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Is Your Slow Website Costing You?

You may be unaware, but Google sends us hints on how they want us to optimize our sites. One of those hints is optimizing your website’s speed. Through in-depth research, it has been proven that a fast website improves overall user experience. Why does this matter you ask? Well, an improved user experience can drive revenue, business growth, and contribute directly to your business’s bottom line.

Site Speed Is Your Website’s First Impression

People expect the average website to load fast. In fact, 50% of internet users expect a website to load within 2 seconds. They are also likely to abandon your website if it hasn’t loaded in 3 seconds. This means searchers online aren’t reading your value proposition, your marketing messages, or the sweet banner you created. With an ever decreasing attention span its safe to say we expect websites to load quickly.

How Speed Affects Your Website

A slow website can have detrimental effects on your conversion rate. A conversion rate is the percentage of users who take the desired action. This could mean less online searchers signing up for your weekly newsletter, or making a purchase. Having a fast cannabis e-commerce site is extremely important. In fact, in 2009 Amazon conducted a study on their website. They demonstrated that every second of latency cost them 10% of revenue! So if your online sales and revenue is stagnating site speed could be the culprit.

Searching for Clues

No need to panic yet to see if you have a speed issue you can use Pingdom to test your speed.

 

If it takes your website over 5 seconds to load then there might be some cause for alarm.

If your website is loading slow then it may be time to take some steps to improve your website’s performance. Fear not there are 2 steps you can take to make dramatic improvements in your website’s performance.

Often times, you can optimize your images, and employ a content delivery network to dynamically cache resources and minify code without having to involve a development team.

Step 1: Optimize Your Images

While it’s no secret images are important for conversion rates and online success. However, they can pose performance issues as image files tend to be the largest file on a website. I recommend creating a separate folder on your computer to store your newly optimized images. You can leverage a bulk image compressor tool online to quickly reduce the size of your images. Creative Bloq has been kind enough to compile a list of image compression tools. For our example, we will use FileOptimizer.

As you can see in the image below these files are 14 MB.

 image_compression_before-01

In our test example, we were able to shave off 3.6 MB’s of unnecessary data as you can see below.

image_compression_after

Which may not sound like a lot but we only used 17 images for our test example. Chances are you have more images than that on a single URL. Now compound that across an entire site and things start to look hairy.

Step 2: Employ a Content Delivery Network

By using a content delivery network you can make dramatic improvements in the overall performance of your site. In layman’s terms a content delivery network is a system of distributed services(network) that deliver pages and other web content to a user, based on their geographic location. If that wasn’t cool enough most CDN’s include additional cloud services like: bot protection, website analytics, and additional security features.

For the purposes of our example, we will use Cloud Flare. CloudFlare is a CDN that offers a free tier that provides caching and the ability to dynamically minify our backend code.

Alternatives to Cloudflare:

https://www.incapsula.com

https://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/

Keep in mind this is a quick way to a faster site. You can expect to see substantial improvements in overall page speed. By optimizing your website to be fast you can position your cannabis business for success online!

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