Last week, I had the great privilege of presenting an O’Reilly webcast as part of the lead-up to Velocity Santa Clara. The catch was that I didn’t want to give away what I’ll be presenting at Velocity, so I needed to come up with a brand-new topic. I decided to talk about third-party scripts, for two reasons…
My recent post about page growth (or page shrinkage, as the case may be) hit a nerve with a lot of people, so this week I thought I’d take my first dive into the Mobile HTTP Archive, the mobile counterpoint to the HTTP Archive I cited last week. The Mobile HTTP Archive tests the same list of URLs, but it does so using smartphones. This means that if a URL redirects to a mobile site, the Archive tests the mobile site.
Just like last week, I looked at the top 1,000 URLs. What I found won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following this blog for a while. While there are many similarities between these findings and last week’s, there are also a number of insights that are unique to mobile devices.
According to the HTTP Archive, the average top 1,000 web page is 1491 KB in size, 5% smaller than it was six months ago, when the average page reached a record size of 1575 KB.
But let’s not start celebrating yet.
Does this finding represent the start of a new trend toward smaller pages, or is it just an isolated incident? To answer this question, we need to take a look into the Archive’s other findings.
I talk to a lot of people who have taken on the role of in-house performance evangelist at their organization, and I know it can be a hard, lonely job. Often it’s a self-appointed role because you’re genuinely passionate about web performance. And often you’re fighting a one-person battle in a workplace that’s already struggling to cover a lot of other technical bases with limited resources.
Over the past few months, we’ve been slowly rolling out Expert Talks, a series of easy-to-digest, solution-agnostic videos that provide brief explainers of key performance concepts. One of our goals in creating this series is to make it easier for you to evangelize within your organization by offering videos that you can use to explain whatever performance issue you’re trying to define or solve.
One of the reasons why I love this video is that it does a better job than any other material I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a LOT of material) to tell a real-world story of what a page delay feels like in our modern world and how it can throw some unpleasant friction into your day.
Last week, we released our quarterly State of the Union for ecommerce web performance, which found (among other things) that the median top 100 retail site takes 5.4 seconds to render primary content, and 10.7 seconds to fully load.
*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.
Performance has only recently started to make headway into the conversion rate optimization (CRO) space. These inroads are long overdue, but still, it’s good to see movement. In the spirit of doing my part to hustle thing along, here’s a collection of infographics representing real-world examples of the huge impact of page speed on conversions.
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.
Yesterday on Twitter, I posted a link to this Internet Retailer article about the results of a recent Keynote mobile index report. The report found that only two out of the 30 sites in the index use responsive design, and both those sites took 17+ seconds to load on mobile devices.
My Twitter post (sorry, I just can’t say “tweet”) generated some discussion about the challenges of making fast responsive pages, with some folks taking the stance that RWD and performance don’t play well together. This isn’t a new opinion, and it’s sparked a lot of debate in the past. (See this post from Tim Kadlec and this one from Guy Podjarny for excellent examples.)