Almost four out of five web users were annoyed as a result of a slow or unreliable website, and over two out five men and one in three women decided not to use a company again as a result of an overly slow website.

According to research released today by web hosts 1&1 Internet, slow and unreliable websites are still a major gripe for UK users. With nearly three quarters (71 percent) of UK web users regularly inconvenienced by slow running websites.

Britons waste nine minutes a day waiting for slow websites

1&1's 'Need for Speed Survey' found over half (59 percent) see large variations in the speed and reliability of the websites which they use. 1&1 calculated that waiting for a slow connection resulted in the average Briton wasting nine minutes every day, or two days a year, waiting for slow websites to load.

The majority of users annoyed by slow websites

A total of 78 percent of consumers have felt negative emotions as a result of a slow or unreliable website. Women appear more affected by related stress or anger, 34 per cent as compared to 27 per cent for men.

Whilst men may suffer less emotionally, they are perhaps more judgmental on the issue. Some 42 percent of men and 35 percent of women have decided not to use a company again as a result of an overly slow website.

Oliver Mauss, CEO 1&1 Internet said, "Consumers have never been so aware and unforgiving of slow running websites. If a website does not meet their expectations, users will switch to an alternative. Firms must be aware that their choice of hosting provider has never been so important. Those that fail to leverage the fastest possible bandwidth and most reliable hosting platforms risk losing revenue and reputation".

Slow sales and poor Google ranking

What's more a slow website will also have an effect on your Google ranking, your sales and your support calls.

Google now takes web speed in to account when it ranks pages on its search results pages; and a slower speed means you end up lower down on the page, or even on the second or third page. Additionally industry figures show each one second delay in loading a webpage can result in a seven percent reduction in sales. Your support call lines could also suffer, as 44 percent of UK consumers surveyed by 1&1 worried that their transaction had been successful over doubts over slow online connection.