November 30, 2016
There are many ways to ensure your customers have a good onsite experience, and one of the most talked-about factors in recent years is website performance, the speed at which a website loads. Studies by major sites have shown that slow page load times lead to increased abandonment rates, fewer product views, and poor user experience: Amazon discovered that every extra 100ms of page load time led to a one percent decrease in sales, and Walmart found that page speeds of one to two seconds were twice as likely to convert as those that loaded within three to four seconds. On mobile websites, performance is even more crucial, with 53 percent of users abandoning a mobile website completely if it doesn’t load within three seconds.
On the other hand, a fast website encourages customers to view more pages and products, and allows them to be guided through the checkout process in a swift manner. Studies conducted by section.io have shown improved page speed leads to consistently higher revenue. Page speed is also an important element of SEO, and is included in Google’s rankings for both mobile and desktop search.
Closely linked to website performance is the concept of website scalability – the ability for a website to handle both steadily increasing amounts of traffic due to growth, and sudden influxes of traffic that come with sales, marketing campaigns, or events such as Cyber Monday. A highly scalable website will be able to handle large volumes of traffic while still performing well. A website that is not scalable will slow down for all customers, and could offline completely. If you are investing time and money in bringing customers to your website, it is crucial that it is both fast and scalable.
In order to measure your site performance, there are several metrics you should look to:
Time to First Byte: The amount of time it takes for the browser to contact the website server and receive the first byte of information back from the server, which allows the browser to begin building the web page.
Start Render Time: The time it takes for the user to see any content loaded onto the browser window.
Page Load Time: The time in seconds it takes from the moment a user attempts to access a website until all of the content has been loaded into their browser.
To improve site speed and scalability you should examine these areas in your website infrastructure:
Hosting provider: Do you have enough server resource available to handle an increase in traffic at a high speed and is your hosting provider operating on the most modern technology?
Cache Configuration: Is your website correctly set up for both browser and server caching and how much content are you able to serve from a cache?
Content Delivery Network: Are you utilizing a Content Delivery Network to deliver content to users worldwide?
For detailed information on how to improve your site for better performance and scalability, and tips on programming Magento for performance, download our eBook, The Definitive Guide to Optimizing Magento for Performance and Scalability.
With questions on CDNs, caching, and website performance, reach us @sectionio.
section.io is a Magento Select Partner and a website performance, scalability and security solution which gives Magento developers complete control over configuration, testing, and global deployment of Varnish Cache and other web enhancement tools. Using section.io, leading Magento sites build better websites that deliver faster pages and increased ecommerce revenue. section.io is based in Boulder, Colorado with offices in Sydney, Australia. For more visit section.io.