Web performance has operated under a certain precept for some time: “Faster is Better.”
Shamus McGillicuddy is a Senior Analyst for EMA and is a featured guest blogger.
Online retailers have understood the importance of web application performance for a long time, since back when the Amazon was better known as a river than as an e-commerce giant. Enterprises have been a little slower to catch on. Sooner or later, though, all of them will realize that web performance optimization isn’t just for e-commerce apps anymore.
In the hyper-accelerated world of technology, the modern consumer is bombarded with near-daily news of technological breakthroughs, OS updates, device refreshes and breakneck broadband speeds. With this all comes a reinforcement of expectations for modern webpages to deliver dynamic, rich content on par with high-definition cable programming, delivered just as fast as a user would change a channel from one HD broadcast to another.
As we do every quarter at Radware, we’re releasing a new “state of the union” report – an in-depth snapshot of web performance of the world’s top ecommerce sites.
Imagine a world where smartphones were only upgraded every 15 years. It is hard to imagine waiting that long for new hardware and new functionality to meet consumer expectations and demands. It is even harder to imagine how the update will integrate all the changes in the way people utilize their smartphones.
Yes, the Internet is getting slower, and people are noticing. The issue is going beyond the sphere of wonks and site admins to the general population.
Why? Because people hate waiting.
Traditionally, when we look at web performance, we create a time-series graph that focuses on dimensions like browser or page template. These are all technically-oriented measurements that are collected automatically based on what is readily available. Last year at the Velocity conference, I met Anh-Tuan Gai from WebPerf IO who showed me a more business-oriented approach to visualizing performance data. I found his approach very interesting and asked him to collaborate on sharing the approach for Web Performance Today.
There are compelling arguments why companies – particularly online retailers – should care about serving faster pages to their users. Countless studies have found an irrefutable connection between load times and key performance indicators ranging from page views to revenue.
For every 1 second of improvement, Walmart.com experienced up to a 2% conversion increase. Firefox reduced average page load time by 2.2 seconds, which increased downloads by 15.4% — resulting in an estimated 10 million additional downloads per year. And when auto parts retailer AutoAnything.com cut load times in half, it experienced a 13% increase in sales.
Recently at Radware, we released our latest research into the performance and page speed of the world’s top online retailers. This research aims to answer the question: in a world where every second counts, are retailers helping or hurting their users’ experience – and ultimately their own bottom line?
In survey after survey, internet users say they want their online experience to be as safe, reliable, and fast as possible. That's why security, availability, and performance are at the core of everything we do at Radware. And that's why we've compiled this list of resolutions -- from managing page bloat to regaining control of rogue third-party scripts -- for site owners who want to deliver the fastest possible user experience to their audience.
During the past 12 months, we’ve worked to provide more than application delivery and security solutions. Our goal was (and is) to share knowledge with the IT community so you can assess upcoming trends, implement best practices, and gain insights through our research. Thanks to our readers, partners, customers, and team members for another great year of sharing our thought leadership.
Here’s a look at what resonated the most with our readers this past year. Happy Holidays and we wish you a smart, successful, and secure 2015. Cheers!