Why is web performance important?
Excellent web performance is one of the most common challenges of websites. It is the umbrella term for how fast a site loads, how quickly it renders its content. But why is this important? Websites are getting bigger and bigger. We want to serve our users with more features.
At the same time websites struggle to serve these features fast and this leads to slower page speed. A bad example would be a delay in the interaction. And at its worst, lousy performance causes the website to be completely inaccessible.
Bad performance results in inaccessibility. This inaccessibility means not accessible to some humans, a low conversion rate and a high bounce rate for the products. The user may not notice an excellent web performance, but they will see a bad performance and will leave your site.
Web performance is about the user
There are so many reasons why an excellent web performance is an asset for your online business. We want users to buy our products, read our blog, interact with our game, watch our movies or listen to our music. Performance plays an essential role in the success of an online company.
Zalando saw a 0.7% increase in revenue when they shaved 100ms off their load time. (WPO stats) The Trainline reduced latency by 0.3 seconds across their funnel and customers spent an extra £8 million (~\$11.5 million) a year. BBC has seen that they lose an additional 10% of users for every additional second it takes for their site to load "Good performance is an asset. Bad performance is a liability." (developer.mozilla.org)
Improve conversion rate
You probably already heard of the conversion rate or it is already a sales factor in your business. The conversion rate is highly dependable on the site performance.
Amazon sees a 1% decrease in revenue for every 100ms increase in load time (source: WPO stats).
When you run a business on the web, performance is critical. To see how performance could potentially affect your revenue, check out the Impact Calculator tool.
Reduce bounce rate
At the same time, you measure an increasing conversion rate you can reduce your users bounce rate with a performant site. Moreover making on-page optimisation is crucial to lowering your bounce rate.
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Web performance is about accessibility
The sum of transfer size kilobytes of all resources requested by a page is still increasing. And as mobile users are a growing group of site visitors, we as developers and companies with websites have to keep in mind that the network connection varies depending on our location.
A user in some countries might not have significant problems downloading a big site, where users in other countries do have big problems. Not only that it takes more time for the user in a slow network or with a low mobile plan, but it also can cost them more money. A fast website, therefore, will help you and your potential clients.
Web performance is about the user experience
Users need to wait for a website to load. If this happens fast, there is no lack of user experience, and the user can follow the path you or your UX-designer developed. On a website with a bad performance, the user has to wait. Not only for the initial page load, the user often has to wait for interaction feedback and server responses.
Out of this fact, web performance or site speed is a crucial indicator for good user experience.
Web performance is about sustainability
What is web performance?
Some people think about these topics but use another term. Some synonyms are page speed, site speed, UX speed, web speed or event with an abbreviation like SSO (Site Speed Optimisation). Simon wrote a short article about rebranding web performance.
We can divide web performance into different modules:
- Planning and Metrics
- Rendering Performance
- Network / Loading Performance
- Build / Environment Performance
- Testing and Monitoring
There are a lot of great and free tools you can use to measure your performance. Google developers have an excellent overview of speed testing tools. But this is only the second step. In the beginning, there is planning. What are your goals, what do you want your users to do and what is your biggest problem?
The planning helps to implement a performance culture in your company or agency. The performance culture is the most critical part after measuring performance. You can spend much time and money and get a blazing fast website. But if you do not establish a performance culture for long-term success, you probably have the same issues after some time.
You can use some of the tools Google mentions behind the link above like google pagespeed insights or the web vitals test to make some lab testings. The page loading time, the response time or the time to first byte (TTFB) are only some of the values to look at.
Whereas synthetic testing gives you some approximate values, you can measure the user's experience in the real world. Real user measurement (RUM) measures precisely what the user feels and how your website performs. You get performance information and metrics like First Input Delay (FID), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
Web performance workshop
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Web performance workshop
devcademy by Marc Radziwill
Web Performance is still one of the most underrated topics in web development. Even though it can help us, our companies and customers with their and our business, make our website more accessible for people with a slow network and has a significant impact on a sustainable internet.become a web performance expert
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