The True Impact of Website Performance: A Client’s Cautionary Tale

by Nick Young July 27, 2023

Performance Under Scrutiny: The Caveats of Neglect

When the client – a growing cupcake delivery service – first connected with us, they brought along a significantly outdated website. Even before we stepped in, their site was enduring extensive performance issues. Over time these issues escalated due to their continually swelling database, the result of poorly constructed repeating processes built into their site from its initial development.

The Consequence of Constant Downtime

Operating in the digital age with a handicap like that, it’s only natural that the organic traffic to their website took a substantial hit. The very foundation of their digital presence was shaky, with the site maintaining only an approximately 85% uptime. That’s equivalent to closing shop for almost two full months in a year! 99.99% uptime is the minimum that a business owner should expect from their website. Unsurprisingly, desolation of this scale meant their organic traffic dropped by a staggering 65%, thereby causing a 46% dip in their revenue from organic traffic.

A Ray of Hope: Fortifying Conversion Rates Amidst Chaos

Despite the adversity, we decided to tackle the issues head-on and channelled our efforts entirely towards what was within our control, primarily enhancing the website’s user experience. We revamped the site’s mobile design, resolved issues associated with whitespace and CTA visibility, among plenty of others. Our relentless improvements in UX helped bring about a 25% increase in conversion rates. A glimmer of hope, but the traffic slump was too deep to fill fully.

The Deafening Silence to Suggestions

As the downslide continued, we found ourselves knocking on closed doors. Despite constant follow-ups and providing a slew of solutions — from updating the CMS, migrating to a more competent hosting provider, to even offering a complete rebuild of their website on the Shopify platform, the client remained unresponsive. The much-needed changes never materialised, outlining the start of an irreversible downward spiral in performance.

Lessons Learned: The Critical Need for Timely Interventions

This situation served as a significant learning curve not just for us, but for how we perceive client relations. Recognising the pivotal roles timeliness and open collaboration play in resolving technical issues, we’re aiming to foster an environment of mutual commitment with all our clients. Yet, if for some reason a potential partner is unable to meet these preconditions, we are more comfortable with the idea of an early partnership dissolution. Not as a measure to guard our own resources, but in a concerted effort to ensure that both parties are set up for the best possible chance of success. Committing to a partnership where one party isn’t ready could lead to strained relationships and an unsatisfactory outcome. It’s a hard decision to make, but sometimes it’s better to part ways in the short term, keeping the door open for future opportunities when both parties are better aligned for mutual success.

Wrapping up

Let the client’s tale reiterate: When we stress on “Performance Matters,” it’s not a cliche. It’s a wakeup call that can make or break your digital presence. Ignoring technical issues can lead to a digital catastrophe you wouldn’t want to face. Beware, consider this a cautionary tale, and mind your website’s health. After all, your business rides on it.

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