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. Yet, how your site is performing may mean the difference between getting sales – or getting pushed out by competitors.
How Load/Performance Affects Potential Consumers
Website performance means more than simply how pretty a site looks. All of the active components must be working efficiently and effectively. 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 via for example a successful marketing campaign can cause additional stress on the system. During high load times, a website can crash, resulting in not only a poor user experience, but 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 Testing
Most business owners overestimate how much traffic their site can handle. This is an issue for scalability. Without testing, your site may can only handle X amount of traffic when you have been driving 10x that amount. Testing can help you determine how much traffic your site/hosting/server can really handle without breaking.
Further, testing will also determine whether or not all components and features are working together to create an acceptable user experience.
No matter how great your product or service, poor performance will reduce sales/conversions and potentially 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.