Why do websites take so long to load?
How long do you wait for a page to load before giving up?
According to Slate, internet pages took about 30 seconds to load back in the digital dark ages of 1996. That’s almost unimaginable now, when the average user bounces after a fraction of that time. We expect a fast, responsive internet experience even on our mobile phones. Anything less leads to page abandonment.
“These days, even 400 milliseconds — literally the blink of an eye — is too long, as Google engineers have discovered. That barely perceptible delay causes people to search less,” writes Steve Lohr for The New York Times.
A poll by KISSmetrics found that:
40 percent of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load
47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less
73 percent of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load
There are a few obvious reasons why a page might be slow to load. It could be graphics-heavy or bogged down with animation, auto-loading videos, or other bells and whistles. Ads, particularly those of the auto-play video variety, can slow down load time considerably. Or hey, it might even be a problem with your internet connection.
With bad actors among the ad tech industry popping up every day who are happy to take advantage of this mindset, it’s no surprise that the page load situation has gotten out of control.
In response, companies like Facebook are bringing products like Instant Articles to market for mobile. More recently, Google announced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an open source project supporting near-instant access to quality content while simultaneously enabling publishers to increase mobile revenues across ads and subscriptions.