Waiting for a web page to load online is equivalent to the real world experience of waiting in a queue. Except online you can opt-out and go somewhere else incredibly easily.
Forrester Research and Gartner Group report that ecommerce sites in the US alone are losing $1.1. to $1.3 billion in revenue annually to customer click-away caused by slow-loading websites.
Is your slow website losing you customers?
So what effects website speed? There are three things. First, the speed at which the web server processes the page; secondly, the broadband (or dial-up) connection speed of the browser; and thirdly, the distance from the customer to the web server.
Recent advances in hardware mean servers process pages almost instantly and 1MB broadband or greater is available in most countries. The one thing that hasn’t changed is distance. New York to London is still 5580km and Hong Kong to Los Angeles 7100km.
Because web page load times increase proportionately to the distance between browser and server you may be surprised to discover that the speed of your website as experienced by you in London, for example, will not be the same as experienced by your customers in Sydney or Delhi.
In fact the pages on your website may so slow to load that your customers may be abandoning your website. Recent research by Jupiter Research into web browsing habits shows that web pages taking more than four seconds to load experience a 33% drop-off rate.
Modern web pages, rich with content, often have more than 50 images, scripts, styles and HTML frames. Each one requires a separate trip from browser to server and, even though data travels at the speed of light, the…