We understand. When your web developer revealed your new website in 2004, it was love at first site. Your employees were excited, your clients were excited, business boomed, and you still look at it with affection every time you pull it up in the morning. It’s a beautiful but is also a slow website. Unfortunately, if it takes more than three seconds to fully load, and many websites with outmoded technology or development standards even just a few years old do, it’s costing you money. Consumers have become conditioned to hyper-fast load times, and are increasingly unwilling to wait more than a few seconds for websites that don’t provide them—an allowance that would have seemed ridiculous ten years ago. But today, 40% of web users say they’ll abandon a website if loading takes more than three seconds. 

Even more startling: Studies show that a delay of just one second on an e-commerce web site can reduce sales conversion rates by up to 7%. If your web site earns $25,000 per day, that’s a loss of $625,000 every year. Kissmetrics has a rundown of surprising stats on how un-optimized web page load time can effect your business. And isn’t just consumers giving your slow website the snub. Google, in service to demanding consumers, penalizes slow web sites in search rankings. Google’s model revolves around providing useful and easily-accessible information for its users. A slow-loading web site isn’t easily-accessible, and as such, isn’t considered useful. That means all the hard work you’ve put into boosting your SEO rankings could be deeply undermined by even a few seconds of delayed load time. A comprehensive web site with load times that meet modern standards should be at the top of your Internet marketing checklist. You can check your website’s page load times at Pingdom. Not cutting it at the three-second mark? Try these three adjustments to help bring those wait times down and get more visitors to stick around: 1. Optimize your images and videos. These are often the biggest culprit in older web sites. Most photo- and video-editing software has a “save for web,” “quick export” or similar options that helps keep file size down. 2. Keep your script and CSS files compressed into a single file. If your Javascript is spread across several files that have to load every time a visitor refreshes your page, or clicks on another page in your website, your load times can plummet while the browser renders all of them. 3. Make smart use of caching. Caching allows the browser to keep certain elements of your website pre-loaded, so that when a visitor loads your page multiple times over a given timeframe, it doesn’t have the render the whole page from scratch each time. If after implementing those changes, your website is still loading too slowly, it’s time for a major tune-up.