Yes, It Is Slower. News Sites Take Notice of Slow Load Times

Yes, the Internet is getting slower, and people are noticing. The issue is going beyond the sphere of wonks and site admins to the general population.

Why? Because people hate waiting.

In fact, our recent State of the Union for Ecommerce Page Speed and Web Performance report found that three seconds of waiting is all it takes for users to begin to abandon a slow-loading website. This has implications for both for site owners and users – sites are losing users and users feels like they’re wasting their time.

What is the cause of the slowdown? Industry and mainstream publications agree – page bloat and un-optimized images are part of the problem.

What is Weighing Down the User Experience?

On the consumer tech-oriented site Digital Trends, the way sites are created, managed and secured are all considered contributing factors that are slowing down the UX.  The average site is heavy.

“Photos and videos continue to be the bulkiest part of websites, making up almost three-fourths their size,” writes CNN Money’s Hope King in another piece on the topic, and this is true. King points to data from HTTP and adds, “the average site is now 2.1 MB in size — two times larger than the average site from three years ago.”

The proliferation of various devices accessing the Internet is also leading to incredible fragmentation.

“[A]s more smartphones, tablets, watches and other gizmos are built to go online, developers have to create even more versions of websites and Web components to fit ever more formats,” King notes.“Some websites, for example, have more than 50 different image sizes which can be called upon to load depending on device. This additional complexity requires more code to run, and adds to a website’s bulk.”

In addition to this, King also adds that the usage of tracking and analysis tools is also adding to a website’s weight.  Third party trackers to learn about website visitors are creating more fetching tasks and this is slowing down load times even more.

See the trend?

No Need to Wait

Despite a thorough presentation of the weighty issue, these articles make no mention of a solution. If they had, you’d be reading about automation solutions that address some of these challenges – specifically the size and composition of pages. The right web performance optimization (WPO) solution can enable faster websites and web-based applications, optimize images on the fly, and select the most effective image compression format that a browser can support.  Radware’s FastView featuring PerfectImage is one such solution that can dynamically discover resources per web page and apply various optimization treatments – essentially covering more resources per page and making acceleration more significant.  It’s an elegant solution to a complex challenge.

So when King writes, “The spinning wheel of death never seems to stop turning these days. It’s not you. Web pages really are loading slower,” just know that there are dynamic solutions, and that spinning wheel of interminable loading doesn’t have to be something you sit through… Provided the right automation solution is there working its magic.

Kent Alstad

Kent is an entrepreneur, software architect, and technology innovator. Before taking his former role of VP Acceleration at Radware, Kent was CTO at Strangeloop Networks, where he was instrumental in authoring all of Strangeloop’s issued and pending patents. Prior to helping create Strangeloop, he served as CTO at IronPoint Technology. Kent also founded Eclipse Software, a Microsoft Certified Solution Provider, which he sold to Discovery Software in 2001. In more than 25 years of professional development experience, Kent has served as architect and lead developer for successful production solutions with The Active Network, ADP, Lucent, Microsoft, and NCS. ”Port View”, an application Kent architected for the Port of Vancouver, was honoured as ”Best Administrative System” at the 1996 Windows World Open Competition.

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