Page Load Time: Why It Matters and 7 Ways To Optimize It

Page Load Time: Why It Matters and 7 Ways To Optimize It

Yusuf Shurbaji
Jun 21, 2023
min read


  • Page load time significantly impacts user experience and conversion rates; if pages don't load quickly enough, users may not engage with your content.
  • Page load speed affects key metrics such as bounce rate, SEO, and page views, and faster loading times can improve your website's ranking in search engine results.
  • Research indicates users are likely to leave a page if it takes more than 400 ms to load, impacting your brand's popularity and user satisfaction.
  • Slow page loading can cause users to abandon your website in favor of faster competitors, potentially leading to lost sales.
  • Improving load time involves techniques like compressing image files to reduce the data load and carefully selecting your ecommerce hosting solution, which can impact load speeds.


When it comes to a stellar user experience and high conversion rate, few things matter as much as page load time. Yes, website content matters a great deal — but if your page doesn’t load fast enough for users, they won’t even view that content in the first place.

Today, let’s take a look at page load time, why it matters, and how you can optimize it for better user experiences.

What Is Web Page Load Time?

Web page load time is exactly what it sounds like – the speed at which a given web page loads for visitors. If a user clicks on your website and your landing page takes four seconds to load, it has a web page load time of four seconds.

Depending on the tool, web page speed can be measured by different metrics, including:

  • Page load time
  • Time to first byte (TTFB)
  • Response time
  • LCP (largest contentful paint)
  • FID (first input delay)

Regardless, page load speed impacts the overall functionality of your website. The amount of time it takes to load a page on a browser like Chrome, Edge, or Firefox can affect metrics such as bounce rate, search engine optimization (SEO), and page views. Consider it a key element of web development that’s of prime importance to mobile users.

What Is the Average Page Load Time?

According to surveys, the average load speed for a page on a desktop device is 2.5 seconds. That goes up to 8.6 seconds on mobile devices. That said, browsers and search engines like Google often aim to load pages in fewer than 0.5 seconds. The average load speed for mobile pages tends to be a little over due to native web performance on those devices.

If you want to make sure your page loads quickly and is enjoyable to use, aim for these averages at a minimum. The faster, the better — some research indicates that website users are more likely to leave a page if it takes more than 400 ms to load!

Why Does Page Load Speed Matter?

A phone displaying a loading bar on its screen.

Page load speed matters for your website and your brand’s popularity as a whole for several key reasons.

It’s a Ranking Factor

For starters, page load speed is a major ranking factor for Google. Indeed, Google looks at many different elements when determining which pages get positioned at the top of search engine results for target keywords. Page load speed is one of those elements.

The faster your pages load, the more likely your website is to be at the top of Google search engine results. The reverse is true if your pages load much more slowly than the competition.

It Influences User Experience

Of course, page load speed matters because it influences user experience, too. Users have subpar experiences if pages take forever to load — they’ll get bored and feel like they’re stuck on an Internet browser from years ago. 

To keep up with your competitors and ensure your users have a good time at your branded website, you need to focus on page load speed.

It Can Affect Conversion Rates

Lastly, page load speed can impact conversion rate, partially because of its UX effect. If a target audience member has a great time on your site and it loads quickly, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase. In this way, page load speed directly helps with conversion rate optimization. 

Of course, if your pages load too slowly, that same user will be likely to abandon your website for a competitor and not make a purchase at all.

7 Ways To Optimize Page Speed

A person using is laptop and phone at the same time, presumably updating.

If you want to get your page to that coveted two-second load time, good news; there are many ways to do just that. Here are seven techniques you can leverage to optimize page loading speeds.

1. Compress Any Images

First, you can compress images on your website. They can still be high-quality, but compressing your image files will reduce how much data needs to load on a page at any given time. If you can’t do this, just get rid of any unnecessary images to focus more on high-quality text content and other content types.

2. Choose Your Ecommerce Hosting Solution Carefully

The hosting provider you use for your website and its various pages can impact load speeds. That’s because your hosting provider gives your website the resources it needs to load pages and send data to target visitor computers.

For example, if you have dedicated hosting, your ecommerce website will load much more quickly compared to if you have shared hosting. To that end, be sure to choose an ecommerce hosting solution carefully based on reviews and page load speed averages.

3. Reduce Page Redirects for Faster Site Speed

If a web page has too many redirects, it will slow down the loading of the website overall. That’s because redirects can cause too many HTTP requests to kick in simultaneously. These can be helpful when you are trying to optimize website navigation for your customers, but you should only place redirects carefully and when needed.

4. Cache Your Pages for Faster Website Performance

It may be a good idea to cache your web pages to improve website performance. By caching your web pages, it means the pages get stored in temporary storage servers to ensure much shorter load times for future visitors. When a visitor visits your site for the second time, they will see the website content much more quickly.

5. Use Browser Caching

To offload some of that work onto your users, consider using browser caching. Put simply, this means visitors' browsers have control over website page caches. The data from those web pages is stored in browsers instead of your own servers.

Note that only some file types can be stored using browser caches, such as HTML files, images, JavaScript sheets, and CSS files.

6. Reduce Technical Debt

Reducing technical debt is always a good idea. Put simply, if you put off a lot of site maintenance and page maintenance work, your “tech debt” will build up over time, resulting in a poorly performing website and subpar user experiences.

Reduce technical debt by:

  • Updating your website, server software, security software, and so on
  • Making regular backups of key user data
  • Optimizing your site and removing old information, videos, and files
7. Reduce the Size of CSS and Javascript Files

It may also be advantageous to try to reduce the sizes of CSS and JavaScript files. To do that, you might need to combine those files and reduce HTTP requests. In this way, your website will need to make fewer requests to load onto a visitor’s browser each time they visit your site.

Combining JavaScript and CSS files is also convenient because it gets rid of unnecessary code, spacing, indentations, and other junk data that can slow down your website altogether. Think of this like spring cleaning for your website to make it run better across the board.

Speed Up Your Slow Website for More Conversions

As you can see, there are lots of ways to accelerate page load speed for your customers. With Prismly’s help, you’ll get the conversion rate optimization expertise you need to succeed. Our knowledgeable specialists can help you with all of the above page optimization tricks and much more, so contact us today.