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Web Performance 101 - Pt 1

Web Performance - Part 1

Thanks to all who attended my talk, “The Wonder Web,” at Valley Dev Fest 2016! You can revisit my slides here. To all others, welcome to Web Perf 101!

One-mississippi, two-mississippi, three-mississippi…

Three seconds is all it takes for 53% of users to abandon a loading web page. When connection is bad, user experience is bad. When connection is gone, the user is gone. Users have high expectations for online experiences even though websites, apps, and web apps being built today are more ambitious and complex than before. If you want to be competitive on the web, it’s time to optimize performance.

Web Performance is simply the level of success of a web page’s download and display speed. Understanding this vast, intricate, and evolving subject is no small undertaking. The goal of Web Perf 101 is to teach you the basics of web performance, provide you with resources to understand the current status of your web pages, and, ultimately, help you actualize your goals.

What does poor performance look like?

We already know that performance levels correlate with page speed. Your window opportunity to inspire or un-inspire your users exists in the first second of loading your page. A slow site begets a poor first impression. It takes one second for about 11% of users leave. After a ten second delay, users are long gone.

Losing visitors means losing conversions. For example, if a site has 100,000 visitors per day, with a 2% conversion rate, and earnings of $54 per conversion, $108,000 in daily revenue is projected. However, if this site takes 3 seconds to load, it could lose $22 million annually.

When performance is poor, the “world wide web” feels more like a “first world web.” Chris Zacharias, a former developer at YouTube, began project “Feather” where he reduced YouTube’s page weight from 250KB to 98KB. Anyone could elect to watch YouTube videos on Feather. One week later, Zacharias noticed a huge surge in traffic in countries where network connections are weak. Improving the performance of your website can literally increase the size of your global market.

Crummy website performance also leads to negative brand perception, fewer returning visitors to the website, fewer visitors going to a physical store location, and overall disadvantageous online experiences.

Perf doesn’t have to be poor!

If you want to up your website game, join me again next week for part 2 of Web Perf 101 where we will explore webpage tests and why being user-centric is the foundation to a successful website.

Let’s make delightful experiences, and remember: #perfmatters.

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