Web Performance is a Journey, Not a Destination

Mehdi Daoudi

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Target, Apple, Walgreens Top Site Speed Rankings: Latest Benchmark

Seconds matter. When it comes to the digital user experience, a couple of seconds separates winners and losers. Among the best-performing ecommerce websites, the gap is even smaller. Catchpoint’s Q1-2016 Ecommerce Web Performance Benchmark identified the quarter’s best-of-the-best, showing how fast the top sites in the US were and identifying what the winners had in common. Based on webpage load times, these are the brands that the rest of the industry is chasing:

  1. Target
  2. Apple
  3. Walgreens
  4. Systemax
  5. Best Buy
  6. Staples
  7. Costco
  8. The Hope Depot
  9. Amway
  10. Dell

Every one of these sites took less than two seconds from the URL request to the browser triggering the “onload” event. They shared a broad set of best practices. Most loaded the bulk of their third-party content after webpage load, eliminating key external dependencies that impact the user experience. All use CDNs to accelerate the delivery of static content. And all were geographically consistent, delivering the same impressive speeds from wherever customers accessed the sites.

There was also a clear correlation between page size and speed. The lightest pages in the rankings, with less than 2,000 total downloaded bytes (<2 MB) loaded in roughly 2 seconds (2,250 ms). Pages between 2 MB and 4 MB averaged a full second longer (3,390 ms). Those over 4 MB took nearly 4 seconds to load (3,780 ms). Studies have found that a significant percentage of shoppers are long gone before the slowest of those pages load. Balancing the benefit of added functionality against the rising expectations of increasingly impatient consumers is critical to ecommerce success. Most of the top performers in the Catchpoint Benchmark ranked among the lightest pages in the group.

In addition to page sizes and webpage load times, Catchpoint’s Q1-2016 Ecommerce Web Performance Benchmark ranks the top performers in DNS, wait time, response, and render start to provide a complete picture of the elements of performance. Unsurprisingly the highest ranking sites tend to outperform the rest of the field in multiple areas.

All rankings, methodologies, and the complete benchmark report can be downloaded here: Ecommerce Web Performance Benchmark: Q1 ’16

The post Target, Apple, Walgreens Top Site Speed Rankings: Latest Benchmark appeared first on Catchpoint's Blog.

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Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.

Founded in 2008 by four DoubleClick / Google executives with a passion for speed, reliability and overall better online experiences, Catchpoint has now become the most innovative provider of web performance testing and monitoring solutions. We are a team with expertise in designing, building, operating, scaling and monitoring highly transactional Internet services used by thousands of companies and impacting the experience of millions of users. Catchpoint is funded by top-tier venture capital firm, Battery Ventures, which has invested in category leaders such as Akamai, Omniture (Adobe Systems), Optimizely, Tealium, BazaarVoice, Marketo and many more.