Have you visited your own website lately? For most of us, the answer is probably no. We set it up, upload up our content and then drive as much traffic to it. However, this is not a good idea. In fact, website load and performance may mean the difference between getting sales – or getting pushed out by competitors.
How Website Performance Affects Potential Customers
A well-performing website is more than just a pretty face. Optimal website performance means that all of the active components work efficiently and effectively together. For example, one of the most critical features for many businesses is their shopping cart. If a shopping cart takes a long time to load or even times out, then most customers will abandon their carts. Rates of abandonment vary greatly from 20% to upwards of nearly 70% for busy times of the year (i.e. holiday season).
Driving additional traffic to a site with a successful marketing campaign can also cause stress on the system. During high load times, a website can crash resulting in not only a poor user experience, but a waste of marketing dollars as well.
Customers want to be able to get what they need as soon as possible. If a site takes too long to load – or worse crashes, visitors are unlikely to come back again. Further, most website owners never know that their site is having stability or performance issues unless someone reports it.
Importance of Regular Website Testing
Most business owners overestimate how much traffic their site can handle. This is what we call a scalability issue. Without testing, your site may can only be able to process X amount of traffic while attracting 10x that amount. Testing can help determine how much traffic a site/hosting/server can really handle without breaking.
Further, website load and performance testing can determine whether or not all components and features work well to create an acceptable user experience.
No matter how great your product or service, poor website performance will reduce sales/conversions which could result in a bad online reputation. If you don’t know whether or not your site performance is adequate, you should get an outside firm to test it.