Web performance or website optimization simply means the optimizing the speed of web elements (pages, images, other file formats etc.) which are downloaded or displayed on the user’s web browser.
Attempts to improve download and display speeds have existed to earlier times; however, it was the Steve Souders who described it as “web performance optimization” and lead the development of this field. Considering the ever increasing connection speed worldwide, not it is an important issue for web developers.
In brief, improved web performance has certain benefits like; increase in the loyalty of your visitors, higher ranking in the search results which directly affect your traffic, more satisfied mobile users. In addition to that, it is known that web optimization leads to less data travelling across the web which in turn lowers a website’s power consumption and environmental impact. In this article, topics like the importance web performance, tips to enhance better performance and some performance testing tools will be introduced.
It is known that user just moves on to some other site if a website makes a user wait for long time (that is your bouncing rate). Bouncing rate is an important factor that every webmaster should take into account. It simply means, when user visits your website and rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site and leaves.It is considered as one of the most important measure of effectiveness for a website. So, what is the time limit for a visitor to pleasantly wait to load your web page? In the previous years, it was considered 10 seconds maximum by some authorities while some argued that maximum waiting time should not exceed 7seconds. Considering the improved technology of today, a website with simple content should completely load within 2 seconds. What is important about this loading time is, it directly affects the satisfaction or the dissatisfaction levels of your visitors. They generally expect a fast and reliable online user experience and if the website is unable to deliver on their expectation, they will abandon it. With the increased connection speeds and accessibility to internet, the do not want to wait for a site to load patiently.They have very limited time to consume and have better things to do with it. For this reason website owners should respect web performance and loading times.
Since April 2010, Google started to take load time into account when ranking sites. Of course Google’s algorithm uses a multiple factors to determine how to rank search engine results. Some of these factors are measurements of the authenticity of the website itself (age of the domain name, number and quality of inbound links, etc.) while others are related to the content of a webpage itself (the text, its URL, the titles and headers, etc.). However, after Google announced that they will take into account the speed of the website as well, it became in important issue for website owners. So, improving your page load time is an effective way to help visitors get where they are going faster. Consequently, as a website owner if you care about your Google ranking and if you want to get more traffic from Google, you should advance your website’s performance.
It can be said that generally mobile users are more patient than computer users. Main reason for that,they are used to have slower internet speed. But still, considering today’s connection speeds, loading time for mobile users is an important factor. Website owners should take into account this factor while creating tools that manage mobile versions of webpages. Designers and coders should offer more simple and lightweight mobile websites with few images to avoid overloading the servers. They should make sure that mobile websites load quickly. As you may presume, things are different for mobile devices (including tablets) even though fixed connections are enough to not cause too many problems for website’ loading time. You can benefit from some testing tools (you will find at the end of this article) in order to see how your web pages work in different platforms.