It’s no secret that decreasing your site’s load time is now every bit as important as it’s content. The Speed factor affects every other metric you care about: Bounce rate. Search ranking. Conversion. Page views. Reader satisfaction. Even revenue generation. In most opinions its considered the King of what makes a website successful. My name is Jake Hobby and I'd like to welcome you to the WP Engine Speed Series: Where the Fast Get Faster. I'll be kicking off this series by answering 2 of the most common and important questions of all: What exactly is a Fast site? & How can I tell if my site is fast? From there we will break down the largest factors that contribute to speed and best of all what you can do to optimize them.
So what exactly is a Fast site? Even though it’s nearly impossible to give a specific answer, findings show that nearly 50% of all users expect a website to finish loading in 2 seconds or less. While other data claims you have up to 5 seconds to engage your visitor before they consider browsing elsewhere. To start, we need to understand that there are two measures that create a user's experience on your site, Perceived vs Actual load time.
You can think of Perceived speed when watching your favorite Youtube channel or season bingeing on Netflix. These services understand that users want to start watching as soon as possible or they might start looking elsewhere. To combat this, these services start your video off with a lower quality version until your internet speed can stream a higher definition or until a larger portion of the file is downloaded. The benefit is that you're still able to interact with the content without having to wait for a full HD video t o load. This is what we'd call Perceived Load Time. For our purposes, this content includes CSS and images. There are many strategies to explore that can help you achieve this Perceived Load Time, or what others call "Visually Complete". We'll be covering a few of the most impactful ones throughout this Series.
It's not feasible to define how fast a site is simply asking, "how many seconds do you think that was?" Actual load time is a necessity and a metric you can accurately measure. This load time consists of every download and connection from the moment users hit Enter till the last .css file crosses the finish line. So, we need some technical feedback! It's best to use a speed test tool such as webpagetest.org, which we'll use throughout this Speed Series. Not only do we find the precise loading speed using this tool but also are given access to content breakdowns and recommendations to improve problem areas.
Opportunities to improve actual speed rarely stare us right in the face and the vast majority of internet users have little to no development knowledge. Even with that knowledge it can be impossible to pinpoint trouble makers without additional help or tools. tWith his understanding of what a Fast site is and how to measure it, you'll be able to confidently make improvements to your site's performance. In the following video, we provide a step-by-step guide in how to measure your site and understand its results. Thank you for watching and we'll see you in the next video.
Increasing site performance, or making your site faster, is a crucial part to the success of your WordPress site.
In this video, we are going to cover the difference between perceived and actual load time, why it's important to develop for both load times, and what speed tools your can use in order to make an educated decision on improvements your site need.