Shrinking attention spans are making website speed more critical than ever. There is nothing more frustrating to a website visitor than a site that doesn’t load immediately, and there is only a small window of time to capture a visitor’s attention. Customers will leave your site if they can’t find the information they need quickly, or perform their desired transaction within a few seconds. The key to website performance is twofold: a flexible, customizable Content Management Framework (CMF) and a hosting provider that continually improves and optimizes site performance.
Your customers expect your site to load within 3 seconds. If it takes any longer, DoubleClick by Google found that more than half (53%) of mobile visitors will abandon your page, which means lost sales opportunities. Even a one-second delay could add up to a 7% reduction in conversation rates.
As a long-time marketer and site owner, I’ve had the most success with Drupal as my CMF. Because of its highly flexible, open-source nature, Drupal is a valuable tool for any company in any industry, from government agencies to publishers and retailers. And while deploying Drupal is potentially more complex than “out of the box” content management frameworks, the opportunity to customize it makes the initial hurdle worth it.
Let’s talk about speed, which means diving into the technical aspects of Drupal. Drupal-optimized hosts provide pre-installed Drupal server tools that help website owners improve their site speed and performance. These tools can prepare sites for traffic surges by, for example, running crash tests to determine whether a traffic surge may cause load latency or worse, an outage. Drupal hosts can also help website owners implement image optimization, preserving the correct sizing and formatting of the images, without hurting load time. And, Drupal supports multiple caching features, which allow browsers to temporarily store web pages to improve loading times for repeat visitors.
What about mobile? Drupal 8 has a mobile-first architecture, so you can be confident that your site will load and perform just as effectively on a smartphone as it will on a desktop, ensuring that the customer experience isn’t jeopardized.
If you’re already using Drupal, you’ll need to make sure your cloud solution provider is continuously optimizing performance to meeting the changing needs of your site and its visitors. Your Drupal hosting provider should be focused on site performance so that you can focus on the innovating the overall website journey. This provider should be current on the most recent Drupal updates, and serve as an extension of your Drupal application management team. You should also ensure that your hosting partner is well-versed in compliance, and can provide you with a secure cloud environment that meets industry standards and regulations.
In short, it doesn’t matter how beautiful or feature-rich your site is. If it’s not fast and responsive, your customers will flock to your competitors, so make sure to prioritize performance when building and enhancing your site.