One thing I have been noticing more and more is that the site has been very slow. A function of being more successful – more readers mean more server resources. I know this has been impacting the visitor experience, I have seen my reports from Pingdom, but I also think its been effecting my SEO.
Up until now, I have been running compassdesigns.net on a simple VPS (a $60/mo VPS from Liquidweb). Its done well at running Compass and www.joomlabook.com, getting towards 5,000 visitors a day.
I decided, rather than to upgrade the server, I’d instead move it to a new server, in this case the beefy dedicated box we run Joomlashack on. As well as improve performance, I also wanted to perform my bi-annual destruction of my Google rankings by changing my SEF component (I wanted to try some new extensions and try out sh404sef).
One thing I immediately noticed was the improved performance. My Pingdom response graphs were looking great. Can you guess where I changed?
What was more interesting, though not entirely unexpected, was the immediate improvement in my bounce rate.
Seems I am now getting 5% more people click through my home page… probably because they are not waiting for it to load.
I also wonder if a similar thing might happen for my SEO. We know that Google like fast loading websites. Does it also look at response time as well as page size? I rather suspects it does…..
1. I often talk in presentations about Seth Godin’s concept of “the big banana“. Site visitors will very quickly (seconds) make a decison to click away from your homepage. The speed of that banana is almost certainly as important as the size (door left open there for obvious comment below)
2. I am going to be adding something about this to my Black Belt Joomla talk next week at Joomla Day NYC (along with my Joomla SEO secret few people know)
I thought I’d put up the reponse time graph for our Fully Managed Joomla Hosting service – Simplweb. For $24.95 a month you can have a Joomla site with under a 200ms average reponse time!