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Web Page Response Time: The Need for Speed!


Title: Web Page Response Time: The Need for Speed!
Author: James M. Eastman, MS
Date Published: 05/13/2019

 

Website speed impacts web marketing success, period. Your web page response time – primarily on mobile devices – is a key ingredient of user satisfaction. If your potential customers don’t find what they came for in 3 to 4 seconds they may, as we say, bounce.   

At the same time, web page speed is also a key measure of Google search rankings. And recent Google changes have not only illustrated an evolution in user preferences, but they have also forced web marketers and their clients to make a course correction.

Google’s Mobile Tipping Point

At the beginning of 2018 Google made a fundamental change to the way it ranks websites for search. Since its inception, PageRank, the name of the algorithm Google uses to rank a webpage, has always considered the desktop view of your website as the primary version, while the mobile view was treated as an “alternate” version.  This protocol has fundamentally changed, as the mobile view is now considered the primary user experience.  

This change reflects the ever-increasing use of mobile devices to view websites. When you receive your Google Analytics reports from Colophon you may notice this in your usage stats. The change also forces you (and your web provider) to ask if the mobile view of your website provides users with a good experience, and how this affects your search ranking.

Colophon Emphasizes Speed...

Colophon’s website development approach puts speed at the forefront. While stunning graphics and exciting animations catch the eye, these effects are all for naught if the site does not load and the customer moves on to a faster, better experience. Therefore, an effective website must provide both a stunning presentation and instant access. 

As you develop your company’s website you may be tempted to focus purely on the look. The thinking generally goes, “If we provide our visitors with an amazing graphic presentation, they will be impressed and want to do business with us.” However, research going back to 1994 on web surfing behavior consistently shows that users favor speed over graphic design. Naturally, the definition of “speed” has evolved from the Dark Ages of dial-up to the modern day. But the fact is that response times of under one second are what people now expect. 

...Without Sacrificing Design

The challenge then becomes providing spectacular graphic design that loads and runs very quickly. Fortunately, modern WiFi and cellular connections allow web designers to create sites that feature attractive graphics and fast load speeds.

The moment may come, however, when you must sacrifice that video roll or that spinning 3D logo in order to achieve a faster load speed.  But, as MIT usability guru Jakob Nielsen says “Conservative use of graphics does not imply boring pages.” A great deal of stunning design can be achieved with the correct choice of graphic and font treatments and, of course, efficient code that is properly structured.

The Need for Speed Will Continue to Dominate

We are all moving into a new age of mobile devices and novel design concepts, and each client and each project have unique goals. At Colophon New Media, your need for speed is at the core of what we do. We will leverage that speed to provide a quality user experience for your prospects, and to earn Google rankings that will leave the competition in your wake.

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Note from the Flight Commander: The Need for Speed is a classic movie line that has gotten some mileage in the business world over the years. Certainly, we aren’t comparing ourselves to fighter pilots (that’s for History to decide).  However, this is one instance where the phrase happens to be 100% appropriate. When potential customers visit your website, do you want them to lock on target, or abort the mission and eject? Web page speed is just that important! So, if YOUR unsatisfied Need for Speed has you feeling like less than a Top Gun, then get off that Highway to the Danger Zone and turn and burn over to Colophon New Media today!

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