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Retail Page Speed & Web Performance Report: How Did Dyn Stack Up?

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Strangeloop recently published their State of the Union for Page Speed and Website Performance, focusing on retail industry websites. Their extraordinarily disappointing key finding was that retail sites are 60% slower than they expected with an average page speed of 11.21 seconds. It’s really too bad that websites, especially ecommerce sites, haven’t met site speed expectations.

Retail sites should be at the forefront of optimized page load time. There’s been plenty of research about the correlation between fast page load and revenue and I would guess every retail site wants to increase their revenue using established best practices like compressing text and images, combining JavaScript and CSS, using a CDN, and other tools mentioned in Strangeloop’s report.

Strangely, according to the report, most sites failed to implement these.

Strangeloop’s data was gathered on the retail website homepages using WebPageTest’s Dulles, VA, location and IE7. I prefer to run page speed tests using a more modern browser than IE7, but I decided to compare Dyn.com’s results using the same testing methodology (full test results here). I used a graph from Strangeloop’s Key Findings and added Dyn.com’s results:

I’m proud to say that not only do we outperform the average of the top 2000 and top 100 retail sites on Alexa, but we beat the fastest-loading sites in the Alexa Retail Top 100.

SITE LOAD TIME
dyn.com 2.199 secs
ecrater.com 2.270 secs
futureshop.ca 2.768 secs
amazon.com 2.939 secs
emusic.com 3.131 secs
wellsfargo.com 3.146 secs
etsy.com 3.354 secs
6pm.com 3.571 secs
bodybuilding.com 3.998 secs
bestbuy.com 4.402 secs
shopbop.com 4.411 secs
netflix.com 4.445 secs
audible.com 4.529 secs
ebay.com 4.991 secs

(Data from Strangeloop’s report and Dyn.com’s WebPageTest)

It’s interesting that the report focused on home pages instead of checkout pages, but I imagine that collecting home page data is much easier than trying to compare apples to apples across sites’ checkout processes. Homepages should be optimized for page speed, but the checkout process can add extra page load time when the user logs in and there’s more data being transferred. I’m eager for the industry to start moving towards faster, performance-optimized sites so users can have a happier shopping experience.

Lara Swanson is the lead front-end web developer for Dyn. You can follow her thoughts on coding semantically, nitpicking page load time, and the importance of baking for coworkers on Twitter.

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