Speed and its role in the user experience

Even with the increase of bandwith that is made available with new cable and internet providers, I still frequently experience high load times for eCommerce businesses and Content Management Systems. You would think that the extra bandwith would start a downward trend in terms of load times, but it seems to not be the case.

The reasoning? Design practices and code pushes that are not completely optimized. Most open source systems, such as Magento for eCommerce or Joomla for content management, are preset with numerous elements of Javascript and database calls that are really not necessary. By disabling these components and by properly configuring compression settings on a server, you can get through the initial performance hurdles of these awesome applications.

Lets not forget how important speed is within the conversion equation. Between site search, checkout, product page design, promotions & mechandising – SPEED can be overlooked in site improvement efforts.

Sometimes all it takes is a great tool to assist an IT team in isolating improvement areas and driving metric increases from speed.

Here’s the best free one so far. Its called Pingdom, and literally provides a visual chart, almost like a poor mans GANTT Chart, of all the page elements and the time to load. This tool will show you the total number of URL calls that your page will make, the size of each call, the total number of objects and the breakdown of those objects.

No tool that I have ever seen, at least for free, provides this great information. Definitely worth 5 min of your time for a review…