The study, which measures and tracks the performance of the top 500 retail websites globally, found that among the top 100 retail websites - which features several major UK companies, such as Sky TV, Marks and Spencer and Amazon.co.uk - the median page has grown 67% in just one year. Many are failing to leverage advanced techniques to help accelerate their pages.
Radware also found that images are one of the biggest performance drains, as most site owners are not taking advantage of image optimisation techniques that can dramatically improve both real and perceived load times.
“We’re so accustomed to expecting to see high-quality images everywhere on the web that we take them for granted and don’t think about their heavy performance impact,” says Kent Alstad, vice president of acceleration for Radware. “Page size has a direct impact on page speed, and images comprise at least half of a typical page’s weight. As such, they represent an extremely fertile ground for optimisation. Yet we found that many leading retailers are not taking advantage of techniques such as image compression and progressive image rendering, which can enhance both load times and user experience.”
Adrian Crawley, Radware’s Regional Director for the UK, added: “Complex website content often presents a technical challenge as website performance can degrade significantly. In turn, engagement and conversion rates can take a hit. Ensuring images are in the correct format, preloading page resources in the browser and deferring non-essential scripts – or better yet, having them load asynchronously – can all help to reduce load times.”
In the UK, Radware’s FastView technology has already helped JD Williams, a leading Internet and catalogue home shopping company, cut its page loading times up to 25%.
Other key findings from Radware’s latest report include:
1. Websites are getting slower…fast.
In just one year, median time to interact (TTI) has slowed down by 27% (from 4.9 seconds to 6.2 seconds), and median load time has suffered a 49% increase (from 7.2 seconds to 10.7 seconds).
2. Page size and complexity are major factors in this performance slowdown.
The median page has grown by 67% in just one year – from 1007 KB in Summer 2013 to 1677 KB now. In 2013, the median page contained 82 resource requests. Today, the median page contains 100 requests.
3. Site owners are missing clear opportunities to better optimise their pages.
Most sites have implemented fundamental performance practices, but many are failing to leverage more advanced techniques and missing out on valuable opportunities to accelerate their pages.
4. Many sites are making the same three mistakes, which ultimately hurt the user experience.
A surprising number of sites experience the same recurring performance/
Radware’s quarterly “State of the Union” report measures and tracks the performance and page composition of the top 500 retail websites (as ranked by analytics firm Alexa.com) with the purpose of gaining on-going visibility into the real-world performance of leading eCommerce sites. The study also aims to learn how these sites perform for visitors using the Internet under normal browsing conditions and provides strategies and best practices to enable site owners to enhance site performance.
To access the “State of the Union: Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance, Summer 2014,” which includes fifteen best practices that site owners can implement to accelerate their pages, visit: www.radware.com/
An infographic on the findings of page speed and web performance can be accessed here: https://www.slideshare.net/
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