Creating and managing your own website can come with a significant learning curve, and many website load time statistics highlight how much of a challenge the endeavor can be.
Assuming you’ve spent a decent amount of time on the internet, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed different load times across various websites.
Current data tells us that one in four website visitors will abandon the session if the site takes longer than four seconds to fully load.
This may sound rushed, but it’s simply the nature of navigating the online space.
It’s an environment that people want to be seamless and fast-paced.
Loading times have proven to be a leading cause of lost sales as well.
For this article, you’ll get a detailed look at various statistics focused on website load times and surrounding data points.
- Bounce rates tend to increase significantly if a website takes two to three seconds to load
- First-page search results on Google have an average load time of 1.65 seconds
- Sites that load in two seconds or less have a low bounce rate of 9%
- Conversion rates lower by roughly 4.42% with every passing second of load time between zero and five seconds
- 50% of smartphone users prefer to use a web client when shopping online because they don’t want to download a dedicated app
- The average speed of a website is 3.21 seconds
- Slow page loading speed impact 82% of consumers purchasing decisions
- E-commerce websites that load in one second see conversion rates that are three times higher
A Breakdown of Website Load Time Statistics
No one will argue that the speed of a website is a crucial component of the overall experience.
Slow websites are bound to annoy anybody, as most people expect websites to load in a flash.
Although this happens every so often, this isn’t usually the case.
Most websites take a few seconds to fully load, but people still get upset about it even though it’s common.
Within the first two seconds, websites generally see a pretty low bounce rate.
However, this increases rapidly if users are kept waiting.
By the five-second mark, bounce rates can jump as high as 38%.
It sounds like a lot of impatience, but it’s an attitude toward the internet and technology that isn’t going to change any time soon.
The following statistics will provide a gist of how website load times affect users, businesses, and the overall browsing experience.
1. Browsing on Desktop vs. Mobile
Most websites have desktop and mobile versions available so that they’re easily accessible from computers and smartphones alike.
Unfortunately, load times aren’t a universal experience in this scenario.
Web pages on desktops have proven to be faster at 10.3 seconds, whereas mobile devices take around 27.3 seconds to fully load a web page.
In the table below, you can compare desktop and mobile devices that focus on different aspects of web traffic. Keep in mind this information is based on 900 billion web visits in 2018.
|Total Web Visits
|Page Views Per Visit
These numbers are bound to shuffle throughout the years, but mobile is clearly the preference when browsing the internet.
Many people would agree that convenience is hard to beat.
Then again, mobile devices do take much longer to fully load web pages, at least on average.
2. The Highest Impact is in the First Five Seconds
When someone visits a website, the most significant impact is going to happen within the first five seconds.
Many different bits of information race through the users’ minds in seconds, and they determine whether they want to stick around or not.
This is a good example of why fast load times are so vital.
Business owners have also found that the first five seconds is where you’ll find the largest impact on conversion rates as well.
Once your web page loads, it only has a few seconds to grab the interest of the visitor.
A website isn’t going to work perfectly 100% of the time, but being aware of well-known complications can website owners prepare.
If you’re able to achieve a load time of one to two seconds, most people who visit the website will be happy to stick around, as nothing has gotten in their way at the moment.
3. Users Like to be Seen
Part of website load times also consider the information the website receives when you visit.
Although not all websites retain critical information you enter, some do for convenience, such as login credentials.
58% of cell phone users tend to be more favorable toward companies whose websites remember them and their past behavior on the site.
This instance can never happen if your website has a high bounce rate.
Mere seconds may not seem like much, but anything past two seconds, and you’re risking a lot of lost users.
People like convenience when browsing online, and a website shouldn’t feel like an encumbrance task to navigate.
Load time also considers how different aspects of your website load, not just the home page.
This is relevant as 63% of smartphone users are more prone to purchase from businesses whose websites deliver relevant product recommendations.
If a website isn’t able to load efficiently or if there are specific pieces of content that won’t load, it’s bound to affect the business and the user experience.
4. How Load Times Correlate to Lead Generation
It’s fairly common for businesses to use their websites as a medium for lead generation, but this can only be successful with reasonable load times.
Sites with a quick load time of roughly one second generally see a lead generation conversion rate of 39%.
On the opposite end, websites that took around six seconds to load only saw a conversion rate of 18%.
These are small differences that can make a huge impact on a business, and just a single extra second of load time can drastically diminish conversion rates.
In the list below, you can get a look at the estimated conversion rates for different load times on a website.
- 1 second = 39%
- 2 seconds = 34%
- 3 seconds = 29%
- 4 seconds = 24%
- 5 seconds = 22%
- 6 seconds = 18%
It seems people are most tolerable between one and three seconds, but many more users drop off past that point.
Whether you’re using a desktop, laptop, or mobile device, websites can have a number of issues happening at any given time in the day.
Some are more common than others, but this will inevitably affect the user experience for some people.
5. Common Issues with Websites and Mobile Phones
Most people would prefer to browse the web on their phones with the help of Wi-Fi, but this isn’t always available.
Using standard phone data to access the internet can be rather unpredictable and definitely affects website load times based on your signal strength.
Nevertheless, there are several known common complications regarding mobile phones and website load times, and most users have encountered them at some point in time.
|Percentage of Users
|The website was too slow to load
|Visited a website that crashed, froze, or received an error
|The website had bad formatting, making content difficult to read
|The website they visited didn’t function as expected
|Came across a website that was down or no longer available
Website maintenance may seem like an annoying task, but it’s vital to ensure a seamless user experience at all hours of the day.
It’s evident that slow load times is the most common complaint among users, and it should be a primary concern for those with their own website or business.
Web Speed’s Impact on Business
Although there are plenty of individuals who manage their own websites as a hobby, most websites are created to support a growing business.
You can assume that a slow-loading website would negatively affect a business, and this is true in more ways than one.
Statistics in this realm highlight just how damaging slow load times can be.
You’d be surprised how many businesses live with a slow-loading website and simply don’t care to address the issue.
Overall, companies should be doing everything they can to ensure their website is easily accessible.
If not, they could face the same fate that’s found in the statistics listed below.
6. The Effect on Customer Loyalty
If consumers can’t rely on a website to load, this is bound to affect a brand’s customer loyalty.
79% of consumers who encounter a dissatisfying experience on a website are much less likely to ever return in the future.
64% of individuals would just go to a different online store to purchase the same product.
Below are a few more statistics on how loading times can negatively impact customer loyalty.
- Checkout speed is the primary deciding factor in whether or not 46% of shoppers will return to the site down the road
- If they have to wait too long for a page to load, 14% of browsers will simply shop on another website
- Slow websites is a core factor in cart abandonment for 51% of online shoppers in the U.S.
- 18% of consumers online will leave their cart if they determine the website is too slow altogether
Customer loyalty is crucial for a number of reasons, but this specific issue is guaranteed to impact sales.
It’s somewhat of a domino effect, as this can impact sales, and slow load times can also impact sales.
It all starts with the functionality of the website.
If you’re able to maintain a seamless and efficient website experience, shoppers are more likely to go all the way through the buyer’s journey.
7. Load Times Can Directly Impact Sales
An optimized load time for a website can lead to improvements in sales from multiple angles.
As you might expect, slow loading times can negatively impact sales on a pretty large scale.
Between zero and five seconds, the conversion rate reduces by 4.42% for every passing second.
This tells us that every little bit matters and there are several statistics that can support this.
It doesn’t take much to make an improvement in sales, as even a load time increase of 0.1 seconds can help.
The following stats are based on a site speed increase of 0.1 seconds:
- Luxury brand page views per session increased by 8.6%
- Average order value increased by 9.2%
- Retail conversions increased by 8.4%
You’ll find that there’s too much data that supports the importance of website load times for it to be ignored.
From another perspective, website load times can also have a direct impact on SEO.
It’s important to get a grasp on this issue as it can generate a broad range of issues for any website and the business behind it.
8. Don’t Forget About SEO
Ranking your website on Google considers many different aspects, and this includes load times, as Google is known to value the user experience.
Simply put, since slow load times can lead to a dissatisfying experience for users, this could affect the ranking of a website.
User satisfaction can be seen in the bounce rates across different websites.
It’s a well-known fact that websites that take longer to load suffer higher bounce rates.
When a website has a quick load time, users are bound to spend more time on the site exploring multiple pages.
This is what can positively or negatively affect a website’s SEO ranking.
Of course, many different factors play into SEO, but website load times are a piece of the puzzle.
A website’s search ranking should definitely be a top priority, which means load times should be addressed across every page.
9. A Roadblock in the Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey includes a multi-step process that leads someone to buy a product or service.
Businesses that have a good understanding of this can market toward this behavior to hopefully make more sales.
Unfortunately, websites that have slow load times can act as a roadblock in this process.
No matter how badly someone wants a product, if the website is difficult to navigate and pages won’t load, they’ll find the product somewhere else.
Statistics show that roughly 70% of consumers admit that website speed directly correlates to their willingness to stick around and make a purchase.
That’s money out of the door for businesses, and that sole experience could lead to the loss of a potential customer forever.
10. People Visit Websites for One-Time Purchases
There are many instances where someone needs to make a one-time purchase for a product, and they’d rather resort to the convenience of online shopping.
Whether they’re first-time customers or not, this is an entire demographic of sales that are bound to occur.
Data tells us that 30% of smartphone shoppers are more likely to use a brand’s website to make a one-time purchase.
A lot of this comes down to convenience, but 30% is a pretty big number.
If a website doesn’t load properly or fast enough, that company will miss out on that entire 30%.
This demographic is looking for a quick buying experience, and it’s probable that they won’t tolerate drawn-out load times.
Aside from sales, Google rankings, and customer loyalty, slow load times can significantly affect the behavior of web users.
When you look at various demographics and statistics among different users, it’s more than just users exiting out of a slow website.
The Effects of Load Times on User Behavior
Everyone is different, but most people have very little patience for slow-loading websites.
This inherently leads to a chain of decisions as they search for a better website, company, and product.
It’s also evident that user behavior is quite different between desktop and mobile devices.
People consider a number of factors when it comes to managing their impatience.
Slow-loading websites are frustrating, but some users can tolerate it more than others.
Overall, this section will focus on various nuances between user behavior and website load times.
11. How Long Are Users Willing to Wait?
You’d be surprised by some people, as most are willing to wait longer than you might think.
There’s a certain level of understanding in regard to loading web pages, but everyone has their limits.
In the chart below, you can get a look at how long people are willing to wait for a web page to load before moving on.
For most people, it seems they’re willing to wait around six to 10 seconds for a website to load.
However, a surprising percentage of people are willing to wait 20 seconds or more.
Keep in mind these wait times are in reference to before a user abandons a web page.
Nevertheless, as always, some people are more patient than others.
12. The Impact of Website Performance on Shopping Behavior
When a user encounters a slow-loading website, there are a few negative outcomes that can stem from this experience.
Stats highlight exactly what can happen and just how damaging slow load times can be.
Some people keep to themselves about it, but others take it as a chance to go on a crusade against the company, infecting the internet with their unsavory opinions about the website.
Here are a few statistics that focus on how load times affect different kinds of user behavior:
- 44% of consumers online will tell their friends about a bad experience on a website
- 40% will exit a website that takes more than three seconds to load
- 47% of shoppers expect every web page to load in under two seconds
- 52% of shoppers agree that loading time has a big influence on their loyalty to the site
People take loading times seriously, and it heavily weighs on their decision on whether to return to a website or not.
Loading times can leave a lasting impression on users that they never forget, which can impact a business in the long run from multiple angles.
13. Word of Mouth Never Fails
If you happen to have a website that carries the best possible experience for your product or service, shoppers will be happy to return.
Not only that, but they’ll point others in your direction as they see you as the leading website for your niche.
The experience they had on this website can’t be outpaced by anyone else, making your website the only one that’s needed in their eyes.
A positive or negative experience with website load times can make or break a customer relationship.
It’s important to note that nearly 50% of shoppers are likely to make a purchasing decision due to a conversation they had with someone in real life.
If you’re working with slow load times, that conversation may end up being a negative one.
This means you lose two potential customers in the process.
A website can’t be working at its best 100% of the time, but you can get pretty close with proper maintenance.
From an individual or business perspective, driving traffic to your website requires load times that people can deal with.
If you aren’t able to deliver that, a majority of them will happily look elsewhere within seconds.
The Bottom Line
In our fast-paced modern world, it may seem like people are increasingly impatient, but that’s just the nature of technology.
Not only does tech influence a fast-paced environment, but it has trained people to expect a quick response at every turn.
Even though this isn’t always the case, most people don’t care to tolerate slow-loading websites.
It’s a battle every website owner faces, but plenty can be done to ensure a website stays on top of load times across different web pages.
In this article, you learned about various website load time statistics and other key points relevant to the topic of how it affects website owners and users.