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Images Killing Your Page Speed?

We’ve all experienced it.

You enter a site…and wait for the page to load…impatiently watching as the timer begins to spin.

3 seconds go by…still spinning. 10 seconds go by…it may load any time now.  But then…12 seconds…15 seconds. You close your browser window in frustration. Never again.

Nowadays, users expect ‘fast’ more than ever before. Slow page loads will lead to abandonment. Research reveals that “40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.” Even a mere 1 second delay can drop your conversions by 7%. Slow page loads will affect your bottom line, and your ability to be found on Google’s SERP.

In today’s world, speed matters. It matters even more than those fancy web images you use to entice your viewer and enhance UX. The problem is, those images happen to be the most common culprits that cause slow page loads for both web and mobile.

This month alone, images took up a whopping 65% of the overall weight of an average web page (as shown below), based on HTTP Archive‘s data from averaging bytes per page of Alexa Top 1,000,000 sites.

October 2016: Images = 65% of avg. page weight

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-7-40-44-pm

Images contribute 1624kB of avg. pages in October 2016.    Source: HTTP Archive

Comparison: Average Bytes per Page by Content Type, 2011-16

average bytes

Avg. bytes per page by content type, 2011-2016.          Source: HTTP Archive

Comparing the month of October 2011-2016, the use of images has risen steadily. The total size of an average web page grew 3% from an average of 830kB in 2011, to 2,509kB in 2016. What a coincidence that in the same five-year span, the average use of images increased by 3%, from 494kB in 2011, to 1,624kB in 2016. The reason for the 3x growth of an average web page in five years? Images …making “image size” a serious factor in contributing to increased page load times.

Luckily, image optimization is a thing, and you can reduce your page load time without sacrificing the quality of your images.

Some Image Optimization Tips to Reduce Your File Sizes

  • Use the correct resolution: Avoid saving a larger image if you plan to display it much smaller. For example, if your uploaded image is displayed at 800×600, saving it as 1600×1200 will only take up unnecessary space, and increase your load times.
  • Use the correct format and reduce the file size:
    • PNG: Depending on the type of image displayed, using lossless PNG is much better for web due to the lower file space. In addition, many image editing applications like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to further reduce the quality/file size by using a smaller color palette.
    • JPG: Best for photographs. If you must use JPG, you can directly reduce the quality size from “maximum” to “high” in image editing applications, allowing you to reduce your image size just enough without reducing too much quality from the original file.
    • GIF: Best only for animated images.
  • Flash: Avoid using it. Flash files are always large and can significantly slow down your site. It’s also incompatible for mobile devices.

Decreasing your image sizes is fundamental these days, but when you’re a growing company, it’s not enough. For companies with high, global traffic, using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is critical to delivering a best-in-class experience for users, and has become more commonplace. In fact, 48% of the top Alexa 1000 sites in 2016, are using a CDN.

How a CDN Delivers a better UX

A CDN caches your content on geographically distributed servers—closer to your end-users, resulting in faster delivery. The benefits of using a CDN to serve your content, include:

  • Less bandwidth consumption. Offloading your servers helps decrease hosting costs.
  • Ability to handle more traffic. e.g. Scalability for ‘burst’ events, such as high-traffic launches, or seasonal promotions.
  • Gzip compression, which reduces file sizes ‘on the fly’, to optimize transfer over the Internet and save additionally on bandwidth costs.
  • Enhanced UX, which helps increase conversions and sales.
  • Increase in performance rankings on Google’s SERP.

Good news: you can get started optimizing your images and site speed today—within minutes.

Contact us to schedule an appointment with our CDN experts, who can evaluate your needs and determine a custom-fit solution for you.
Request Free Assessment >

 

Related Topics:
Automatic Gzip Compression
Push vs. Pull: What’s the Difference?
Using CDN to Improve Your SERP Ranking

PC: Pixabay

Now Serving Dubai and Seoul

I’m pleased to announce that we’ve just added edge locations in Seoul and Dubai to better serve your users in both regions.  Since the past few years, we’ve been rapidly expanding our network coverage with strategically placed edge locations to provide your end users with the fastest content delivery. The new additions bring our total PoP count to 43.

If you’re an existing CacheFly customer, no custom configuration is needed. Users who request content around Seoul or Dubai will automatically receive content from the new POPs. For new customers, special pay-as-you-go pricing for Dubai will begin at 17¢/GB for the first 10TB, while delivery from Seoul starts at 15¢/GB for the first 10TB.

Holiday Readiness Begins Now

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are approaching in a few months… Will your retail website and apps handle the traffic?

For retailers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be the most lucrative opportunities, yet, biggest threats of the year. Just last November, Cyber Monday surpassed $3B in online sales (up 16% from 2014)—marking the biggest online spending day in U.S. history. Despite the sales jump, high traffic volume managed to temporarily shut down retail sites for Target, Saks, ShutterFly, Footlocker, and Neiman Marcus—which happened to miss Black Friday, altogether, with a full-day extended outage.

 

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Target’s 404 page after record traffic made it crash on Cyber Monday 2015

Impact of Delays and Downtime on Retailers

What we learn from these delays and outages, is the considerable impact it has on revenue. Today’s consumer wants instant gratification. Studies show that if a retailer’s site is making $100k per day, even as little as a 1 second delay can potentially cost $2.5M in lost sales every year.

If that’s not enough, the blow is compounded by intangible costs that leave a lasting impression in the mind of your customers—and on your brand’s reputation.

Damage to Brand Reputation: Outages and delays make news headlines. Customers take to social media, such as Twitter, to express their frustration and discontent.

Competitive Advantage: If customers can’t access your site or app, they take their money elsewhere— to your competition.
Loss of Staff Productivity: IT, web operations and customer service teams are left dealing with the aftermath of having to troubleshoot and quickly resolve the issue, while customer service handles irate customers.
Loss in Marketing and Advertising Spend: Efforts spent on promotions are wasted when customers reach a retail website, app or landing page, but can’t access it.

Upgrade your infrastructure, or risk losing revenue

For retailers, uptime is mission-critical. When the busiest shopping days of the year approach, you can’t afford to lose out on the opportunity. If you have doubts to whether your retail site can withstand the growing volume of holiday traffic, the time to upgrade your infrastructure is now.

Ensure Reliability and Availability

It’s important to have a plan in place to ensure reliability and uptime. Retailers can prevent downtime by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that offers none other than a 100% availability SLA.  The difference in service levels may seem marginal, but, if a provider’s availability is 99.5%—that equates to 43 hours and 49 minutes of potential downtime, while a 99.99% SLA is 52 minutes and 35 seconds of potential downtime per year. Is that acceptable—on the busiest shopping day of the year?

While there are many CDNs out there to choose from, CacheFly CDN offers features critical for retailers during the busy holiday season:

  • Highest Availability—100% SLA: While downtime may occur, and it’s not always possible to deliver on 100% uptime, CacheFly CDN provides instant failover to automatically reroute to the nearest available servers to offer 100% availability.
  • Fastest File Throughput Performance: Independent network monitoring tests reveal that CacheFly has the fastest file throughput performance, to deliver your website and app files fast—no matter the location.
  • Infinite Scalability: Manage peak traffic on Black Friday and Cyber Monday with ease, knowing no matter how many global requests you receive, your site and mobile apps will seamlessly scale on demand.
  • Instant Purge: If merchandise is out of stock, or the wrong pricing or item is listed, its important to remove it immediately. With instant purge, items can be removed easily, and CacheFly’s super-fast replication pushes updates to global users within seconds.
  • Gzip Compression: Most retail sites consist of lots of product images, including large hero images, which can cause slowdowns. Gzip compression reduces file sizes ‘on the fly’, to optimize transfer over the Internet and save on bandwidth costs.
  • Security: With security features such as SSL support and URL/referrer blocking, CacheFly ensures your customers confidence in purchasing from your retail website securely.

Using a CDN can help you capitalize on the busiest holiday shopping days of the year, by ensuring availability and scalability, faster delivery, and a better overall user experience to increase conversions and profits. In some cases, in can mean the difference between making the most sales of the year, versus having a complete system downtime failure. The time to prepare for it is now.

Contact us to schedule an appointment with our CDN experts, who can evaluate your needs and determine a custom-fit solution for you.
Request Free Assessment >

Related Topics:
Measuring Throughput Performance: DNS vs. TCP Anycast
Is Your Site Ready for the Busiest Cyber Monday?
Cloud Benchmarking Provider Finds CacheFly Leads in Global Throughput
Application Downtime: A Critical Concern for SaaS and Web App Providers

Using a CDN to Improve Your SEO Ranking

People hate to wait.

Almost half of web visitors will abandon a web page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. When you fail to deliver your site fast enough, you will lose visitors (and conversions)—and Google thinks you should too.

In 2010, Google began using Site Speed (how quickly a website responds to web requests) as one of 200 factors that determine search rankings. If your page load speed is too slow, it can hinder your site’s ability to be found on Google’s SERP. While the impact of site speed on SERP rankings only affects fewer than 1% of search queries, Google’s acknowledgement of speed—as a critical factor—speaks volumes. Google constantly adjusts its algorithms to provide Google users with the best possible user experience—so it makes sense that a site’s speed can affect its SERP position on Google.

How Fast Should My Avg. Page Load Speed Be?

Maile Ohye of Google says, “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second.”

How Google Measures Site Speed

When measuring page load speed, Google considers the following:

  • Time to First Byte (TTFB): The time it takes from from initial request to the first byte of data it returns, and
  • Critical Render Path: When all files ‘above the fold’ are fully rendered.
page-speed

Google PageSpeed Insights evaluates a site’s desktop and mobile page speed and provides recommendations to optimize performance.

How Do I Optimize My Page Load Speed?

  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN caches your website files (HTML, JavaScript, CSS, images, videos, etc.) onto geographically distributed servers, to serve it physically closer to your end users—resulting in faster delivery.

However, not all CDNs are built the same. If you choose a CDN provider known for outages, you wind up with downtime, which is obviously not only bad for your users—but, also your SEO—since search bots are unable to crawl your site. You must choose a CDN that can offer 100% uptime.

In addition to offering a 100% uptime SLA, CacheFly CDN provides you with:

  • Fastest file throughput delivery—which reduces TTFB, thereby decreasing your average page load speed.
  • Global POP coverage, distributed in six continents—to deliver your site closer and faster to your users.
  • Automatic gzip compression, to compress your image files on the fly—optimizing delivery and reducing bandwidth costs.
  • Infinite scalability to scale on demand to traffic bursts—eliminating the risk of crashes and timeouts.
  • Security, including: Token-based auth, and URL/referrer blocking, and origin shield.

What you get is a faster loading site and the highest availability, which will help increase your SERP ranking and more importantly—provide your users a better experience.

Don’t let slow load times affect your SERP ranking. Start optimizing your site speed today. Contact us to schedule an appointment with our CDN experts, who can evaluate your needs and determine a custom-fit solution for you.
Request Free Assessment >

5 Reasons Why App Providers Choose CacheFly CDN

If you want your app to be successful, offering your end-users fast downloads and page loads—completely loaded—as quickly as possible, is one of the most important aspects your business depends on.

But when high traffic and overloaded servers cause delays and downtime for mission-critical apps, it’s a no-win situation. You cost your customers money—and you wind up with churn and revenue loss.

App Delays Cost U.S. Companies up to $7.5 billion per year.

In Nimble Storage’s recent Mind the Gap survey of 3,000 IT Decision Makers and business users, 76% reported that the speed of apps have a significant impact on their ability to perform their best in the workplace. What’s more alarming, the study found that U.S. companies may be losing as much as $7.5 billion a year in worker productivity drains—from app-performance delays and downtime.

App Providers Use CDNs to Improve User Experience.

With a CDN, you can ensure your end-users a faster, more improved user experience—while focusing on your business instead of worrying about delivery performance. However, not all CDNs are built alike. What you need to look for, is a reliable CDN with consistently low error rates, high throughput delivery performance, and high availability.

Here are five reasons app providers choose CacheFly CDN.

1.) Fastest Throughput Performance.

Any CDN can claim to be fast. But when it comes to throughput—the real indicator of CDN performance (the total time it takes from initial request to fully rendered page/download), most CDNs fall flat. With a network built for throughput, CacheFly’s proven global throughput performance ensures the fastest delivery of your apps—no matter the file size, or where your users are located.

2.) 100% Availability SLA

CacheFly ensures the highest availability and guarantees continuous network uptime, 100%.  No scheduled or unscheduled maintenance. Even in the event of a power outage, network issues or hardware issues, CacheFly’s instant failover automatically reroutes to the nearest available servers.

3.) Infinite Scalability

What happens when your app gets featured in the app store? Can your origin server withstand millions of requests? You need a CDN that can easily scale to accommodate spikes in traffic. No matter how popular your app gets, rest assured. CacheFly is built to infinitely scale on demand.

4.) Super-Fast Replication

While some CDNs can take hours to up to 24 hours to push updates, CacheFly’s super-fast replication pushes your app updates to end-users within seconds.

5.) Robust Security

With security features such as HTTPS support, URL/referrer blocking, and origin shielding, CacheFly CDN securely serves your app’s content while enabling you to block unauthorized downloads, and control access to subscription content.

 

David Young Blue Shell Games Download Faster

“No one launches a serious consumer web business without a CDN anymore. You’ll get killed. Modern web users expect the fastest possible load times or else they’re immediately headed to a competitor. With CacheFly…I can say that we rarely, if ever, need to think about whether or not it is operating according to our expectations.”

— Dave Young, VP of Engineering, Co-Founder, Blue Shell Games

 

Contact us to schedule an appointment with our CDN experts, who can evaluate your needs and determine a custom-fit solution for you.
Request Free Assessment >

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Related Topics:
App Downtime: A critical concern for SaaS & web app providers
Does your SaaS app’s delivery performance meet user expectations?
Four ways Binary Fortress conquers app delivery latency with CacheFly
Measuring Throughput: DNS vs. TCP Anycast