Site Performance: Why It Matters and How to Measure It

July 24th, 2015

Site performance is something that most of us take for granted. When we visit a site that takes too long to load, doesn’t load at all, or causes our browser to crash, we’re reminded of the work that goes into making a website or application work seamlessly. Such occurrences impair the user experience resulting in visitors abandoning their sessions. Most users probably won’t come back.

how to measure website performance

Why is site performance important?

A great user experience is only one of several reasons why site performance is so important. Long load times and 404 pages can reflect negatively on your brand, increase bounce rates, and decrease the number of page views.

Websites that function well use less storage and bandwidth on hosting sites and also keep visitors on your site, improving conversion rates.

Google also accounts for site performance in their search ranking formulation.  Any fixable complications may jeopardize your position.

Also don’t forget about your mobile users with mobile site optimization. Your site should perform just as well – or even better – on those devices as it does on a desktop or laptop as download speeds can be slower.

How to Evaluate Site Performance

If you happen to find yourself facing site performance issues, there are a few steps you can take to investigate the source of your problems.

For one, you can use a browser console to view your site’s Time To First Byte (TTFB) and page load times or identify 404s and high load time resources like uncompressed images.

You can also use a cache server like CacheFly or CloudFlare to temporarily store files locally and increase speed of access. You can even conduct a web test on sites like WebPagetest to acquire this information and more.

Bug reports can be helpful, too, depending on what system you use and can give you an idea of possible issues with the system.

UI/UX issues are best discovered through testing – internally and through feedback from your users. You can detect performance issues by collecting customer satisfaction reports. Users may report problems or suggest improvements for the site, but this is not the most reliable tactic as opinions vary from user to user.

We hold site performance to a high standard when taking on any project. This is taken into consideration from the planning stages to optimize the user experience and keep costs low. If you need assistance keeping your site running at its full potential, feel free to contact us.

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