Speed and load times
Digital technology has evolved rapidly in recent years creating ever more powerful tools with each round of innovation. Consequently, users expect to obtain content swiftly, with each tap of their finger or press of a key. Attention spans and the patience of users is getting shorter and customers make hasty judgments about a company’s professionalism in an instant.
Recent Google research says it all. It has been discovered that 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Yet, at the time the research was carried out in 2017, the average time taken to fully load a mobile landing page was 22 seconds. This shows us that a large amount of content is still not optimised for mobile use and this is probably shifting the majority of traffic towards 20% of well-performing websites.
However, performance issues are not only triggered by optimisation. A variety of other problems can affect the navigability of a web application, such as poorly written code, traffic spikes and third-party services. All of these factors have an impact on loading speeds and are likely to generate issues, not only in the event of traffic peaks. Monitoring your application under average stress levels can uncover behavioural inconsistencies in data handling or system security issues.
Making the headlines
Performance issues can have a detrimental impact on your brand and the perception of your company, that may prove time consuming and expensive to recover from. Here are a few famous examples of performance breakdowns that made the headlines in recent years:
How speed sells more
Reducing the possibility of outages and ensuring a fast and safe journey is an important part of any application’s user experience, especially for web apps relying on user engagement and loyalty. These basic needs are often neglected, however, to accommodate better aesthetics or flashy functionality. Unfortunately, research shows that users tend to care more about speed over anything else.
Page loading time can have an impact on search engine rankings too. A faster user experience will result in more visited pages and can lead to an increase in the number of customer conversions.
What can you do?
Google offers a simple tool, useful to identify poorly optimised content on a website. Trimming a few seconds offloading uncompressed content or unnecessarily high quality imagery can lead to real speed benefits.
For highly trafficked websites, considering a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Amazon Cloudfront could ensure faster access to servers located near the user’s geographical location, cutting down latency caused by the packet’s journey between source and destination.
Clean and fast transactions with third-party integrations, such as payment portals, can benefit performance while also improving the usability and security of user submitted data.
Testing for performance
An understanding of how your system performs, particularly under average or extreme load is an essential step in making improvements. The results of performance testing can provide you with the information you need to make vital updates and to better manage internal resources to preserve a stable and pleasant user experience.
Performance testing techniques. Which should you be using? : Please see part two of our performance testing series where we take a look in more detail at the role load and performance testing can have in providing a better experience for your users, including an analysis of the different performance testing techniques.
For more information please see our Performance Testing page. To discuss your requirements, please contact us at email@example.com and one of our team will get back to you. If you’d like to get in touch about anything else, please head over to our Contact page.