Load time ID’s the time a webpage takes to download and display its content.
The unit used to measure load time is second. Load time is very important as a webpage that takes more time to load is considered less efficient and can result in losing traffic.
What effects the load time?
Page load is calculated from the moment a user requests a page and ends when the complete content of the page is displayed in front of the user.
The steps involved in the request and response cycle which affect the load time include:
- The user opens a page by either typing the URL or clicking a hyperlink.
- A request is sent to the network via a browser.
- The request received is processed by the server.
- A response is sent back to the browser.
- The page requested starts to load on the browser.
- The browser is then responsible for mapping the page content and displaying it to the user.
- The entire page is visible to the user.
The time taken for this cycle is the actual load time. Load time should me in milliseconds as it directly affects the traffic on the page.
How the load time impacts the website:
In the present times when people keep looking for ways, they can manage their work quicker load time has become a very important factor in engagement rate and client conversions.
A page that loads faster will interest more people as compared to a page that is slow. Case studies conducted to figure out the impact of load time also prove this theory:
- GOOGLE: Google conducted a case study on load time and found out the with each half-second increase in load time can result in a 20% loss of traffic
- Financial Times: this digital news publisher continued a study to find out how prolonged delay time impacted their traffic.
They found out that with a one-second increase in load time the traffic decreased by 4.9% while if the load time increased by 3 sec the traffic further dropped by 7.2%.
They further studied to find the impact of this on subscriptions and were able to conclude that the websites that had slow loading had fewer subscriptions and renewal rate
- GQ Magazine: The magazine experimented on the impact of load time by decreasing their own load time from 7 sec to 1.5 sec.
They found out that this decrease in load time increased the unique traffic by 5 million and increased the number of time people spent on their website, which in turn increased their ad interaction rate by 108%
How can load time be improved?
Load time can easily be improved by applying some simple changes which include:
- File compression: you can compress the files that include your CSS and images this way the size of the page reduces and so the load time improves
- Code optimization: you can reduce the load time by removing unused code or the parts of code that are unnecessary.
- Redirections: every time your page sends a request to the server for redirection the req-res cycle carries out which increased the delay in response.
The load time can be decreased by keeping redirections to a minimum level