by Aaron Reimann
September 22, 2015
What is a visit of your site worth? That is the most important question and I think every business owner should know what that dollar amount is. For Sideways8, one visitor could become a potential client which, in a great situation, could be a whole custom rebrand of the site which could easily bring in $10,000-20,000 or more.
When a potential client is worth that much I want there to be a low threshold for someone to stay and check out our web site. There are three simple attainable goals:
- Quick load time
- Attractive site (at least not an ugly one)
- Device agnostic (looks good on mobile and desktop)
For a site to load quickly it must be on good hosting. Good hosting will have at least these things:
- CDN (Content Delivery Network) – in theory, this loads the site quicker
- daily backups – restorable and stored offsite
- good security – a guarantee that if the site gets hacked the hosting company will unhack it.
- a staging environment – allows developers (or people that just tinker with the site) the ability to make a copy of the live site and make changes with a one button click to copy it back to the live site
For speed the important part here is a CDN. We had a client recently switch from Rack Space (average hosting, IMHO) to WP Engine (aka good hosting). It took a little convincing but here are my results after migrating:
If you can cut your load time in half, do it! Especially if you really are only going to be paying $30 or $40 a month extra.
People are impatient, but more importantly, so is Google. You might think your site is SEO friendly, maybe you even dropped some cash on a SEO expert to perfect the wording, but if Google doesn’t index the site because the load time is low, you wasted your time and money. This is what Google is now doing with a site that isn’t loading quickly:
We’re seeing an extremely high response-time for requests made to your site (at times, over 2 seconds to fetch a single URL). This has resulted in us severely limiting the number of URLs we’ll crawl from your site. — John Mueller, Google
So, if your site doesn’t load under two seconds, your content might not even be in the search engine’s database. Pretty epic.
Note: we recommend hosting with Sideways8 on WP Engine or directly through WP Engine. There are some other create solutions out there, if you need more suggestions, let me know.
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