How important is page load speed?
Amazon has calculated that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year. Google has been quoted as saying that by slowing its search results by just four tenths of a second they could lose 8 million searches per day—meaning they’d serve up many millions fewer online ads.
So, I guess… it’s important. Is your site a hare or a turtle?
What you can do about improving page load times
You quite often hear that Magento stores are slow.
That is sometimes true, but it’s not necessarily Magento that’s slow.
Most of the time it’s a combination of things making Magento appear to be slow, and most of it has nothing to do with the application.
I worked with a client recently that was concerned about how long it took their home page to load. They have struggled with this issue since their site launched (see screenshot).
You can see it took 13 seconds to load (my goal for new sites is sub 3 seconds).
My first task was looking at all the assets, and how long they each took to load. There were a number of background images that were taking forever to load(see screenshot).
No wonder this page is slow, this one image was taking 8 seconds to download.
I set to work on revising all the background images, working to make them smaller and faster loading.
By refactoring all the background images to use smaller, tiled images I was able to reduce page load times significantly.
I also recoded the homepage slide show, so that instead of pre-loading all 8 images, I only preloaded 2 images- with the rest being loaded when the slide show needed them.
Lastly, I changed a few configuration settings to improve transfer of data by the server.
After all the work was completed, I retested the homepage again- approx. 2.5 seconds to load! The results are astonishing, to say the least.