Why is web performance important?

Excellent web performance is one of the most common challenges of websites. It is the umbrella term for how fast a site loads, how quickly it renders its content. But why is this important? Websites are getting bigger and bigger, and we want to serve our users with more features.

At the same time websites struggle to serve these features fast, and this leads to slower page speed. A bad example would be a delay in the interaction. And at its worst, lousy performance causes the website to be completely inaccessible.

Bad performance results in inaccessibility. This inaccessibility means not accessible to some humans, a low conversion rate and a high bounce rate for the products. The user may not notice an excellent site speed, but they will perceive a slow website and will leave.

Web performance is about the user

There are so many reasons why an excellent web performance is an asset for your online business. We want users to buy our products, read our blog, interact with our game, watch our movies or listen to our music. Performance plays an essential role in the success of an online company.

Zalando saw a 0.7% increase in revenue when they shaved 100ms off their load time. (WPO stats)

The Trainline reduced latency by 0.3 seconds across their funnel and customers spent an extra £8 million (~$11.5 million) a year.

BBC has seen that they lose an additional 10% of users for every additional second it takes for their site to load

“Good performance is an asset. Bad performance is a liability.” (developer.mozilla.org)

Improve conversion rate

You already heard of the conversion rate or it is already a sales factor in your business. The conversion rate is dependable on the site performance.

Amazon sees a 1% decrease in revenue for every 100ms increase in load time (source: WPO stats).

When you run a business on the web, performance is critical. Check out the Impact Calculator tool to see how performance could affect your revenue.

Reduce bounce rate

At the same time, you measure an increasing conversion rate you can reduce your users bounce rate. Moreover making on-page optimization is crucial to lowering your bounce rate.

Web performance is about accessibility

The sum of transfer size kilobytes of all resources requested by a page is still increasing. The network connection varies depending on our location. We developers and companies with websites have to keep that fact in mind.

A user in some countries might not have significant problems downloading a big site, where users in other countries do have big problems. Not only that it takes more time for the user in a slow network or with a low mobile plan, but it also can cost them more money. A fast website, therefore, will help you and your potential clients.

Web performance is about the user experience

Users need to wait for a website to load. If this happens fast, there is no lack of user experience, and the user can follow the path you or your UX-designer developed. On a website with a bad performance, the user has to wait. Not only for the initial page load, the user often has to wait for interaction feedback and server responses.

Out of this fact, web performance or site speed is a crucial indicator for good user experience.

Web performance is about sustainability

Often websites ship a ton of code. Not only JavaScript but also CSS, images, tracking pixels, analytics and much more. In combination, the user’s browser has to process megabytes. This process takes time, but it also costs CPU and memory, especially on a mobile device.
All these operations need energy; A lot of energy. The internet is an underrated climate sinner. Therefore a fast website is more sustainable; it produces less CO2 and helps our planet to be cleaner.

You can check the proportion of your homepage of CO2 with this tool.

What is web performance?

Web performance is not just a single task one developer can do once a week. Web performance has to be a culture! If you can establish a performance culture in your company, you are planning for a keystone of a long-term business.
For some people, web performance is a misleading term. It is not only about a fast frontend or a fast network connection. It combines multiple fields of the web. Some of them look at your JavaScript, others facing the web browsers capabilities, the network your web page interacts with and much more.

Some people think about these topics but use another term. Some synonyms are page speed, site speed, UX speed, web speed or event with an abbreviation like SSO (Site Speed Optimisation). Simon wrote a short article about rebranding web performance.

We can divide web performance into different modules:

  • Planning and Metrics
  • JavaScript Performance
  • Rendering Performance
  • Network / Loading Performance
  • Build / Environment Performance
  • Testing and Monitoring

There are a lot of great and free tools you can use to measure your performance. Google developers have an excellent overview of speed testing tools.
But this is only the second step. In the beginning, there is planning. What are your goals, what do you want your users to do and what is your biggest problem?

The planning helps to implement a performance culture in your company or agency. The performance culture is the most critical part after measuring performance. You can spend much time and money and get a blazing fast website. But if you do not establish a performance culture for long-term success, you probably have the same issues after some time.

You can use some of the tools Google mentions behind the link above like google pagespeed insights or the web vitals test to make some lab testings. The page loading time, the response time or the time to first byte (TTFB) are only some of the values to look at.

Whereas synthetic testing gives you some approximate values, you can measure the user’s experience in the real world. Real user measurement (RUM) measures precisely what the user feels and how your website performs. You get performance information and metrics like First Input Delay (FID), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

Web performance workshop

I am holding web performance workshops on my education platform devcademy.

Web performance audits for your company

I offer web performance analyzes for your company. You get your Status Que and based on it more essential tips for improving
your web performance.

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