Before you read this post, click the 10s video below FIRST! Click this link if player does not work.

https://webpagetest.org/video/view.php?id=190222_ab6ec2c5dfe27a146026789abd805513ad929829


Performance. You heard of this term before, but what does it mean?

The problem is that “performance” is ambiguous until you know what metrics you should be measuring and targeting.

It’s not about a handful of tips/tricks like upgrading PHP, set up a CDN, use a cache, install this plugin, etc. and BAM! you are now “performant.”

Here are the four most important metrics you need to know and why:

  • Time to First Byte (TTFB)
  • First Paint (FP)
  • First Contentful Paint (FCP) or Meaningful Paint
  • Time To Interactive (TTI)

Google research shows that when a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 53% of mobile visitors abandon the page. {[https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/data-measurement/mobile-page-speed-new-industry-benchmarks/]}

Walmart saw that for every 1 second of improvement, they experienced a 2% increase in conversions. And for every 100ms of improvement in page load, revenue increased incrementally by up to 1%.

And, they saw a significant boost in SEO and reduced bounces. Mainly, you could be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on the table only because you didn’t know what metrics to be measuring.

Here’s a chart of the average speed for desktop:


Desktop user performance for 1M websites

And now for mobile, the average speed for 1M websites.

Mobile user perceived performance for 1M websites

This means, the same code which you may have heard buzz words like “mobile responsive”, the site responds to mobile but it’s not performing as fast as desktop.

So when you are wondering why your mobile conversion isn’t in par to desktop, it’s likely in due to your site loading too slow.

This knowledge should drive a knife through any internet or digital marketer who worked so hard, paying for leads, warming them up through email, and assumed their copy or sales pitch was weak and wasn’t converting.

Let’s go back to those four performance metrics above again.

The four metrics above, together, in a symphony, dictates how fast or slow a site is perceived to a user.

If any of those metrics are off, then you can expect the page abandonment to occur before you had an opportunity to recover.

It’s essential when you are evaluating a cart such as Sam Cart, Thrive Cart, Shopify, etc, you know how well they perform.

It’s easy to get caught up on the number of “features” but a poor design feature where performance takes a back seat, it could wipe out 50% of your hard work to close a sale.

So here are the four most important metrics when comparing Sam Cart, Thrive Cart, and Shopify.

Time To First Byte (TTFB)

This metric is the time it takes for a page to receive the first “character” or byte from the server.

High latency is generally attributed to two potential issues.

  1. A hosting provider that you uses low-quality hardware to save a few dollars for consumers.
  2. Your pages aren’t served close enough to your audience

You can solve this by making sure you are hosted with a superior hosting provider.

If your hosting provider is hosted on the west coast of the U.S., with an audience in the east coast or Europe, then you’ll want to invest into a content delivery network (CDN) like Akamai to make sure your pages are served as close to your audience to reduce network latency or lag.

The target goal of the TTFB metric is to serve up that first byte under 300 milliseconds (ms).

First Paint (FP)

Once the first byte starts to stream content, the browser will begin execution line by line starting from the tag followed by the tag.

Under the hood, the browser “prioritizes” content to render, and that first render is the first pixel that is displayed to the screen.

This metric is called the First Paint or FP.

To the end user or consumer, this may or may not be anything significant, but for an engineer, it helps us to troubleshoot potential bottlenecks that are blocking the page from rendering and impacting overall user experience.

The target for the first paint can happen at any time, preferably under 2 seconds.

First Contentful Paint (FCP)

Once the first paint happens, the next milestone or metric to measure is the FCP.

When FCP happens, it means a significant piece of content has rendered such as text or form.

This paint will give an indication to the end user something IS happening and they are willing to wait a bit longer for the entire page to load.

When the FCP takes longer than 3 seconds, the user sees nothing has change or white screen.

And in that point in time, over 50% of users bounce off the page.

If you use any tools like Google Analytics to measure bounce rates, those Javascript libraries may have been blocked by the page loading.

 By the time the user clicks cancel, the library was not able to execute and log the impression and bounce. 


Your page impressions will be much lower than it is and your bounce rate is higher.

You don’t realize this because the analytics tool generally only measure the happy path when the page loads quickly enough.

The target goal for FCP is under 3 seconds.

Time to Interactive (TTI)

The time to interactive or TTI is the last important metric in the list.

Have you ever come across a website that the page appears to have load completely?

Then when you try to scroll, it feels stuck or feels sticky. Or when you try to start typing into the form, it doesn’t register your keystrokes?

This is due to bloated Javascript code that is blocking the page from being ready for the user to begin interaction.

The biggest culprits to page bloat are adding features and 3rd party scripts into the page that may lift revenue like a video player when there is no video to play.

When the interaction is blocked, this creates additional frustration and increases the likely hood of the user bouncing.

And when you have too many animations going on because it’s cool to have lightboxes or popups, it hammers the CPU cause page jank.

“Jank” is what the web performance engineers like to call it when the page doesn’t function at smooth, silky, 60 frames per second (FPS).

The goal to hit on TTI is 6 seconds, but of course, faster is better.

Sam Cart vs Thrive Cart Alternative

As the developer of Chum Cart, I’m a little biased 🙂 My mantra is making e-commerce experience run faster and be the Google of checkout funnels.

There are many areas to e-commerce that could be improved. Home page, product detail page, browse, search, and checkout.

But at the end of the day, what matters is the bottom line, and that’s revenue.

Chum Cart was built from the ground up focusing performance first on mobile (an area we see tremendous growth over the years as it beats out desktop users) and the network connectivity issues (3G in rural areas) without sacrificing on features.

Sam Cart and Thrive Cart are respectful, great products with a great set of features and templates, but it comes at the cost of performance.

Chum Cart looks at every feature on the wish list, breaks it down, designed, and implement to hit the four key metrics above.

And when you hit those metrics above, selling and getting revenue becomes much more comfortable with less effort.

Chum Cart is a “done it for you” solution that tackles the performance issues at a technical level, so you don’t have to. 

And with every release, the code is double and triple checked through unit tests and code coverage that eliminates bugs, 24/7 monitoring for those important product launch dates, continuous RUM (real-time user measurements) for monitoring page jank, and automated performance testing, so every metric above is at the forefront.

If you want to take part in an early release, be sure to sign up with the link below.

Author

Write A Comment