Web performance has operated under a certain precept for some time: “Faster is Better.”
In this post, I’m going to tell the story of how we came to recognize the incredible value of auto-preloading, and how this single technique doesn’t just make individual pages faster — it accelerates a user’s entire flow through a site and ultimately delivers the best possible user experience.
*NB: Don't panic. Correlation does not equal causation. More on that later in this post. In our latest quarterly research into the performance of the top 500 ecommerce sites, we found that while 75% of the top 100 websites use a content delivery network, CDN usage doesn't correlate to faster load times. Sites that use a CDN take a full second longer to render primary content than their non-CDN-using counterparts. Today, I want to discuss why these findings aren't as surprising as they sound, what CDNs fix versus what they can't fix, and how site owners can ensure they're covering all their performance bases.
Earlier this week, I had the privilege of speaking at the RWD Summit, alongside awesome folks like Tim Kadlec, Brad Frost, and Jenn Lukas. I presented some of the findings of research we conducted here at Radware about how mobile users engage with ecommerce sites, and how this engagement is affected when pages are slowed down even by marginal amounts.