Google Ranks Sites Based on How Fast They Load
Learn how and why you should use a website speed test to find out how fast it loads. You don’t want to be penalized for a slow page load time on your site. Google and other search engines are emphasizing how quickly pages load, especially on mobile devices, as part of the 200+ elements of their ranking algorithms.
To further prove the point, there is also keen interest in the new Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. (Click the link to find out more)
Many things can affect how quickly a website loads, but one of the biggest drags on page load time are large images, or more specifically, HEAVY images.
Site visitors evaluate a web page in 5-8 seconds by scanning it before they decide to actually read the content. Images can help visitors get a sense of what the site is about, whether graphics or pictures.
Case Study: Images and Page Load Time
We audit all websites that we work with at the beginning to set a benchmark and to look for opportunities to improve website performance.
One client had unusually slow page load time on a fairly small site without much text and virtually no video. Some hosting companies offering cheap hosting can be the cause of slow site load speeds because of high server load when they host thousands of sites on one server.
We ran website speed tests on some of the other sites on the server and they were loading faster than the client, so it had to be something else.
When we looked at the Media library for the site, we noticed that the pictures were all a million bytes or more and many of them were 2.2 megabytes per picture. Those take a LOT longer to load than image files of 100,000 bytes or less and increase the page load time considerably.
The client was uploading pictures to his site without reducing the DPI (Dots Per Inch) before uploading. These heavy files were taking a long time to load! Continue reading