Slow performance can cost you in more ways than you know.

You've invested a fortune in your shiny new website.

Your organization has stepped up their game, and elected to build a site that's easy to update.

It delivers some really beautiful pages and your organization is proud to show it off.

Your management team did their research and decided to have it built - or build it internally.

The team scrambles to assemble powerful content, and share this beautiful new fandangled rich-media stuff.

Everything looks amazing except the site is dead slow.

It Takes More than Horsepower
Your team explains that there's a database system running now and pages take longer to load. They can add more RAM to your shared hosting account, but some of the caching features of the system just don't seem to be performing optimally. Often times, with shared hosting this is the case. It just doesn't work - or better yet it totally breaks the site. Caching is just one of the things which may be slowing your site down. We'll look at a few of the common ones - bottlenecks, code issues, and caching (or lack thereof). We aren't going to get in to database indexing etc, as this can be rather specific to your actual case. Kissmetrics - another platform for measuring behavioural data suggests 40% of your visitors will leave if your page takes more than three seconds to load.

So your developer adds more horsepower to your hosting package and it seems faster to you, but still it's taking its good ole time to load. Every morning it's like waking the dead to visit the home page and check the company news. Now you're on a slightly more expensive hosting account with more features, and maybe website caching works but it's still not as fast as this new, awesome site should be. I guess adding more horsepower helped but only a tiny bit. If there's any number of people on the site, it's really slowing down though.
You've got 3 seconds max. After that, a good chunk of your audience is going to go elsewhere.
Caching Usually Equals Performance
Caching is a method whereby the website itself is able to either pre-load a majority of site pages, or page assets in memory, or save rendered pages in bins we refer to as cache in order to be able to deliver them faster to the user. In an ideal world, the result is faster pages. Some hosting is just not set up to allow websites to take advantage of these technologies. They're trying to serve as many pages as possible at once, and it's the wild west on there.
"Fact is, slow pages are a drag. Nobody likes them. If people think they can find a faster page, or they can get the information faster, the average web users among them will click away -- fast."- Brian Sutter - Guest Writer/
Streamlining Modules and Plugins
This is where a lot of value comes in to play. Your development team has strapped a bunch of community contributed modules and plugins in order to create your site. In most cases, as sites are developed, your team is not actually keeping an eye on a module they may have added which is slow, or getting called too many times in a page load. At some point they may notice things have slowed or they may not. Usually that level of testing wouldn't be done until they're on the deployment server with certain settings optimized for your live site. The technical folks on your team building the site should have an understanding of what's actually being loaded, when, and why. Especially in the case where something is going awry. Often times this is where teams run into issues, as they can use the tools when they're working but if something comes up requiring a fix, or specific attention they're in the dust reaching for help everywhere online.

For actual application streamlining we work primarily with the New Relic suite of optimization and streamlining tools. These tools allow our developers to understand what's working and what's not. It's a lot like your automobile mechanic using diagnostic tools in order to find what's wrong with your car. Profiling a website is an important part of understanding where there are performance bottlenecks, and fixing them. These tools will help lead your technical team to problems they're able to address. Pantheon's integration with New Relic is simply amazing. It allows us to retain metrics for our client websites and not only be informed about performance, but get another level of insight around user data. This data - in combination with other analytical information allows our teams to make informed decisions about where to steer your online presence next.
Adding Caching aka Reverse Proxy
Remember those bins of pre-compiled pages we referred to earlier as cached pages? Varnish is a technology which can be thought of as caching on steroids. It's what we refer to as a reverse-proxy technology which pre-cache content, and speed your site by 300-1000 times. You can write code to take more advantage of Varnish, but for Drupal and Wordpress, Pantheon is built to take advantage of much of these features - and allow developers to customize their own functionality to do the same. This allows page performance to be optimal for your users who get to experience rocket fast, and dependable website performance. When it comes to repeat visits, your users won't be cringing to have to use your site if it's performing optimally.

The end result and end goal of all of this is user retention and ultimately satisfaction that they visited your website or service, and got what they needed. If speed becomes an issue, then you're just upping their likelihood of leaving to find the next best thing.

If your pages are loading slowly, your analytical data will indicate with either an increasing or inherently high bounce rate. By properly analyzing user generated data and how visitors are actually using your site, and where they're kicking off - your design and development team should be able to adjust, iterate, and measure your website in able to better performance. If you're going to survive online, you need to be reviewing your user generated information, understand the data being generated and be able to rely on expertise to react appropriately - or you might just be missing your mark completely.
If visitors are happy with aesthetics, content and site speed, they'll usually stick around.
Regular Service, Maintenance and Optimization
Website maintenance, optimization and iterative improvements are a huge part of how we've built some long lasting relationships. We do regular streamlining of our client websites to make sure we're not serving up un-necessarily slow pages. We're also keeping most of our client sites running silky smooth and rocket fast with Varnish and in many cases - highly customized performance modifications to make sure we're delivering pages to your users as fast as possible.

Cheap hosting is likely costing you money, and robbing your workflow of quality control.

Find out how we can help maximize your investment and get it running FAST! If your site is running slowly, your visitors are likely going elsewhere for the same information.