Website Load Time Statistics and Facts 2021

Discover How Page Speed Affects Your Website

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% Drop
In Page Views For One-Second Delay In Page Load
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% Drop
In Conversion Rates For One-Second Delay In Page Load
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% Drop
In Customer Satisfaction For One-Second Delay In Page Load

When surfing the net, you need a fast connection. A quick-loading, user-friendly site has an enormous advantage over a slow, clunky one. But how much does loading speed affect a website? Studies involving website load time statistics indicate that if a page takes longer than three seconds to load, abandonment rates rise dramatically. These abandonment rates mean that users close the website tab and go to look for information somewhere they can obtain it more quickly.

When your website has high bounce rates, search engines determine that it has low value to online users. That’s when the rankings of your website plummet. Furthermore, when we talk about online retailers, shoppers tend to remember their experience and avoid coming back to online stores where they have experienced issues like slow loading. Nearly half of all users will spread the word of their less-than-stellar experience, leading to even lower website rankings. What does this mean when we speak in numbers? How does a delay of one second in page loading affect a website?

Top One-Second Page Loading Stats

  • A one-second delay in page loading makes page views drop by 11%.
  • Customer satisfaction drops by 16% due to a one-second delay.
  • A one-second delay makes conversion rates drop by 7%.
  • If the website loading time is 1-3 seconds, the bounce rate probability is only 32%.
  • An additional second of loading time triples user bounce rate, causing it to soar up to 90%.
  • For an online retailer with earnings of $100,000 per day, a one-second delay in website page load can cost up to $2.5 million in lost revenue throughout the year.

What do you want to know?

A Google page load time study collected the numbers below. This data will tell you enough to help you understand the significance of website load time and why you need to make sure your website stays up to speed.

Key Statistics

  • A 1-3 seconds, web page load time increases bounce rate probability by 32%.
  • A 1-5 seconds, web page load time increases bounce rate probability by 90%.
  • A 1-6 seconds, web page load time increases the bounce rate probability by 106%.
  • A 1-10 seconds, web page load time increases the bounce rate probability by 123%.

What does this mean? The faster a page loads, the better its user engagement.

Would you wait ten or more seconds for a page to load? With network speeds continually increasing, and countless web pages competing for users’ attention, not many people will have the patience to wait that long.

Furthermore, the same Google study discovered that website load time on mobile is even longer. On average, users waited a whopping 22 seconds for a page to load. This is a staggering number when you consider that the same study concluded that 53% of users abandon a page if its load time is longer than three seconds.

Therefore, the optimal website loading time on all devices should stay at three seconds or less.

Key Statistics

  • 79% of online shoppers will avoid an online retailer where they have experienced performance issues.
  • 44% of online shoppers will share their negative experience with other users.
  • User satisfaction plummets by 16% with a one-second delay in page load time.
  • The yearly loss of revenue due to abandoned online store shopping carts is $18 billion.

Generally, the quicker a page loads, the better it performs with search engines. A load time of 2-3 seconds is considered acceptable, while 4 seconds or longer results in compromised user experience and a higher bounce rate.

How important is that to your business’s performance? According to statistics gathered in several studies, 79% of online shoppers will avoid an online store where they have encountered performance issues such as slow loading speeds. 44% of users state that they would share their negative

A one-second delay in web page load time results in 16% lower user satisfaction. This drop means that people will be less likely to return to the slow-loading page. It also means that bounce rates will be higher and sales rates lower.

This single extra second of loading time can mean the difference between a new customer connection and a lost customer. Consider that each year, businesses lose $18 billion due to abandoned online retailer shopping carts.

Page loading speed also affects the website’s search engine ranking for two reasons.

A slower page load means higher user bounce rates. Bouncing happens when people get tired of waiting for the page to load and close the tab or navigate away. This type of user behavior points at one thing: the website has no value.

Thus, the Google algorithm will penalize these websites, ranking them lower in their search algorithm. However, even without the lower rank penalty, page view rates decrease by 11% because of a one-second increase in load time.

Google crawler also plays a role in your website’s performance. Google crawler is a website indexing software bot that spends a specific, limited amount of time on each site. A slower website means that Google crawler will only have time to index some of the site’s pages, which affects website ranking.

If two sites have similar content and structure, but one loads faster than the other, the website that loads more quickly will have a higher ranking.

Key Statistics

  • If a mobile site’s loading time is more than three seconds, it is likely to lose 53% of its users.
  • 64% of smartphone users expect a web page to load in four seconds or less.
  • The average mobile web page takes 22 seconds to load.

A mobile site that takes more than three seconds to load will lose 53% of its users. This loss shows a crucial piece of data, as more users consume content primarily on their phones, and Google has been indexing mobile sites first for some time now.

This indexing means that your site’s mobile version has a higher ranking than its desktop version. Therefore, website optimization for mobile users should be a priority for any business that hopes to succeed long-term.

Statistics indicate that 64% of smartphone users expect a web page load time of four seconds or less. Mobile sites that load in five seconds or less have much higher revenue than websites that take longer to load. Therefore, a loading time of under five seconds proves ideal for mobile sites.

However, at the moment, many mobile sites take much longer than five seconds to load. Mobile website statistics indicate that, on average, a mobile web page takes 22 seconds to load. This lengthy load time means website owners have a long way to go toward optimizing their mobile websites.

The key to optimizing your website page load time is understanding what makes it slow. Some free benchmark tools can give you an idea of what affects your website performance.

Remember that with a page load time benchmark test, the results will never be precisely the same. Even if you use the same tool, results will shift slightly each time. If that happens, know that minor fluctuations are normal.

Below, you will find a list of tools you can use to assess your website’s performance. Most of them will simulate user experience, testing the front end of your site. One exception is Load Impact, which tests how a server handles factors that affect your loading speeds.

Load Impact

Load Impact provides you with a full body of information that helps you understand the factors that affect your web page load time. It also shows you what works well – or what doesn’t work – for your website. Even the free version of this tool, which is less extensive than the paid version, will give you tons of data and statistics you can use to improve your website.

A free Load Impact account enables you to assess how the backend of your site responds to high strain by sending up to 50 virtual users to test it.

All of the tools listed above will help improve your site’s performance, so try all these resources while you work to improve your page loading speed.

Pingdom

This popular tool tests website speed, but the free version offers significantly less data than GTMetrix and WebPageTest. While Pingdom will not give you an in-depth analysis of your website stats, it works well as an additional tool for assessing website performance.

WebPageTest

WebPageTest offers a detailed analysis when it comes to testing website performance. Here, you can choose the testing location and browser. You will have to read through several tabs to gather all the information, but once you do, you will have a comprehensive understanding of how well your website functions, as well as how to improve it.

GTMetrix

This useful free tool will give you an extensive, detailed analysis of your website’s performance. It will show page load time statistics and recommendations for what you can improve. You can pick the type of browser and the location where it will run the test, and you can choose from other, more advanced options.

Going through all the resources that come with GTMetrix will take some time, but it has a high potential for helping you improve your website’s loading time.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights is a speed testing tool Google launched a few years ago. Like GTMetrix and WebPageTest, this tool gives you helpful feedback for improving your website performance.

Combined with the results you get from other benchmark tools, you can assess your website’s speed and get ideas on how to improve it. As this is a Google tool, the results it gives you might be closer to what Google considers to be an optimal web page load time, rather than giving you a more comprehensive view according to search engines overall.

These common factors might impair your website’s loading speed:

Content Delivery Networks

A quality content delivery network (CDN) increases website security and can serve to improve loading page issues.

In particular, CDN serves static content, such as HTML, images, CSS, and JS, from a server close to the user. This decreased physical distance between the user and the CDN server reduces the strain on the hosting server and the time it takes for the data to travel.

Cloudflare is a free and user-friendly content delivery network used by most web hosts.

GZIP Compression

GZIP compression is a straightforward bit of code you can add to the .htaccess file. It works by reducing the total amount of data sent from the webserver to the end-user.

You can find it online, but you should consult tech support from your web hosting provider and request that they insert it for you. GZIP compression is one of the easiest, oldest, and most effective ways to reduce average page load time.

Caching

Caching means that once a user has seen certain content before, like static HTML content, next time they open the same page, the server cache serves that content to the browser.

Caching increases loading speed, and you can enable it easily with many WordPress and Joomla plugins.

If you are working with a custom-coded website, talk to your hosting provider’s tech support, and ask what they advise you to do. A good website host will typically have server-side caching available.

Image Size

While every website should have visual content, you must optimize the image size, or the images will slow down your page load time. Typically, images make up the most substantial files on the web page and need more bandwidth to load compared to other website elements.

The obvious solution to this is reducing the image size. In WordPress or Joomla websites, some plugins can change your image sizes, modifying all images at once. For custom-coded sites, you can use a visual editor, such as Adobe Photoshop, Gimp, or ImageOptimum, which have a built-in “optimize for web” function.

When making changes to website images, remember that image size for mobile and desktop will be different. Make sure that after you’ve adjusted your images, they still appear correctly for both formats.

Some website load time issues are more complicated than others and ask for some technical knowledge to solve. For instance, you may need some basic understanding of HTML to solve certain loading problems.

Move JavaScript Down

Often, JavaScript snippets interfere with the loading of a web page. Moving these snippets to the bottom, so that they are just before the </body> tag, makes the browser load them last, after all the other page elements.

Loading JavaScript snippets last means that users get faster access to the more relevant content on your website. Thus, though the overall page load time will remain the same, user experience will improve, as users won’t have to wait for the information they need.

Other issues, apart from those listed above, can potentially affect web page load time. However, you may not be able to fix all of these issues on your own. For the best website performance, you need a knowledgeable web hosting provider who can direct you when needed and solve problems on their end promptly.

Combining HTML, CSS, and JavaScript Files

For pages that execute JavaScript from several files, these files can be combined into one or two that reduce page load time.

Note that this practice is much more effective with HTTP/1.1 than with HTTP/2. HTTP/2 can handle simultaneous requests more efficiently, and most modern website hosting companies already support it.

As HTTP/2 becomes the standard for websites, combining files will no longer have the same effect on website loading time. Once HTTP/2 becomes a universal practice, website load time statistics will change.

Minify HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Minifying components means removing anything your website does not need or use.

Programmers and web developers have some practices they usually follow to make code more orderly and readable, such as breaks, whitespace, or comments.

However, the code of live pages does not need these elements, and removing them can reduce file size. Several free online tools can help you minify different components on your website.

However, you must remember to keep a copy of your site with all the written code as a backup, in case any problems arise.

Multiple HTTP Requests

Each time a user types in a URL, the server requests a hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) response from the hosting server. This request means the browser is asking the hosting server to send over site content. The user sees content such as text, images, menus, buttons, and videos, all of which is usually contained within HTML tags, plus some CSS and JavaScript.

HTML tags and other components of web page content can be structured in different ways, and without effective organization, the structure may lead to multiple HTTP requests. Too many of these requests increase page load time.

Even if you have a fast website page load time now, its current speed doesn’t guarantee that it will continue forever.

Site updates inevitably accompany a growing web presence. These updates can include new plugins, theme upgrades, various glitches, and the need for more hosting power to keep up with user volume.

To stay up to date and ensure the best experience for your website users, you need to test your website performance regularly and follow the best practices described above.

While the Google website speed statistics state that the average web page load time is 8-10 seconds, it is possible to become faster than average if you follow website optimization, scale images, and get optimal hosting service.

Summary & FAQ

Your website should take no more than 2-4 seconds to load on a desktop. It should load in 9 seconds or less on a mobile device.

To see this information, you will need to sign in to your Analytics account, navigate to your view, and open Reports. Then select Behavior and choose Site Speed.

Generally speaking, well-executed custom-coded sites tent to be fastest, followed by WordPress websites. Website builders tend to be slower. However, any site can be optimized to load quickly.

Two primary metrics measure page load time: time to first byte and time to fully loaded page. The second bears more meaning for the user experience.

Sometimes, however, certain elements take longer to load without affecting user experience since the user can obtain the necessary information from the website without all elements loading fully.