Guest Post by WordCamp Albuquerque Speaker Ben Byrne
Data from major Internet providers like Google, Amazon and Akamai has shown that how fast a website loads significantly affects user behavior. People may visit a website less often if it is slower than a competitor by as little as 250 milliseconds — less time than it takes to blink. A one-second delay in page load time can reduce conversions by 7%. To pile on, because users don’t like slow sites, Google even uses load time as a factor in computing PageRank results. In short: It pays to be fast.
There are a lot of factors that can affect your site’s performance, such as the configuration and specifications of the web server your site lives on, using a content delivery network (CDN), and how much data your site eats up. But there are plenty of factors beyond the sheer number of bits and server/internet speed that affect your page load time, such as HTTP connections, DNS lookups, and asset load sequencing.
If you’re a front-end developer and you’re serious about building websites that load as fast as possible, come to my session to learn about techniques you can use in your markup and themes — whether on WordPress or some other system — to help things load as quickly as possible. We’ll also cover tools you can use to assess whether your site is doing all it can to load quickly, such as Y!Slow.