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.
Cyber Monday is just around the corner, and early predictions point to holiday ecommerce sales hitting an all-time record of $72 billion. But retailers know that competition for this ecommerce spend will also be at an all-time high. Many will leverage aggressive strategies, ranging from rich visuals to geo-targeting campaigns, to earn their share of the holiday retail pie. These strategies, however, can come with a significant performance price tags, making pages slow to render -- and ultimately driving away consumers.
Today at Radware, we've released our latest research into the performance of the world's most popular ecommerce sites. Our research answers the question: Is the fight to offer shoppers the richest possible content helping or hurting the user experience?
Mobile used to take the backseat to desktop, but no longer. One out of four people worldwide own a smartphone, and at least 55% of all time spent on retail sites takes place on mobile devices. These numbers are why we've decided to release our annual state of the union for mobile web performance on the same day as our quarterly desktop state of the union.
In this post, I'll walk through a high-level summary of our key findings, including statistics around load times, website fragmentation, and mobile performance challenges.
One of the funny things about the latest research we've just released at Radware is that, depending on whom I talk with about it, their reaction ranges from "Wow, that's amazing!" to "You studied what? Why?"
In case you're in the second camp, let me give a bit of back story...
Selecting the best image rendering format is the first step on the path toward fully optimized images, but even this first step is fraught with debate. At the core of the debate is this seemingly simple question: Should we use baseline or progressive images? If you're not a web designer or developer, you might find yourself wondering if this is really a crucial question. But if you are a designer or developer, you're aware that this question has major ramifications in terms of creating the best possible user experience.
At Radware, our latest research explores this important user experience issue and yields answers that are supported by real data.
Autumn is shaping up to be a very full season, so I'm taking advantage of the relative quiet to take a little R&R. I'll see you back here in September. In the meantime, here's a roundup of posts that Google Analytics tells me people liked. I hope you like them, too.
We recently released our latest quarterly research into the performance and page composition of the top 500 online retailers. Today, I thought it would be revealing to take a look at the ten fastest sites and the ten slowest sites and see what they have in common, where they differ, and what insights we can derive from this.
For every post I write about performance, there are dozens that I read. Every so often, I read one that makes me clutch my (metaphorical) pearls and wish I'd written it myself. Here's a batch of recent wish-I'd-written-that posts by people you should be following, if you aren't already.
When we conducted our latest quarterly research into the performance of the top 500 retail websites, we weren't completely surprised to learn that many of the top retailers are making the same set of design decisions that ultimately hurt web performance. The good news is that these mistakes represent excellent "low-hanging fruit" opportunities to optimize their pages.
Last week, we released our quarterly State of the Union for ecommerce web performance, which, among other things, found that the median top 100 retail site takes 6.2 seconds to render primary content and 10.7 seconds to fully load. We also found that the median page is 1677 KB in size -- 67% larger than it was just one year ago, when the median page was 1007 KB.
These findings and more -- including Time to Interact and Load Time for the ten fastest sites -- are illustrated in this poster-style set of infographics.
Last week, I was extremely fortunate in being able to speak at the annual Shop.org Online Merchandising Workshop. In the performance community, we so often find ourselves preaching to the converted: to each other, to developers, and to others who focus on the under-the-hood aspect of web performance. Attending this Shop.org event was a fantastic chance to talk with a completely different group of professionals -- people in marketing and ecommerce -- in other words, people who govern much of the high-level strategy and day-to-day decision-making that happens at retail sites.
When attending other speakers' sessions, it was gratifying to see performance bubble up as a recurring theme. It was obvious to me that there's an emerging sense of interest and urgency around performance. The tricky part is ensuring that performance gets its share of mental real estate among a group of professionals who are clearly already burdened with a massive set of challenges in the increasingly complex ecommerce space.