The Impact of Speed Performance to a Website

A couple of months ago, last year, I’ve redesigned Graphic Rating. One of the purposes of this redesign, apart from getting tired of the old one, was improving the overall speed of the website. Let’s take a look at some inputs and the results after the redesign process.

Step 1. Identifying Problems

The main goal as I said earlier was to improve the performance of the site. I had a slider, additional images, other dependencies from plugins that combined were making the site to load kinda slow. So, I started to analyze the site’s components and identify potential problems.

» Numerous Dependencies – CSS and JS files from plugins
» Unnecessary HTML and CSS code
» Extra images on the home page
» Slider – a component that consumes bandwidth and makes the site slower

Step 2. Redesigning the Site

After all elements were identified, I’ve started to analyze them and decide the ones that were suitable for the new redesign goal: performance. From this analysis a lot of elements disappeared.

» No Slider
» One main image for the featured article on the home page
» Improving performance using CSS instead of images (for gradients and shadows)

Step 3. Running Analysis Tools

After the redesigned was finished, that means of course several iterations, I’ve started to implement the design into a WordPress theme. I was very cautious to squeeze every drop of performance from different parts of the site. So after the site was completed I had the following results:

Step 4. Measuring The Impact of Speed Performance

After 2 months, I’ve decided that it would be a good idea to measure the impact the speed performance improvement had on my site. The performance is not going to be measured by the numbers of visitors, but instead we are going to analyze their behavior. So, I’ve put together side by side October vs January and I’ve noticed some changes.

» Bounce Rate: 10% improvement
» Time on Site: 25 seconds more
» Page Views: 10% improvement

Step 5. Repeat these steps from time to time

Of course that there are a lot improvements still to be made, but it is nice to see such impact of speed performance after just one month. You should also repeat the previous steps after a while, to keep your site in good shape.

It would be nice to post more often in order to benefit from these changes but for now, I’m glad for current results. Cheers!

5 ideas on “The Impact of Speed Performance to a Website

  1. Website testing

    Hello Andy,

    It’s great to see improvements after just 2 months from the new site’s launch.

    As you say, performance testing is an ongoing task and it is definitely worth reviewing your site’s performance again in a few month’s time.

    Thanks for sharing your results.

    Tom @ WebDepend

  2. Daniel White

    Not sure what the other design you had going was, but the one currently used is quite fast for me.

  3. Catalin

    Great post!

    Great presentation too! I mean, come on, You Own your wife? :))
    My wife would kill me if she hears that! :)))

    • Andy Gongea

      Merci pentru comentariu. Cheers si bafta cu business-ul tau, Catalin!

  4. Khyne

    Very good coverage of your stats. I have never given time to assess or even thing about how site speed affects user interaction and the time they spend on my site. You have given me some inspiration to do so now!