Speed to Load
There’s a lot of discussion that the typical first-time a visitor gives your home page just five seconds to demonstrate that your site has information that’s of interest. We all know that. But how about the time it takes your home page to load? Does that matter?
There’s been a gradual improvement in the speed of interactive access, and as speed improves, user expectations become greater. The early time-sharing systems found that they had user problems if their response took longer than 10 seconds. However, ten seconds, or even five seconds, just won’t cut it today.
Today’s Web user is becoming more and more demanding. Engineers from Google and Microsoft who specialize in performance were quoted in a recent Economic Times article on the subject. For search, even 400 milliseconds–that’s right 4 tenths of a second–will cause people to search less.
The important number today is 250 milliseconds, a quarter of a second. People will visit a news or ecommerce site more often than a competitor’s if it loads pages 250 milliseconds faster than the competition.
Take out your stopwatch and time the loading of a few of your Web pages. If your site consistently takes longer than a quarter second to load a page over a high-speed connection, then talk to your Webmaster about improving performance.