SeeMe Digital's highest priority for creating custom websites is loading speed.
It doesn't matter how good your site looks and how many tricks it can do if it doesn't load quickly enough to keep people from clicking away to something else.
Keeping clients and customers waiting when it is avoidable is inconsiderate of their time, and is a spectacularly bad start for a first impression of customer relations. This rudeness has been deemed acceptable by many development companies more interested in getting site development finished quickly and cheaply, but clients and customers pay for it every time they access those sites, and companies pay for it in lost or stressed relationships.
Now that speed is evaluated highly in search engine results, a slow site can cost even more customers because they may not even find you in the first place.
Loading speed tests via Pingdom January and February 2013:
By contrast, one of the local template software sites had a load speed of 60.01 seconds, pinged from Dallas, which is slower than 97% of tested sites.
Imagine keeping every one of your potential clients waiting a full minute just to see your front page!
Sure, template/blog software sites are free, or cheap, and they work in a pinch. Given an option, go with a better option.
SeeMe Digital has been advocating site download speed for years, and it seems companies are finally beginning to realize the value now that SEO depends it.
If you want to test your site from twenty locations at once, even from mobile, give the speed test at DotCom Monitor a try. Let me know what you think. Thanks to Matt for pointing it out!
There was a great web stress infographic here for metrics showing "57% of online consumers will abandon a slow page after 3 seconds" and 74% after 5 seconds. Unfortunately the company got bought out and the infographic got lost. It was from Strangeloop Networks if you want to go fish.
This infographic from Kissmetrics is from 2011 but sadly most speeds have not improved. Everything here is relevant and important. A larger version can be found on their site by clicking the graphic.
According to Joshua Bixby at Web Performance Today, slow website performance is a silent-but-deadly killer which should be making news headlines at least as much as site downtime:
“A 1-second delay equals a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.”
This article is from 2010. People are not relaxing about slow websites wasting their time; they are going to competitors.
If you are still not convinced website loading speed is high priority, consider this: Google has added page load times to their ranking metrics.
SEO now also includes page loading speed, so if your site is slower than competitors this will probably bump you down the list when people are looking for your products or services.
It is a lot more work to make sites efficient from scratch instead of using shortcuts like site-building software and a ton of of all-inclusive code and script libraries. The work is worth it.
Are customers seeing you?