Breaking the Speed Limit: Faster Websites Win


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Studies have identified speed as the single most critical factor for e-commerce conversion. There are lots of changes you could make to your website, but none of them are as risk-free as increasing speed. Some people like yellow, some like blue, but nobody likes slow. This talk will explain how to measure speed, and how to make your site much faster with minimal effort.

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Breaking the Speed Limit: Faster Websites Win

  1. 1. Respond Promptly
  2. 2. MotivationGood service includes responding promptly—whether that’s you or your web server. -JehochmanFaster responses generate more revenue. “Most e-commerce sites rank among the slowest sites on the Internet. Amazon did a study where they identified that there is a direct relationship between page load speed and conversion rates. They found a 1 percent decrease in sales for every 0.1 second decrease in response times. Other studies have identified speed as the single most critical factor for e- commerce conversion.” (emphasis added) -Steve Francia, Internet Evolution
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. Speed Benchmarks• 1.5 seconds (1500 milliseconds) is acceptable• loads in 300 - 500 ms.• I prefer 1 second or faster.• Test a few times and discard any outliers.
  5. 5. The speed of light: c = 186 282 mi/sec Information never moves faster. Albert Michelson Edward Morley Albert Einstein Distance from Earth to Moon is 238 855 miles
  6. 6.
  7. 7. Distance to User Impacts Response TimeDallasHolland10 000 mi / c x 272 = 14.78 sec10 000 mi / c x 275 req / 3.5 parallel req = 4.21 sec
  8. 8. Content Delivery Networks (CDN)• First load might be slow (with free service)• Caching speeds up subsequent loadsNakedServerCDNDeployed
  9. 9. Hosting MattersLinux hosting secondUnnamed Windowshosting – same site:12 seconds
  10. 10. Complain to the Hosting ProviderBeforeAfter
  11. 11. Does HTML Efficiency Matter?• A lot of people obsess about code size.• Is it worth the effort to recode for speed? - probably not!
  12. 12. Ctrl-U: View Source—3052 lines!
  13. 13. 6X Less Code—But Same Load Time.HTML Size Matters, but Not So Much.
  14. 14. Content Management Systems (CMS) and Caching• It takes time to run PHP/Ruby/Java scripts server side. A CMS is slower than static code.• A cache stores the script output and reuses it each time the page is requested.• Caching cuts response times, but some types of updates might not appear instantly.• W3 Total Cache for Wordpress
  15. 15. Cache Off / On TestW3 Total Cache also does minification: CSS and JS files are merged, andextraneous characters are stripped from files.
  16. 16. Web Video and Speed• Asynchronous video (and AJAX) impacts page load speed very little.• Streaming large video files from the same server probably isn’t smart.• Wistia is a good option.
  17. 17. Speed Tactics areCumulative
  18. 18. The Easiest Speed Wins• Good Hosting Not overloaded, properly configured server• Content Delivery Network Place static files close to the visitors• Simplify Design to Improve Usability and Speed 26 requests are ~10X faster than 275 requests• Cache Plugin for CMS Alleviates time spent running server-side scripts.• Appropriate Use of Asynchronous Content Leverage AJAX and Video for complex content
  19. 19. Google PageSpeed™• PageSpeed extension for Chrome and Firefox• mod_pagespeed – an open source Apache module that speeds up serving.• Lots of details for those with time and expertise. For people who run their own servers.• Recommendations are automated and NOT based on actual speed. They are a start, not an end.
  20. 20. Further Reading practices/rules_intro• Optimizing caching — keeping your applications data and logic off the network altogether• Minimizing round-trip times — reducing the number of serial request-response cycles• Minimizing request overhead — reducing upload size• Minimizing payload size — reducing the size of responses, downloads, and cached pages• Optimizing browser rendering — improving the browsers layout of a page• Optimizing for mobile — tuning a site for the characteristics of mobile networks and mobile devices
  21. 21. Jonathan Hochman @Jehochman