Considering that Google uses many (many) different signals to determine search rankings, it is not surprising to learn that many SEO specialists consider page load speed as one factor, if not one of the most important factors, in Google’s ranking system. After all, Google makes a big deal about safeguarding the viewing experience of its users. When it comes to this particular concern, the page load speed can definitely impact how well users respond to a web page. The slower the page, the higher is the likelihood that they will abandon shopping carts or simply click the back button.
If you want all the competitive factors to work for you in tandem, it is absolutely essential to focus on your page load speed. The faster, the better. WordPress theme makers know that speed is a big deal to serious online publishers and SEOs, which is why they hype up the load times of their WordPress themes. Indeed, many of the bigger WordPress theme shops make it a point to boast about the super fast speeds achieved by their themes.
It’s too easy to get excited about all the fast page load claims you’d normally find on the sites of WordPress theme developers. If you load the demo pages of their themes, you would be impressed with the fast loading speeds that you get with them. Surely, they have the themes you need to get a competitive advantage in the dog eat dog world of SEO, right?
In an article at Smashing Magazine we tell how we ran several tests using independent theme installs. We compared these to show how important the role played by hosting and server setup was and how you really can´t expect to get the same high loading time as on the vendor sites. The difference in performance is quite shocking and what you see is most often not what you get. If you thought that you only needed to buy the ‘right theme’, then we can only warn you that you would be setting yourself up for a massive disappointment – because what you get is different from what you had expected.
Below you will find an infographic that summarizes the tests. Yeah, we know it’s a bit too detailed, but it’s our very first 😉