The Importance of Web Performance

A guide to web performance and why it matters for your website

The Importance of Web Performance

Published: 2 months ago by K.Wirz

Index:

  1. What is web performance?
  2. Why performance matters
    1. Routine users
    2. Turning users into shoppers
  3. Search Rankings
    1. The overall ranking of your website and its importance
  4. Abandonment rates and mobile users
  5. Performance metrics
  6. Tools to track web performance

What is web performance?

Web performance refers to the speed in which web pages are downloaded and displayed on the user's web browser. Web performance is measurable and this data is used to improve web performance test results. It’s all about making websites faster and smoother.

Developers and website owners alike want to improve in the following major areas when it comes to their web performance:

Latency issues and loading time
Latency refers to the delay before data transfer begins after it has been instructed. These issues are typically caused by large files like videos or images, large cookie sizes, and the total sizes of objects on your page.

Some ways to fix and improve loading time:

  • Keep cookie sizes small or at least low.
  • Optimize the size of objects on your page by reducing the number of requests of js and css files.
  • Optimize your number of requests with a better definition API (Application Programmable Interface) on the backend (or server) side of the project. These requests are used to fetch data from backend), also using Http2, using CDN, and also browser caching. All the abovementioned are important to reduce latency.

Why performance matters

Routine users:

Case studies show that performance is one of the things that make your website used regularly.  An example of a study in which this was the case, is of Pinterest increasing engine traffic as well as sign-ups by 15%, simple through reducing loading time by 40%.
Web performance attracts users to come back to your site after their first use, which is especially important for webshops or online stores and Web Applications.

If your site does not load quickly, users may end up searching and using a competitor’s shop or website, which is what you’d obviously want to steer clear of. The case of this happening is called ‘bounce rate’. By having a reliable and fast website, you keep your customers and/or users happy and your bounce rate low.

Do note that the bounce rate is not always bad. If your website only has one page, your bounce rate may be higher than you expect. If your website is not supposed to include multiple pages, don’t give too much thought on your high bounce rate. The case is different, however, when your website includes multiple pages, tabs, and interactions. If your bounce rate is high in this case, you might have to look into improving the SEO of your website, or, if you have an online store, intervene with your product’s prominence in the market by improving it.

Performance turns users into shoppers:

With routine use of your Web Application, users begin to build a relationship with your site. Depending on the nature of your user’s relationship with your website, your conversion rates should take off exponentially.

The nature of your user’s relationship with your website depends on the work you put into your site. Factors of web performance and usability, aesthetics, and authority come into play when you attempt to improve your conversion rates. If your website is slow and unreliable, you can only dream of selling online or acquiring users for your Web Application.
Making money online is challenging, but the better your website is (and of course your product or service) the numbers will tally up and you will undoubtedly be satisfied with your conversions.

Some other things to consider regarding web performance as an owner:

Search Rankings:

Google takes loading time into account in serps. (When we talk about ‘serps’, we refer to Google’s page and site ranking mechanism)
This means that the speed of your website is important when it comes to how you rank on Google, which ultimately influences your traffic. Bettering your loading time through the aforementioned (anchor) strategies would prove useful and consequently advance your amount of users along with overall ranking.

Overall ranking of your website and it’s importance:

Search engines rank your website by the following rough factors:

  • Age
  • Authority
  • Content

In no particular order, the three factors above are often referred to as the three pillars of trust. Check out this blog post for more info on the three pillars of trust. The reason for its name is found in the role it plays in gaining search engines’ trust.

The trust you build up with Google, (we mostly refer to Google as a search engine, since it is popularly used and most SEO’s prefer it for their work over other search engines) depends on how old your site is since the day of its first indexing, the quality of your links and the value of your online content.

Through making sure that your content is fresh, the links linking to your website are organic and by systematically (therefore, organically) working on the authority of your website, Google will regard you as trustworthy and thus relevant to show up on search results.

Abandonment rates and mobile users

The abandonment rate refers to the percentage of traffic or users who leave your website before it has loaded fully.
The problem with abandonment rate arises when users are surfing the web on their phones and other mobile devices. Many website owners fail to produce quality mobile versions of their desktop-optimized websites, which ultimately results in a high abandonment rate from mobile devices.

Where to see your abandonment rate:

You can follow a great deal of your important SEO information via Google Analytics, the abandonment rate being one of them.

If you are an online store owner, Cart Abandonment rates are important to know. You can follow this on Google Analytics as well.

Performance metrics: What performance is tracked by

The performance of your website online is tracked through a series of metrical information, which is important to familiarise yourself with if you are a website owner.
Below is a list of metrics you may want to review to do just that. (:  Note: Some of these terms are linked to our technical library where you can find comprehensive definitions for them.

  • Responsiveness
  • Requests rate
  • Efficiency
  • Server response time
  • System availability
  • Latency
  • Page load time
  •  Time to title
  • Time to start render
  • Bounce rate
  • Time to interact
  • Overall weight
  • DNS lookup time
  •  Connection time
  • Time to first byte
  • Time to last byte

Tools to track web performance

Now that you are aware of some critical notions about web performance and what it is, you may want to venture on and become the ultimate webmaster. Before you do, though, here are a couple of webmaster tools we recommend using on your journey.

  • First of all, use Google Analytics.                                                                                                                                       

We know we mentioned it previously in this post, but we have to mention it again. It is the perfect all-rounder tool for any bubbling up-and-coming webmaster.

  • Google Pagespeed Insights
  • WebPageTest
  • GTMetrix
  • Varvy
  • Pingdom
  • Track your page load time

In the end, It is all about speed. The faster your page load time (and, as we said before, the better your mobile website, the better)

We hope this article was helpful.

A hearty thank you from us to you for reading this far. If you are interested in more articles like this, check out our other posts on our blog.

If you are interested in starting your own online webshop or online store, check out our e-commerce service, see Shopcircuit.

Or would you perhaps like to develop your web application or website? Contact us directly under the “lets get started” tab and our developers will get back to you as soon as we have reviewed your information. (:

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