I’m guilty. I was the boiled frog, not realizing how much website performance matters as a valuable business asset.

My website performance had been abysmal and slowly declining over time. For some reason, I didn’t think that moving from one website hosting company to another would make much difference. Things that could improve user experience were not something I was aware of. I had no idea what Google and other algorithms want to place my content and services in front of my potential clients when they need it. I was the frog, slowly boiling alive.

“The boiling frog is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but put the frog in tepid water, which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and gets cooked to death.

 

Often, people tell this story as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly.”

My website had a plethora of content. I knew my content was high quality, so why was my website not getting any traffic? Why wasn’t my website delivering the results good content is supposed to achieve? My audience wasn’t seeing all the content I spent time writing to help my audience. Where were my blind spots?

Tamara Lee Taylor of Show Up Strong® answered those questions and has done a masterful job of helping me resolve those issues. Reframing how I approach my website made a huge difference.

What I learned about website performance easily relates to how configuration management and parts numbering systems work. I just didn’t think about my website in that context.

Pay Attention to Supplier Timelines

If you have a supplier with a slow delivery system, you lose the attention of potential customers, current customers, media outlets, and word of mouth.

I had been with my previous web hosting company, OMNIS, for about 20 years. I lived with poor performance due to my perceived difficulty and risk of switching to a different website hosting provider. Sure, my website was slow, but I didn’t consider how important that was to site visitors or the algorithms responsible for mass delivery of my site content.

While I’ve got lots of data, I’m going to select one datapoint for hosting comparison on loading my davegardner.biz homepage before and after switching hosting providers:

OMNIS Load Time: 14.46 seconds
SiteGround Load Time: 4.54 seconds

That’s a lifetime in today’s world.

My Backend Delivery and Configuration Needed a Makeover

My website configuration was like IKEA instructions. It was confusing, missing information, had extra parts, had disjointed delivery, and bulky packaging. This wasn’t something I had even considered or had known anything about, but it mattered to my results, so fixing it was a priority.

Proper Schematics and Instructions Matter

Thinking of my content like parts manufacturing, I was producing parts for specific needs, but the parts were piling up, with no users.

I wasn’t relaying the message clearly. The parts (my content) could be for cars, furniture, airplanes, or blenders. Who or what the site was for or what it did to help deliver what they needed, wasn’t clear. As a result, when someone tried entering the parts number they needed (the problem my content solved) into search engines, I didn’t show up.

I didn’t know there was a specific way to tell algorithms and users what/who my website was for, what they could find on my website, and the schematics.

Continual Evolution

I didn’t consider how website performance matters like business performance. They both need continual improvement, updates, customer feedback, and to stay on top of industry standards (and much more).

I wasn’t “in the know” about changes to industry standards and regulations or how that was hurting my website. I needed my site updated for Google to take notice and start indexing my content.

What I Learned About One of My Biggest Business Assets:
  1. If something is annoying me, it’s going to annoy users.
  2. Users will leave my website in a flash if my website is slow.
  3. Algorithms will not index slow websites.
  4. Switching suppliers (hosting providers) wasn’t the nightmare I thought it would be.
  5. Supply chain and configuration management apply to websites.
  6. Websites aren’t set it and forget it.
  7. I need to update my site to match the evolution of my services, regulations, and trends.
  8. It’s better to outsource maintenance and oversite (unless that’s your business focus).
  9. If people aren’t finding my content, it’s not helping the people I want to help.
  10. I’m wasting my time writing content if nobody sees it.

While all the fixes are still in the works, I’ve seen an incredible improvement. My website is now loading in less than one second and I’ve got A ratings on my website reports. I’m starting to show up for people who need answers to the problems I solve. I’m not the boiled frog anymore. I understand website performance matters and I’m utilizing my valuable business asset.

Configuration Management website performance and the boiled frog

    What was I thinking? Don’t become a boiled frog when you know something is wrong. Get help! What could an improvement like that mean to your business performance?

    Thought for the week:

    “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” – Steve Jobs

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    What do you think? I welcome your comments! Dave Gardner
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    Dave Gardner

    Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, author, and blogger based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner focuses on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. Dave is the author of Mass Customization: An Enterprise-Wide Business Strategy - How Build to Order, Assemble to Order, Configure to Order, Make to Order, and Engineer to Order Manufacturers Increase Profits and Better Satisfy Customers.

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