Do you want your website to move like a turtle or a rabbit?
I know – it’s an obvious choice. But if you've read “The Tortoise and the Hare” you know there’s more to the story.
Somehow, this 2500-year-old fable has to do with page speed.
It sounds stupid but bear with me (or just skip to the end of the article).
For now, let's get the obvious out of the way.
Page speed is VITAL for your online business.
It affects user experience, conversion rates and search engine rankings.
And yes – faster means better.
But the way you make page speed improvements also matters. Stick around and I’ll show you why.
In this article, you'll learn how page speed affects:
Plus, we'll take a deep dive into the benefits of using a page speed optimization service.
Let’s get started!
The correlation between speed and user experience is clear.
The faster users can find and buy what they're looking for, the better.
Retailers have known this for decades. Faster checkouts equal satisfied customers.
In this regard, online shopping is even more demanding. Attention spans are getting smaller and people won't wait for your website to load slowly.
This goes double for mobile users.
That’s why if your website is slow, the UX takes a hit. As simple as that.
Bad UX ultimately equals less traffic. Less traffic equals fewer leads.
You see where this is going.
Online businesses depend on visitors performing specific actions - conversions.
This might be downloading an eBook, completing a purchase, or signing up for an email newsletter.
A slow website kills conversion rates.
As a result, sales drop significantly.
In fact, the NCC Group reduced the average page load time for one of their clients by 850 milliseconds and saw the following results:
Source: Web Performance Case Study by the NCC Group for COOK
For most online businesses, 7% is easily the difference between profit and loss.
Unbounce also found that 70% of users are influenced by page speed when making a purchasing decision.
So, if you want to maximize sales, you need a fast website.
And now, let’s get into the controversial part.
Back in 2018, Google announced that page speed is a landing page factor for Google Search and a ranking factor for mobile searches.
Since then, the topic has been beaten to death by SEO pros.
Most recently, Backlinko’s founder Brian Dean conducted a study that showed a few interesting results:
An over 40x increase in page speed had no influence on ranking. At the same time, his faster page saw an increase in both pages per session (7,10%) and average session duration (12,19%).
This is an important point to remember.
Even if page speed doesn't directly impact rankings, it definitely impacts the UX. And UX signals do impact SEO.
For example, pogo sticking and low time on page tell Google that users didn’t like (or didn’t want to wait for) your website.
Now, let’s talk about how to optimize your page speed.
Users love browsing and buying from fast websites. It’s up to you to give them one.
You can go about it in three ways - (1) do it yourself, (2) use a bunch of tools that optimize different aspects of your site (image optimization, code compression, caching, etc.) or (3) use a complete speed optimization service.
Let’s compare these three options.
We’ll use render-blocking CSS as an example.
First, the do it yourself way.
You go through the trouble of learning about Critical CSS and the critical rendering path. It's now time to manually configure the Critical CSS.
You have to do a few things:
Unfortunately, that’s a ton of work. If you’re not a developer, you’ll have to find one.
And if you have an old WordPress website, you probably have thousands of pages to worry about.
You can do it this way, but it’s not sustainable.
Now, what about the second option?
You find a free Critical CSS generator that does the job. It works fine. You move on.
You now have another billion things to optimize, meaning you need another 3-5 tools. Even worse, that free tool you used doesn't offer support. What are you going to do when a page isn’t working right?
Again – this solution works until it doesn’t.
This brings me to the final option - using a complete speed optimization service.
If you're serious about your online business, there isn't a better alternative.
Most importantly, speed optimization services are superior in 3 key areas: Instant Results, Efficiency and Reliability.
Let me explain.
Any good page speed service will provide you with instant results.
In the example above, a tool like NitroPack would simply grab the Critical CSS and inline it. End of story.
Another example, I know WordPress users are going to love concerns caching.
NitroPack's Cache Invalidation and Automatic Cache Warmup features allow the cache to be updated in the background while serving the previous version to real-time visitors.
This way, updates happen automatically behind the scenes every time an edit is done to a live page.
Check out our article on Cache Invalidation if you want more info.
In both examples, you instantly see an improvement in PageSpeed Insights.
Efficiency impacts your vital resources – time and money.
Using a great service makes your life easier. You create an account, select your plan and choose some basic settings.
Everything else takes care of itself.
For example, once you connect to NitroPack, the software optimizes your pages around the clock on its own.
Since all settings are pre-configured, you don’t have to go through any fine-tuning or 3rd party integrations.
(If you want to customize and dig into the settings, don’t worry. There’s a Manual mode that anyone can use.)
There’s also no room for comparison when it comes to money. Paying a developer is nowhere near as cheap as paying a small fee each month or each year.
Of course, you can outsource for $9/hr., but that’s not a smart move. Just ask Boeing.
Now, you can absolutely achieve the same effect with a bunch of cheap tools.
But you'll be sacrificing reliability in the process.
When your business depends on website performance, it’s natural to get worried about working with outside vendors.
And you should take extra care when choosing one.
Compare plans, terms and services, read reviews and find a vendor with adequate support.
Also, don’t get fooled by the price. I know that cheap tools are tempting. But what’s the point when you have to pay someone every time your site isn’t working right.
Only a vendor with excellent tech support can offer you reliability.
That’s the point of using speed optimization as a service - there is always someone who can help you out. You can count on your vendor to optimize each new page as you create it.
Not to mention monitoring and updating for Google algorithm changes.
Even if you pay a little extra, it’s worth it in the long run.
By now, you should know that speed optimization isn't a one-and-done deal.
New pages need optimizing. Old pages need updating.
Google constantly rolls out algorithm changes. Content Management Systems updates can also cause you tons of headaches.
If you want your website to be the fast hare, you'll need to be the clever and persistent turtle. And you can absolutely do that on your own.
But it's just not worth it.
Using a complete speed optimization service is the fastest, most efficient and reliable way to get top website performance.
And in the case of NitroPack, it’s like a cheat code that improves your page speed in seconds.
NitroPack is an all-in-one solution for website speed. The service is packed with all the features you might need for speed optimization.
It’s like a combination of multiple tools into one powerful solution.
Most importantly, NitroPack ticks all the boxes we discussed above - instant results, efficiency and reliability.
If your website is small, you could use the Free Plan without any time restrictions.
NitroPack also doesn't require coding skills or any additional tech knowledge. You get tech support from speed optimization experts for each specific platform.
It's as simple as it sounds.
Evgeni writes about site speed and makes sure everything we publish is awesome.