Consider the patience of your customers. The majority of people are said to wait in line (in a real shop) for no longer than 15 minutes. However, on the web, 1 out of 4 customers will abandon a web page that takes more than 4 seconds to load.
Google found that slowing search results by just 4/10ths of a second would reduce the number of searches by 8,000,000 per day. (source: Getelastic)
Walmart, when they found out they were not the fastest retail site on the internet, compared to EBay, Amazon etc., decided to overhaul their site speed. As a result:
• For every 1 second of improvement in loading speed they experienced up to a 2% increase in conversions.
• For every 100 millseconds of improvement, they grew incremental revenue by up to 1%.
• Shopzilla speeded up average page load time from 6 seconds to 1.2 seconds, and increased revenue by 12% and page views by 25%.
• Amazon increased revenue by 1% for every 100 millseconds of improvement (same as Walmart).
• Yahoo increased traffic by 9% for every 400 millseconds of improvement.
• Finally, Mozilla got 60 million more Firefox downloads per year, by making their pages 2.2 seconds faster.
Or, to view the figures a different way: Amazon can suffer an annual loss of $1.6 billion from a slowdown of page loading time of just a single second. In the same way, if your site does not load quickly and with the relevant information your visitors will 'click off' to somewhere else.
That's why it is important to have your website built by a designer who writes his own code rather than uses 'off-the-shelf' code. I tailor the background code specifically to each customer and each site - because I understand that time is money!
This site (Citycoder.uk) when tested from New York downloaded faster than 91% of all the other sites on the Internet with a download speed of less than one second. (906 milliseconds to be precise). Independent website testers, Pingdom.com, rated the performance of Citycoder.uk 99 out of 100.
Even a client's very large site with 2.4 MB of images downloaded in 2.29 seconds when tested.