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How Does Site Speed Affect Sales?

Your website's speed has more to do with your ability to convert visitors to customers than you might think. As it turns out, even the smallest delay in page loading can have a huge impact on your bottom line.

The folks over at HostingFacts.com have put together an infographic that sheds light on a situation that every web developer and website administrator should be aware of. The speed of your website matters, and in a world where information is traveling faster than ever, milliseconds count.

With all of this in mind: what can you do?

You can strive to optimize your website by finding a fast hosting provider that can deliver your site's content as quickly as possible. Your site itself should also be optimized with reduced data sizes and use of techniques such as caching to streamline the data being sent out to visitors and reduce server overhead.

The best place to start on your quest to speed up your site is to benchmark it. Find out how it measures up to other sites on the Web, and pinpoint specific files and/or scripts that may be bogging it down. There are many great tools to do this with, including your browser's inspector if you are running one with that capability. A centralized benchmarking tool will also give you a very good idea of how your site responds to traffic coming from other regions. Pingdom and Bitcatcha have very good tools for doing this.

Once you have a good idea of where your weak points are, you can take steps to improve them, including: image optimization, caching, and other website optimization techniques.

Your server could also be a bottleneck in site performance. If you are running a business online and you have been experiencing slow load times, consider investing in a solid hosting plan that is better suited to meet your needs.

Shared hosting services are cheap, but they can also be very slow. Your website could be sitting on a server with thousands of others, sharing bandwidth and CPU time, resulting in slower page load times. A dedicated or managed server solution can cost a little more, but it could also significantly improve your website's performance - especially if you receive a moderate or high amount of traffic.

There is no magic one-size-fits-all solution to website optimization. It takes a little work troubleshooting and optimizing things, but the results are clear. A faster website gives you an advantage when it comes to conversion, and that could make a big difference on your bottom line.

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