The Web is Actually Getting Slower

Most webpages are loading slower than they were in 2011, according to findings in the quarterly State of the Union: E-Commerce Page Speed and Website Performance report by Canadian company Strangeloop Networks.

Alexa 2000 websites load 9% slower today for first-time pageviews than last year. They load 15% slower for repeat visitors. The median homepage now takes nearly seven seconds to load on an average internet connection, Strangeloop reports.

“These tests are important because they focus on the user experience,” says Strangeloop CEO Jonathan Bixby. “Site owners are offered measurement statistics from many sources—employees, IT departments, content delivery networks—and these numbers can sometimes contradict each other. This report takes us back to what matters most: the real user experience for retail customers shopping via each major browser.”

Why the slowdown? One reason is page sizes: they’ve increased by 5% in the past year.

“This data tells us that when it comes to performance, many retailers are still leaving money on the table,” adds Bixby. “Site owners should be conducting routine tests across a variety of browsers. They should be measuring performance using a variety of metrics, and they need to ensure third-party scripts have been optimized. Implementing these basic performance tenets will drastically improve revenue.”