When users visit your website does it load quickly, or do they need to wait whilst large graphic files / videos or ads load? If your website doesn’t load quickly, it’s time to start doing something about it.
Websites that are slow to load could soon be flagged by the Google Chrome browser in order to provide a better user experience when browsing the web. As it stands, the Chrome team are yet to decide the best way to implement this and will be experimenting with several different options to determine which outcome provides the most value to their users, as mentioned in their blog post.
Badge of shame?
One possible answer to this problem could come in the form of a ‘badge of shame’ that will clearly indicate a slow-loading website, and it’s likely that Google may look to gain feedback from web developers initially on the best way(s) to implement a website speed grading system before anything progresses.
Chrome engineers have also explained its plan to identify slow websites would be refined over time and would be focused around improving the way websites are built [for speed] in future and to ensure the outcome is practically achievable by all web developers.
So far, the Chrome team at Google have released one possible solution to the problem, by way of a ‘loading’ splash screen that will indicate if the website is known to load slowly (pic below). Other possibilities include a ‘loading progress bar’ which could be colour-coded for fast or slow loading websites, with a green loading progress bar for faster websites, and possibly red/blue for those that are slower to load.
It has also been said that Google may later choose to identify websites that are likely to load-slow based on a user’s device, connection to the internet or any other network-related conditions too.
A wake up call
All this should be taken as a clear warning to business owners as well as website designers, developers and digital marketing agencies to place utmost priority on any load-speed related aspects to a website that are within the control of a web designer or marketeer, such as speed optimisation, optimised and compressed images and so on, as the Google Chome team clearly have something brewing in the Chrome laboratory.
If you have a website and haven’t refreshed or reviewed it recently or if you don’t know enough about the size of graphic files used on your website, how it has been built or even if elements like moving images are Flash or HTML5, now is definitely the time to find out. If you wait until the time when Google Chrome implements the load speed indication changes, it could put you at a disadvantage to competitors that have websites which load more quickly – especially those that are more mobile-friendly too.
What can you do to improve your website speed?
There are things that can be done to increase the speed of your website so you don’t fall foul of any future slow-loading warnings, and it is always worth consulting a web developer to ask what can be done to improve your website load speed. There are also many tools and resources available online to test the load speed of your website on both desktop computers and devices too.