There were a few things which prompted us to look at a rebuild of this website all the way back at the beginning of the year:
We feel we've ticked off the first two clearly, with all metrics around bounce rate, pages per session and number of goal completions all showing that UX is improved. So what about speed?
No need to put too many words to this, so here are the stats for a first time load of the home page:
|Old Site||New Site|
|Load Time (according to Pingdom)||2.59s||1.68s|
|Load Time (real world average)||4.14s||2.39s|
That last line is the really important one – we've decreased real-world load time of our home page by 42% and ensured that the average visitor to our site gets the whole page well within the magic number of 3 seconds. That will definitely be a big reason for our bounce rate on the home page reducing by just under 10% in the same period.
The challenge for me now is to work on some extra improvements I know are possible. One second of our page load time at the moment is spent by the server crunching which content to put where on the page. I'm sure I can get that down to half a second, and there's bound to be other improvements available elsewhere too.
Is site speed the only reason that visits to our contact page have increase by over 10x since the new site was released? I doubt it, but it will definitely be a contributing factor. If you're thinking about a new site build in the near future then I'd hugely recommend making sure that speed is right at the top of your requirements.