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What is Site Speed and Why Should I Care?

Posted in SEO, Posted in Glossary by Steven Mitchell on 11-Oct-2016 10:00:00

 What is site speed?

Site speed is exactly what it sounds like – how fast your website loads. There are two aspects to it – TTFB and Page Speed.

TTFB is the length of time it takes after a visitor types in your web address and hits ‘return’ until the very first ‘byte’ of information arrives back from your web server.

Page speed or Page load time is the length of time it takes after a visitor types in your web address and hits ‘return’ until the page has finished loading completely.

Why does it matter?

These speed measurements are fundamental aspects of the website – all the clever stuff you can do on your webpage is underpinned by these basic transactions of pages loading.

TTFB has been demonstrated to be a ‘ranking factor’ in Google, and faster TTFBs are generally associated with better organic ranking.

Page load time is not a ranking factor but has been demonstrated over and over again to be closely linked with UX and conversion rates. Faster pages convert better.

How are they fixed?

TTFB tends to be dictated by your hosting company and the arrangement you have with them – how fast your server is, what platform it uses and so on. If you’ve got an issue with TTFB it’s one for the techies to deal with. Page load time is partially comprised of that initial TTFB. In addition, the filesize and quantity of files used to build your page dictates your page load. This is one for the techies really - images should be resized and compressed as far as they can go, resources should be minified and compressed wherever possible and server-side caching are all useful tactics for improving this.

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Tags: SEO, Glossary

Steven Mitchell

Steven Mitchell

Ste likes to mess about with the techie side of SEO. As such his blogs are mainly about SEO or rants about bad web development practice.