The Facts About UK Website Speed

25th November, 2016 by

Does your website measure up?

We all love to surf the web, and most of us become irritated when a web page doesnt load instantly. We all want instant gratification, and if a site takes a long time to load or if it only loads partially, we get seriously frustrated. Look out for the next time this happens – we are sure that you will abandon it and move on to an alternative site. But what are the actual statistics behind this? In this post well take a look at the numbers: how are our UK average website speeds measuring up?

  • According to Ofcom, we are a nation of webaholics:
  • In March 2015, our average online browsing time was 31 hours and 19 minutes.
  • In 2014, the number of fixed UK residential and SME broadband lines increased by 1 million from 2013 figures.
  • The percentage of adults with fixed and mobile broadband came in at 80% in 2015.
  • Superfast broadband lines increased to 30% by the end of 2014, meaning that superheats fixed broadband lines rose from 5.3 million in 2013 to 7.1 million by the end of 2014.
  • The average UK broadband speed came in at 22.8Mbit/s in November 2014.
  • Our social media participation (of adults) averaged at 72% in 2014.
  • And 61% of us use our phones to go online (2015).

These figures clearly demonstrate our desire to be online, and that we need the web to work well for us; our fast-paced lives require instant information. We are accessing the internet more while we are on the move, carrying out research, posting on social media, and even making purchases while on the go. So how important is website speed on your mobile?

According to econsultancy.com, 74% of users will abandon a mobile site if it doesnt load within 5 seconds. 57% find that mobile sites often incur problems, and to top it off, 46% of users will not return to a slow or problematic site. For eCommerce sites, this is a massive factor. Conversion rates increase by 74% when the page loading time decreases from 8 seconds to 2. A study from the Aberdeen Group shows that a one second delay in page load time equals 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions.

So what constitutes acceptable loading time in 2016? Google claims that 2 seconds is the threshold for eCommerce, and aims to deliver their own site in under half a second.

Pingdom, a website dedicated to checking website loading times, gives the following statistics on websites that have been using their tool for the past year:

  • Average load time: 5 seconds;
  • Average page size: 3Mb;
  • Average number of images: 42;
  • Average number of JavaScripts: 21;
  • Average number of http requests: 89.

These figures clearly show that most websites are not yet up to the flash0.5 seconds instant loading time of Google. Nor are they near the 2 second acceptable average.

So what can you do to improve your website’s loading times?

Number 1: choose a great hosting company! No matter how much you optimise your site, it is wasted time and effort if your hosting provider doesnt perform.

Number 2: optimise your website. If your site contains lots of images, make sure they are small in filesize. Avoid unnecessary gimmicks which will only delay the loading of your pages, and make sure that the design is fast to load.

Number 3: utilise tools to help you find some milliseconds. Googles PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom are just two of the many tools available out there.

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