Website Speed | What Is Acceptable? | How Slow Is Slow?

Website Speed

What is Website Speed?

Website speed essentially refers to the speed with which Web pages or media content is downloaded from website hosting servers and displayed onto the requesting Web browser. Page load time is the duration between clicking the link and displaying the entire content from the web page on the requesting browser.

There are three core aspects necessary to understand page speed in context of user experience and website performance:

  • The view of time taken in delivering the requested material along with the accompanying HTML content to the browser
  • Browser response to page load requests
  • The view of end-users as the requested web page renders on the browser. This is the ultimate measure of page load speed.

Website performance subsequently impacts on search engine rankings developed under proprietary and undisclosed algorithms. Incorporating key factors including page speed, user experience, website responsiveness and a whole lot of other website performance metrics.

The absolute critical principle in maximising website performance is to focus on page speed optimisation from the initial stages of design. Plugins, server side scripts and final tweaks all impact on page speed and load times. Yet many Web developers tend to overlook page load times in their website development and design strategies.  Some of the biggest household names have overlooked this crucial element.

How Slow is Slow?

Any page which loads slower than the blink of an eye, which is approximately 400 milliseconds. Yep that’s right…Google have discovered that the barely perceptible page load time of 0.4 seconds is long enough to cause users to search less.

Online businesses have all the resources they need to deliver content instantaneously. To leverage and complement these resources, business need speed optimised websites that deliver the best user experience.

What Happens When They Don’t?

1 in 4 visitors would abandon the website if your website speed online, takes more than 4 seconds to load. While 46 percent of users will not revisit poorly performing websites. Website owners have a mere 5 seconds to engage visitors before they consider leaving, while 74 percent of users accessing the mobile site would leave if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load. Every one-second delay in page load time could lead to $1.6 billion in annual losses for online merchants as big as Amazon.

47 percent of ecommerce customers expect page load times of less than two seconds before they consider leaving and 40 percent of users would abandon the site at the third second of waiting, before a performance analytics tool even captures their presence on the site.

Acceptable Website Performance

So what is the neuroscience and acceptable rhythm acceptable by users of websites? It is 100 milliseconds. That’s how long it takes the Occipital lobe in our brain stores visual information as Sensory memory.

Google researchers suggest page load times of less than 100 milliseconds give visitors the illusion of instantaneous website response as the visual Sensory memory processor in our brain works in bursts of 100 milliseconds. The memory store clears itself after o.1 seconds as photoreceptor cells in the eyes transmit more information to the Occipital lobe.

1 second of page load time does suffice in maintaining seamless flow of though, users feel in control of their Web browsing activities. The mental stress is not aggravated unless the website fails to respond as desired.

At 10 seconds of delay, visitor attention is barely kept. The sensation of impatience, frustration and feeling of abandonment is usually strong enough to keep visitors from revisiting such slow websites again.

The Psychological Conundrum

Abandoning a website due to a slow page. Is not always the quickest path to access the desired information on the Web. An average user would spend several extra minutes browsing fast-responding but irrelevant websites. Instead of waiting a few more seconds for sluggish relevant websites to respond.

Considering the vast library of resources on the Web. Users will eventually find the required information on another website. The eventual losers in this, are online businesses unable to deliver their message fast enough to hold a users interest.

Website Speed | What We Do

We make sure that every single page, image and text is designed with speed from the ground up. No missed opportunities or frustrated customers trying to access your business. Business Sculptor efficiently builds in speed as standard, so that you get the best results every single time.