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Why is loadtime important

What is load time and why you should pay attention 

Load time can be loosely defined as the amount of time between when a user requests to go to your site and when they actually see the content. 

Slow sites drive visitors away. It's that simple. 26% of online users rate slow load times as the most frustrating factor in using the web. $4.35 billion in e-commerce sales have been lost each year due to user frustration related to slow downloads. In fact 48% of users report that they gave up trying to purchase an item online because the web pages took too long to load. Generally 8 seconds is the maximum amount of time that a web user will wait for a page to load. Consistently websites with load times above this had higher bailout rates than those with faster load times. 

Know your audience 

There are billions of internet users out there. Some have slow connections and some have very fast connections. So how do you know which one you are targetting? Look at your site, do you target younger families, or sell technology products? If so, chances are your target audience has high speed connections. On the other hand if you sell prescription drugs, or glasses your target audience is probably older and most likely has slower internet connections. For the technology site packing it with graphics and a cool design will probably not deter sales. But doing so on the prescription drug site may lead to many frustrated users who leave the site before it ever fully loads. Always pick a design that suits the lowest common denominator. 

Reduce the Number of Images on Your Page(s) 

Take a cold, objective look at your site. Try to view it through a visitor's eyes. Which graphics are necessary and which are superfluous? Can you manipulate the text with HTML (bold, italic, font face) as opposed to using a text graphic? Can a clickable image be replaced with a text link? Cutting expendable graphics can greatly speed page load time. Assess each graphic one-by-one to determine if it should stay or go; keep only those that are essential. 

Reduce the Size of the Remaining Images 

Smaller images load faster. After you've pared down your images to the essentials, it's time to reduce the size (byte-wise) of what remains. You can do this in two ways:
  • Reduce image dimensions (Width x Height in pixels).
  • "Optimize" the image.
Reducing the dimensions of an image isn't always a viable option. The layout of your page may depend on a particular image being a specific size (the way the page appears, though, is of course relative to screen resolution). If you can safely shrink your image dimensions, do so, and then optimize. If you cannot change the dimensions of the images, optimize only. "Optimizing" an image means reducing the file size of the image. This is accomplished primarily by removing extraneous colors from the image. For example, a GIF saved at 256 colors can usually be reduced to 128, 64, or 32 colors - sometimes even less - without compromising image quality. This can *drastically* reduce the file size of an image which, in turn, (often) shaves seconds off load time. Once you've pruned the extra images and optimized the "keepers", upload your lighter page. 

Ways that Storesecured can help you reduce load times:
  • Providing professionally designed templates with graphics that are already optimized and are selectable by connection speed
  • Providing high speed reliable servers 

Ways that you can reduce load times:
  • Optimize your graphics using a image optimizer
  • Know your target audience
  • Use the correct image size
  • Don't use to many external site references

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