Facebook wants faster websites, so time to speed up

If your webpage loads slowly it may harm your Facebook traffic.

Facebook is constantly trying to improve the customer experience for its users and speed is the latest factor to be targeted.

In a tweak to Facebook’s algorithm, links that are shared to webpages will be assessed on how fast they load. That’s because slow-loading pages mean a poor experience, especially on mobile devices.

As many as 40 percent of website visitors abandon a site after three seconds of delay.” Facebook engineers Jiayi Wen and Shengbo Guo.

The update means that if you (or others) are sharing links to your website, but that site loads slowly when accessed from a mobile device, it will be shown less in Facebook user’s News Feeds (timeline).

The upside is that if the page appears that it will load quickly then it will be higher ranked in Facebook and should get seen more.

The techy stuff means that factors such as the user’s internet connection speed will be taken into consideration.

What should you do now?

The important thing is to ensure that your webpages load as fast as possible. Remember this is your website, not your Facebook page.

Things like large images can really slow your website down, along with code that needs to process while a page is loading. If technology isn’t your thing then ask your web designer.

Facebook’s engineers have provided a list of best practices to improve speeds on mobile sites:

  1. Minimize landing page redirects, plugins, and link shorteners
  2. Compress files to decrease mobile rendering time
  3. Improve server response time by utilizing multi region hosting
  4. Remove render-blocking javascript
  5. Use a high-quality content delivery network to reach your audience quickly
  6. Remove redundant data that does not impact how the page is processed by the browser
  7. Optimize images to reduce file size without diminishing visual quality
  8. Reduce the size of above the fold content to prioritize visual content
  9. Use asynchronous scripts to streamline page render time
  10. Dynamically adjust the content for slower connections/devices

You can check how fast your site loads by using Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool.

And remember that speedy websites are not just a concern for Facebook. Google also uses load-speed as part of its search rankings and most important, customers want it NOW!

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