Here at Radware, our latest research into the performance and page composition of top retail sites finds that the year-over-year trend toward bigger pages that take longer to load has continued. The median top 100 ecommerce page takes 6.2 seconds to render its primary content, 10.7 seconds to fully load, and weighs in at 1677 KB. The result? The median page takes 27% longer to begin rendering than it did just one year ago.
Keep reading to find out how to mitigate the impact of “page bloat” and deliver the best possible user experience to online customers.
In recent years, faster web page speed has been correlated with every business metric site owners care about, from search traffic to revenue. Yet despite the fact that just a few seconds – and sometimes even fractions of a second – can make the difference between online success and failure, it can be difficult for site owners to gain a true understanding of their web site’s performance.
Since 2010, Radware has measured and analyzed the performance – from a real-world perspective – of the top 500 online retailers. The purpose of this research is to gain ongoing visibility into how leading ecommerce sites perform for
visitors who use the internet under normal browsing conditions.
The purpose of this research — now available in our newest quarterly State of the Union for Ecommerce Performance — is to obtain a current snapshot of how retail websites perform for real users in real-world scenarios, as well as gain an understanding of past performance patterns that will allow us to predict future trends.
Some compelling findings from our latest research include:
1. Most retail websites are not meeting user expectations.
In an ideal world, web pages would render in three seconds or less. Yet we found that the median top 100 ecommerce home page takes 6.2 seconds to render its primary content and 10.7 seconds to fully load. Only 14% of the top 100 retail sites were able to deliver an optimal user experience. 17% took ten or more seconds just to be become interactive.
2. Websites are getting slower…fast.
In just one year, median time to interact (TTI) has slowed down by 27% (from 4.9 seconds to 6.2 seconds), and median load time has suffered a 49% increase (from 7.2 seconds to 10.7 seconds).
3. Page size and complexity are major factors in this performance slowdown.
The median page has grown by 67% in just one year – from 1007 KB in Summer 2013 to 1677 KB now. In 2013, the median page contained 82 resource requests. Today, the median page contains 100 requests. Much of this growth in size and complexity is due to the proliferation of poorly optimized images and third-party scripts (e.g. page analytics, tracking beacons, and social buttons).
There’s a positive takeaway for site owners: most websites offer huge untapped potential for optimization.
Site owners who have already implemented fundamental web performance optimization (WPO) best practices — such as using a content delivery network (CDN) and enabling keep-alives — and noticed a positive difference should know that there are many other front-end WPO techniques that can accelerate their pages even more. Our latest report highlights fifteen performance best practices that every site owner should consider in the quest to ensure that every shopper receives the the best possible online experience.
As a former senior researcher, writer, and solution evangelist for Radware, Tammy Everts spent years researching the technical, business, and human factor sides of web/application performance. Before joining Radware, Tammy shared her research findings through countless blog posts, presentations, case studies, whitepapers, articles, reports, and infographics for Strangeloop Networks.