Whenever you visit a website, your computer must download the website files from the server to display the page. Didn’t’ know this happens? Well, on optimized sites, it happens in less than one second. According to Kissmetrics: 47 percent of users expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less. Do your website pages load in 2 seconds or less? Nearly 50 percent of your potential patients are lost due to slow load times, so if you’re losing half your audience before they get a chance to experience your content, what is that doing to your business?
There is a way to decrease load time.
Why Does Leverage Caching Matter?
In a world of near instant gratification, your website needs to load fast. People have the time to wait, but they don’t want to wait. Technology continually reduces the need to wait for things every day. Television shows can be watched without 30 second commercials. Music on average is becoming shorter in length. Travel is becoming more efficient and faster; even your GPS provides the fastest route available to your destination.
Users are expecting the same level of delivery from the internet as everything else in their life.
According to Kissmetrics: 40 percent of users leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
What does this mean for your website?
You need to reduce the Time to First Byte (TTFB): The time it takes for a web server to respond to a request from the user and deliver the first byte of the page being requested.
The goal is to offer the best user experience possible in correlation with your service/product, while delivering it to the user as fast as possible. The “right-now” mentality is relative to the experience. A TV show viewer doesn’t want to wait 30 seconds for the next few scenes of their show. The fast-food eater doesn’t want to wait more than 5 minutes to get their food. The internet user doesn’t want to wait more than 3 seconds to see the web page they’ve requested.
It’s your job to deliver, and it’s completely possible to do.
How Does Leverage Caching Work?
Leverage caching is used to store commonly used fields from a website on the user’s hard drive. This allows for a large portion, if not all of the website, to be less than a second away from the user’s browser request, as opposed to a few seconds away on a server.
What if you make an update to the site?
Leverage caching can be setup to re-download the site files at regular intervals based on the user’s initial visit. Certain file types, elements, etc., can be set to reload 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, from the first visit. You should set intervals to no less than 1 month and no more than 12 months. Otherwise, your user may not get the most recent version of the site when they visit.
This interval process allows for a large majority of the site to be downloaded on the user’s computer during their initial visit, which then reduces the load time exponentially when they visit the site again.
How Can You Test Your Own Site Pages?
Various tools exist to test your own website to ensure that it’s using leverage caching. Various tools also allow you to test TTFB and page speed (which are close to the same thing). Check out the following tools to analyze your site today:
Make sure your site is optimized for reduced load time. With more than a 3 second load time, you’re losing at least 40 percent of your potential patients. Work with your website management company to address any page speed load time issues, resolve them, and increase your chance of converting users into patients. Your goal is to deliver the best experience you can to the user. That experience involves your website’s load time. In short, speed.