Website speed has become a hot topic in recent years. As the internet evolves, the techniques for building websites develop with it. It’s 2019, and speed optimization is one of the vital skills website owners must learn to stay on top.

That’s why the internet has recently been abuzz with speed improvement tips and strategies.


Check any relevant blog and you’ll likely run into a list of speed optimization techniques.
But why does website speed matter? And, most crucially, how fast should a website be? We’ll give you a precise answer to these questions below.

First things first:

Website speed impacts search rankings. Since Google introduced a speed update and mobile-first indexing, your site’s performance on both mobile and desktop devices has factored into its overall rankings.

To put it simply:

Website speed is one of the factors that determine where your site shows up in Google search results. If your website is slow or doesn’t work well on a smartphone, it will struggle to get good rankings.

There’s more:

SEO is not the only reason to improve website speed. Internet users also have rather high expectations of the websites they visit. Stats show 64% of mobile users expect a website to load in less than 3 seconds. As for desktop computers, 30% of users expect even better performance.

What’s more, 25% expect a website to load on a mobile device just as fast as it would on a desktop.

What does this mean for your website, then?

In essence, users get dissatisfied with long load times. This makes them spend less time on a site, view fewer total pages, or even leave straight away.

To be precise:

53% of users leave if load times exceed 3 seconds. This percentage only gets worse as the load times increase.


If your site takes five, eight, or even ten seconds to fully load, you’re likely to lose the majority of users right from the start.

To make matters worse:

If you are trying to sell a product, slow speeds can further hinder your efforts. Users mistrust slow websites, and this makes them reluctant to make a purchase.

To illustrate:

44% of users worry about the security of a transaction if the checkout process is too slow. This directly reflects on shopping cart abandonment. In fact, a mere 2 second delay during checkout can raise cart abandonment rates by up to 87%. Needless to say, this leads to a massive hit to any website’s profits.

Which means that:

It is clearly in your best interest to maintain load times that are as fast as possible. To do so, we will now give you the answer to the $64,000 question we posed earlier:

How fast should a website be?

The rule of thumb is to make your website as fast as you can. If you can lower your load times to under two seconds, that’s amazing news - your site will be among the fastest out there!

More realistically, however, you should try to keep load times under three seconds. Most leading experts, including Google’s researchers, agree three seconds should be the maximum. Go any higher and you risk facing the drawbacks we’ve mentioned before.
Now you know how fast your website should be and why speed matters.

But that’s not all:

If you’re interested in more website speed facts, take a look at the graphic resource below.

How Speed Affects Your Website (Infographic)