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Page load times – you’ve got 10 seconds

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Tuesday December 22, 2009 )

What’s more important – a snappy site design that is slow to load or a rather plain looking site that zips along? Once a hot topic during dialup days, then somewhat ignored due to the wide adoption of broadband; page load speed is again getting attention.

I’ve never really understood why some web site developers want to suck up every bit of bandwidth they can with page bling and other useless bits. Sure, Taming The Beast will never win any design awards and a nice site does make a good impression, but does eye-popping design really crucial if it’s at the expense of speed?

According to a recent survey, the look of a site is far less important than page load time say the best critics in the world – those who are shopping your site.

Reported on Internet Retailer, a survey of UK shoppers by Brocade Communications Systems Inc. found the following to be the most annoying to online shoppers:

– Slow load times, 25%
– Unwanted pop ups, 24%
– Too many form fields at checkout, 18%
– Sites that lack visual impact, 8%

The survey also discovered that 25% of respondents won’t hang around for longer than 10 seconds for a site to load before moving on to another site.

People are certainly not as patient as back in the dialup days. I remember the general rule of thumb being a page needing to load in 15 seconds before many people would give up and move on.

Furthermore, according to the survey, 40% of shoppers said they would tell friends and family not to use a particular site if they had a bad online shopping experience.

Another good reason to give page load speed special attention is Google. The company recently stated it was considering including page load time in ranking calculations.

Pick up some tips on how to optimize page load speed, learn more about other ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment and also how and when to use popups.


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