5 Critical Components of High Performance Web Sites

by | August 11, 2014

web performance

Web performance is a critical factor in converting prospective customers into paying customers. In fact, if your site or application doesn’t perform well, it will not only fail to entice new users, but quickly drive those you do have far, far away.

When load times are slow and unsteady, users will quickly move on to the next best result. A customer doesn’t have time to wait because 1) he’s hedging his bet the site may never load 2) he’s multitasking 3) he’s distracted or 4) the impulse to make a purchase has passed and he’s convinced himself the buy is a bad idea.

Across the board, online retailers agree load times are crucial to avoiding a loss in revenue.

Here are 5 critical components of high performance web sites and basic strategies to help prevent slow load times from becoming serious issues:

1. Stability

It is crucial to quickly get to the bottom of a system crash as quickly as possible.¬† When a website is completely down or only partially functioning, it can be revenue suicide. Getting the website back up and running isn’t good enough – it is essential to determine the root cause of the malfunction and proactively take steps to prevent it from ever happening again.

Not only is it possible to increase load times by pinpointing root errors and preventing crashes, but securing the attention of a prospective client who would have abandoned the site altogether and preserving current customer confidence is a must.

For this reason, 24/7 web performance monitoring (WPM) is essential for any organization that relies upon web uptime to conduct business.

2. Design

A site’s design is often a contributing factor to overall performance.

Of course, there are a few easy cleanups that can take place, such as script modification or image dieting. One that may be a bit more labor intensive is converting the site to a single-page architecture. This comes with its own challenges and is not the right fix for all sites, but it is definitely something to consider as websites evolve.

Extra perk: Single-page design is becoming increasingly popular, so this design method is not only practical, but helps keep your brand looking current.

3. Cloud Architecture 

How is the cloud organized? Some recent studies show that partitioning the cloud may help with load balancing, speed and prevent system crashes. Once the design has been taken care of, it is reasonable to consider partitioning when load times are important.

4. Scalability

In addition to public cloud partitioning, adding hardware is an option to increase speed and decrease load times. One can scale up or scale out depending on the situation and the application. If you’ve already considered every other factor and are still having problems, scalability could be the answer.

5. Mobile Usability

Desktop users can afford to be more patient because, for the most part, they have more time to spare. They may be willing to wait a couple more seconds before abandoning a search.

Mobile users are more likely looking for products or services in a rush. Maybe they’ve overheard something while they are traveling and want to check it out before they forget. Or perhaps they are on their lunch break and only have a few minutes to spare before they need to return to their desks.

As mobile devices overtake stationary internet access (the majority of Americans, including seniors, now use a smartphone), investing in web performance is better for your customers as well as for your business.

Apica Product Team