You are losing money with your slow blog! (and how to fix it)

Summary: Faster Internet connection does not equal faster loading websites. You might not realize it, but you are losing money with your slow blog every day.

When my post about how to optimize images for web was featured at Holy Kaw!, here's one comment that was posted there:

Doesn't everyone have broadband anyway? Okay, I'm kidding. Good tips for accommodating those with small pipes. - Siddhartha Herdegen

Kidding or not, this is the way many bloggers and webmasters (mistakenly) think. I was leaving a response there on Holy Kaw! when, ironically, posting the comment took so long (and eventually failed) that I decided to make a post about this here instead...

"Doesn't everyone have broadband anyway?"

Indeed, why would you bother optimizing your website, blog and images for speed? Everyone has a lightning-fast Internet connections and all the pages load so fast that there is no need for optimization...

Is it really so?

When was the last time you thought:

  • "Why this site is so slow?", or
  • "If this page doesn't load soon, I'll go check that other site instead.".

I don't know about you, but I run into slow websites every day, and my connection moves hundreds of Gigabytes Megabytes in matter of seconds. And the chances are, I leave when I do run into those slow websites...

Has it occurred to you, that people might think that way when they visit YOUR blog?

Benefits of faster page loading

Let's look at this simple example:

  • Downloading 1 Megabytes on T1 (1.5Mbps) takes 5.43 seconds.
  • Downloading 60 Kilobytes on on T1 (1.5Mbps) takes 0.32 seconds.

This is the difference between posting an uncompressed bitmap image (BMP) vs. some-what compressed JPG from the same image.

Of course, page loading speed is affected by a lot of things, not just optimized images, and when the width and height are defined in the HTML img-tag, images don't even block the loading of the page.

Website performance is not just about small pipes and "we need to optimize so people with modems can access the site".

It's about saving money & resources, avoiding waste & clutter and when applicable, more revenue & money. And if we think long-term, publishing optimized images means we need less electricity to power the servers that deliver our images and onwards to greener planet. These things add up.

Faster website means more revenue

For Amazon 100ms (that's 0.1 seconds) meant 1% less sales. For Google, half a second delay means 20% drop in traffic. (Source: Greg Linden -- Marissa Mayer at Web 2.0). According to Wikipedia,'s revenue was about $24.5 billion on 2009. If their website was 100 milliseconds slower on average, they might have made 250 millions less revenue. 0.1 seconds slower. 250 million less profits.

From the Velocity and the Bottom Line -post at O'Reilly Radar I learned that:

  • 5 second speed up can lead into results like
    • 25% increase in page views,
    • 7-12% increase in revenue, and
    • a 50% reduction in hardware.
  • 2 second slowdown can decrease revenue by 5%.

And Google Research's studies took their studies into the millisecond level...

Our experiments demonstrate that slowing down the search results page by 100 to 400 milliseconds has a measurable impact on the number of searches per user of -0.2% to -0.6% (averaged over four or six weeks depending on the experiment). That's 0.2% to 0.6% fewer searches for changes under half a second! - Speed matters, Official Google Research Blog

And there are numerous other studies with similar results. To this day, I am not aware that making website slower would have any positive impacts on the metrics or business.

Would you do simple WordPress optimization ONCE, if it would potentially increase your revenue FOREVER by 5%? If it would make more readers stay on your blog and not leave because it's so slow? If it would save you money on your hosting expences?

Speed = Kick-ass design and engineering

Too many overlook the fact that speed matters and overemphasize design and looks of their website. Skilled designer knows this and creates equally breathtaking design while making it load fast too. (sadly, there are many Photoshop-handicapped monkeys out there who really shouldn't call themselves Web Designers).

With performance engineering, we can overcome some of the deficiencies in the design, and the good news is that those first steps towards a faster blog are easy to take. As shown on the previous posts, start by optimizing the images you upload and setting speed-optimized .htaccess rules in place.


With simple steps you can make your blog significantly faster, which can then lead for lower bounce rate, more page views and even more sales and revenue. And in addition to making more money, you'll also save money, because you don't have to pay so much for hosting and/or bandwidth (e.g. with Content Delivery Network).

Naturally, results vary based on the website, service and the products on sale. But even it's just a little improvement, I take higher page views, increased conversion and lower bounce rate for one-time effort any day.

Would you spend very little, if any, extra time to optimize your website, when it means that more visitors, will stay on your site longer, more people will subscribe to your email list and more people will buy your stuff?

If you read my posts on image optimization and .htaccess rules for speed, and shrugged it off as something you don't need to pay attention to, think again.

See how 7 easy steps saves you money on hosting expences and makes your blog faster to keep your readers happy and revenue rolling - do the WordPress Speed Challenge!

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Topic: WordPress Optimization
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