IT Services: Website Load Time a Significant Issue for SMBs

9/19/12 8:00 AM Eva Jacob IT Consulting

IT ServicesThe information revolution has had a huge impact on the culture of modern nations.  Many of these impacts have been highly positive for both businesses and individuals, but some of them also mean that businesses face additional challenges.  Website load time is one of these.  When customers click on a link these days, they expect a website to appear on the screen almost instantaneously.  When that does not happen, the average customer does not think about the IT services difficulties with which the business might have to contend.  Instead, that average customer probably hit the ‘back’ key and proceeds to visit a competitor's site instead.

SMBs have long known, of course, that potential customers are highly unlikely to wait around for lengthy page loads.  Recent research, however, has illuminated just how short a time today's consumers consider lengthy.  According to these studies, customers begin considering leaving a webpage within just two seconds of watching it load.  By the time five seconds have elapsed, most visitors will hit the back key.

At the same time, however, customers expect to see a well-designed and engaging webpage that makes use of advanced media techniques, incorporating items such as news feeds, animations, and even streaming video. 

This conundrum leaves small businesses with quite a challenge.  They may be able to design a very fast-loading page, but the easiest way to do that is to move to the kind of text-only interface that hardly inspires customers to stay and browse.  Making the page more engaging may lead to slower load times that will drive customers away in any case.

The SMB struggling with these issues can benefit from talking them over with an IT consulting firm.  An IT consultant skilled in web page construction will have a whole collection of tips and tricks that allow for advanced types of elements to load faster.  At the same time, IT solutions to help with this issue often go beyond the matter of page construction itself.  A company also needs the appropriate infrastructure in order to fulfill page load requests in a timely manner.  If the underlying infrastructure can only adequately handle a thousand simultaneous connections and far more are being requested via the internet, it will have a huge impact on load times.

Since there are both hardware and software issues to be considered when it comes to website load times, SMBs would be well-advised to seek out an IT consultant to help them meet the challenge of providing potential customers with the quick load times they expect to enjoy.

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