Optimizing Your Website? Don’t Forget About Performance!

By Eric J. Hansen, Founder and CEO, SiteSpect, Inc.

If you are concerned about how the performance of your site is affecting business, you are not alone. Recent studies published by Amazon.com, Google, and Microsoft, among others, have shown that faster web sites not only improve the user experience but also conversion rates, average order values, and site stickiness. Additionally, major search engine crawlers are now evaluating site speed in their ranking algorithms, leading to faster sites appearing higher in search results.

Clearly, speed sells, but what are you doing about it?

There are typically three ways to speed up your site: through server performance, network performance, and web performance optimization. This blog post addresses web performance optimization.

As you look at the options available, consider solutions that not only speed up your site and reduce page load latency but also measurably improve both the end-user experience as well as your key metrics, such as conversion rates and engagement. Essentially, you are looking for a solution that accelerates the delivery and rendering of both web and mobile content through a variety of on-the-fly optimization techniques, including:

  • On-Page Optimization — reduces the size of CSS and JavaScript files, combines scripts, and reorders elements for optimal processing and rendering.
  • Cache Optimization — adjusts content cache settings to reduce network overhead, thereby decreasing page load time while simultaneously increasing web server capacity.
  • Dynamic Parallelization — optimizes the browser’s ability to retrieve content by increasing parallelism, without requiring any change to the server or browser.
  • Network Optimization — utilizes a global private cloud with real-time network measurements to determine fastest paths from any end-user location.
  • Cloud Delivery — features a built-in cache that positions content closer to the end user for reduced latency when delivering static content.
  • Modular Architecture — allows clients to test, measure the impact of, and deploy third-party performance solutions such as CDNs and open-source tools such as Steve Souders’ ControlJS.

The result? A faster, “snappier” user experience that can decrease page load times by as much as 50-70%. SiteSpect recently introduced such a solution called SiteSpect AMPS, which stands for Automated Multivariate Performance (Optimization) Solution. AMPS is the first web performance optimization solution that allows web and mobile site operators to automatically and non-intrusively optimize their site’s speed. This is achieved through built-in acceleration functionality deployed through SiteSpect’s powerful multivariate testing and behavioral targeting engine. Any type of site can be optimized, including those built for e-commerce, publishing, and social media; intranets; extranets; and even mobile-specific WAP sites. And because it is non-intrusive, AMPS requires no coding, no software installation, and no site modification.

Clearly, marketers and site operators have a lot to think about when it comes to their websites (and mobile websites). If you’d like to learn more about web performance optimization, visit http://bit.ly/WPOmvt.

About the Author

Eric J. HansenEric is the founder and CEO of SiteSpect, and the chief architect of the firm’s non-intrusive technology for multivariate testing, behavioral targeting and digital marketing optimization. Eric is a frequent speaker at conferences covering web analytics and optimization, and writes regularly on topics dealing with the intersection of marketing and technology. Follow Eric on Twitter

Eric will be presenting a session on “Split & Multivariate Testing” at Conversion Conference West 2011.

One thought on “Optimizing Your Website? Don’t Forget About Performance!

  1. Dear Eric,

    Thank you very much for such a good article!
    I just would like to add a few tools that I consider essential for web site speed optimization.
    Webpagetest. (http://www.webpagetest.org) is a free tool that provides some advices that are missing even in YSlow and Google Page Speed (i.e. Keep-Alive headers). It also offer very interesting visualization tool.
    ShowSlow (http://showslow.com) is a free web site and Open Source software suite that combine power of Yslow, Google Page Speed, Webpagetest and others with monitoring.
    RedBot (http://redbot.org) is a free tool for web page headers analysis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *