Customers are always interested in improving the speed and performance of their web and mobile apps. In many cases, they’ve already spent time, effort, and money to move to the cloud. They’ve also fundamentally changed the way their teams deliver software, and might even use Kubernetes to scale faster. They face tons of complexity already, which is why they’d prefer simple answers to the inevitable question about web performance: “How fast do we need to be?”
Our answer is usually the same: “It depends.”
Admittedly, that’s not a response anyone wants to hear. Unfortunately, the truth is that—while uptime is easy to quantify—there is no single metric to clearly define page performance.
Studies point to the fact that “faster is better.” Gomez, the web performance division of Compuware, found that after three seconds of waiting, up to 40% of users abandon a site. Additionally, Walmart found that improving page speed by even 100ms saw revenue increase 1%. However, while speed is a critical component, it’s only one part of a dynamic page experience.
Customers navigate your site on a dizzying combination of web browsers (and their different versions), devices (both new and old), and networks (from high-speed to sluggish hotel internet). Each person tolerates speed and performance in their own way. Luckily for us, we have data and some general rules to inform the optimization process.
While “it depends,” can be frustrating to hear, it’s a great opportunity to explore web page fundamentals, customer happiness, and creating a performance-focused culture throughout a digital business. Here’s New Relic’s approach to page speed and performance using Full-Stack Observability, some general rules to follow, as well as a step-by-step guide to creating your own dashboards to keep tabs on your digital properties.