About a month a go we tested a new technology VPS.net CDN on this site a3rev.com. When I started using this, the load time speed improvement was awesome and so we have now rolled it out to all of our Cloud Ultra clients sites.
Before CDN, I could only get the front page of this site to load in about 8-10 seconds. Now, the front page loads in about 2.5 seconds as measured by pingdom.com, and at times even less .
That is so impressive that we have rolled it out to all of our Cloud Ultra Hosting clients – free of charge. Why is speed load time so important?
1. Obviously it’s important for your visitors user experience. The faster a site and its pages load the better. This is particularly important for those on slower internet connections and now those browsing on smart phones (36% of Australians according to the stats in December).
2. Google announced in April of last year that it had made page loading times one of its key factors in determining a sites search engine ranking. Basically the slower your site loads the more it gets marked down by the search engine. From the announcement on the Google Webmasters blog
“You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed.
Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.”
Google is not talking about load time seconds making a difference here – they are talking milliseconds – from the Google Research Blog
“All other things being equal, more usage, as measured by number of searches, reflects more satisfied users. 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..”
Google’s research has found milliseconds impact on users so you can imagine how excited I was when I saw that CDN improved the a3rev.com load time by 6 seconds or 70-80%. Wow. Yesterday we just completed the rolled out to all of our Cloud Ultra Hosting clients sites. Like all great technology, the first our clients will know about its roll out is that they will notice the speed.
Some of you may be a little surprised that we would install CDN to a clients site without consulting them? Do our clients care about what CDN technology is and how it works. No, they just want the best. What they care about is that their visitors have a great experience and that their sites are highly ranked in the major search engines. CDN gives them a leading edge in both, without them having to do a thing – that is great technology.
Below is a list of those sites and the before CDN and after CDN load times. When you click through to any of these sites , click around any of the pages on the site. The load speeds of the inner pages of the sites are incredibly fast.
Little Haven Palliative Care – BEFORE CDN 10.08 seconds – NOW 4.93 seconds
Chris Todd Real Estate – BEFORE CDN 6.06 seconds – NOW – now 3.4 seconds
Test your sites load time on pingdom.com
Am I happy with the improvements. Yes. But I still want them faster. Its what users want and its what Google wants …. Speed is king. Faster is never fast enough and we will continue to tweak our clients sites in the quest for ever quicker load times.