sites loaded at the speed of light? But that’s not necessary. It’s the same with marketing. Just because “more” seems to mean “better” doesn’t mean it’s worth putting ads on every billboard in the city. It’s not cost-effective.

So how can a website be ‘cost-effective’? Well, it depends on your business.

1. What’s the nature of your business?

Does it need to be heavy-laden with content that occupies digital space or not? When accessing the need for website speed, there should be a difference between different kinds of businesses: a photography studio that needs to showcase high-resolution pictures and a literary agency that has mainly written content, for instance. It’s obvious the former would need a larger bandwidth and tools to up its loading time, and that’s for you to access whether your business needs that.

2. How big is your business?

Scale matters – it determines how high your website capacity needs to be. Is your business mainly local, regional or international? Whether your website needs a larger capacity depends on how your customers interact with your company online. Do they make regular purchases, or do they simply look it up occasionally for information? Here’s an image – it’s like the difference in the number of cashiers between a boutique and a supermarket: it all depends on how much traffic you’re expecting.

So your website needs some monitoring and optimizing, and it’s only natural that you’ll need to turn to the professionals to – but one that offers you flexibility in planning, not one that tells you to be as fast as possible, since that’s never the thing to seek for if you want to be cost-effective. The professionals should be able to offer you a customized plan for your business, like Apica, which offers everything from self-service load testing to launching full-scale bottleneck checks in 25+ co-locations around the globe. It all depends on your business, and it all depends on your customers – because in the end that’s what your business should be about, satisfying your customers and making them feel comfortable using your services.

Apica Product Team