FREE REPORT: 2012 State of the Union for E-Commerce Page Speed and Website Performance

25 January 2012  -   Tags: , ,

The average e-commerce website takes 10 seconds to load, web pages are getting bigger, and Internet Explorer 9 outperforms other browsers. These were just a few of the findings of our second annual State of the Union: E-Commerce Page Speed and Website Performance.

Trying to identify performance trends over long periods of time is like aiming at a constantly moving target. This is why we've undertaken an ongoing initiative to benchmark and analyze the performance of the home pages of the same top 2,000 Alexa-ranked retail websites.

For the past two years, we've measured performance criteria such as load time, page composition, and adoption of core optimization best practices. In this report, we look at the newest round of data on its own, and as compared with data from the previous year.

A few key findings:

  • The average site is 10% faster now than it was one year ago. While this is encouraging, it is far from the ideal load time of 2 seconds, as identified by decades of research into human-computer interaction.
  • Top-ranked sites are slower, not faster, than the rest of the pack. 
  • Web pages are getting bigger, year after year. The average home page contains 98 page objects, a 13% increase from last year. (For a bit of context: In 1995, the average page contained just 2.3 objects.)
  • Internet Explorer 9 outperformed other browsers.

What does it all mean? Our CEO Jonathan Bixby puts it like this:

"The key takeaway here is that the pursuit of faster websites is a neverending race. As pages continue to grow in size and complexity, many site owners are barely managing to stay ahead. Newer browsers help somewhat – as does using a content delivery network to cache your content closer to your visitors – but only somewhat. Site owners who want to do more than keep their heads above water need to expand their acceleration toolkit."

Download the free report: 2012 Annual State of the Union: E-Commerce Page Speed and Website Performance