On high quality hosting, with a well built website theme you can expect a well built site to load in 1-1.5 seconds in the country where it’s hosted.
For your overseas visitors, expect to see an additional 0.5-1 second additional load time for them. We recommend all sites use Cloudflare as this will help speed up the site for your overseas visitors quite significantly.
To get below that magical 1 second mark most sites need to start looking at removing tracking codes, plugins and externally hosted elements like Facebook and Twitter social widgets and like boxes, and Youtube videos.
Generally we don’t have any control over what these third party elements do so if speed is your number 1 priority than reducing the number of these elements on your site is critical – we can advise on the best course of action here and often there are things that can be done to reduce the impact these elements have on load speed.
A good example here is removing the news feed from your Twitter and Facebook social widgets as these load an extremely large number of elements.
Over time many sites end up with a huge amount of analytics, tracking and remarketing codes embedded in the site and often many aren’t being used. Removing the codes that aren’t being used will often improve load time by half a second.
One other common problem we come across is video backgrounds – while these might look great they often are adding 5-10mb of bloat to the page size, a lot to download on a slow internet connection!
It’s important to recognize that there will always be a tradeoff between site speed and what works from a sales and marketing perspective. For example, removing all Youtube video embeds from a page will absolutely speed it up but then it’s going to perform as well from a sales and marketing perspective.
While fast load times are extremely important we want to ensure that other equally important sales and marketing elements are not cannibalized in the process of improving your site speed.