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Waterfall charts: technical read and practical recommendations

waterfall

Waterfall charts provide a timeline representation of how elements of your web page are loaded into the browser.

This type of graph provides a wealth of information, including details such as the size of each of your resources, the number of requests, the loading behaviour, loading times and much much more!

So grab your wetsuit webpagetest report, as we dive in and show you how to interpret your Waterfall chart and uncover the clues it has to offer for improving the performance of your web site.

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Why is a performance budget key to your web performance success?

As guarantors of web performance, any IT and Marketing team should set up a Performance Budget.

This concept first appeared in 2013. When we refer to a Performance Budget, we are not talking about a budget in the financial sense of the word. A Performance Budget means setting a performance threshold that you hope to stay within. Hence, it is not expressed in pounds or dollars but in terms of a metric such as seconds, page weight or number of files. Have you never established one yet? Now may be the time to get started, we’ll explain why and how.

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Fasterize now supports Let’s encrypt

There has been much talk about HTTPS lately. It is not just an advantage, it has become a must-have (for privacy and security of course, but for SEO as well).
HTTPS used to be expensive and hard to implement, Let’s encrypt has changed the deal.
It is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA) that provides SSL certificates, with a 3 months validity (renewable). Let's Encrypt offers a way to support a more secure and privacy-respecting Web, which is the reason why it was dear to us to support them and make it easier for our clients to use Let's Encrypt. 

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Third party tags: their impact on web performance

Webperf and third parties study

An increasing number of third party services are now being incorporated into today's web sites. In 2012, a typical web page contained an average of 13 third party scripts or "tags". Today, our Top 40 analysis of French e-commerce web sites shows that this number has risen to an average of 21 third party tags, an increase of 62%.

These third party services provide added value, with the promise of increased revenue (e.g. via advertising), higher conversion rates (through the use of retargeting tags) or a better understanding of user profiles (through embedded analytics).

But they also have a poor reputation when it comes to their impact on performance! A number of studies have attempted to prove this in the past (including studies such as those conducted by Instart Logic and NCC Group), and it forms a key part of the rationale behind ad blockers (a topic we will come back to in a future article).

We were keen to find out just how much of an impact these various third party widgets would have on the monthly web performance rankings published on JDN.

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Why should you need to make your web site go faster?

CDN

Think a few milliseconds of waiting for a page to load isn't that bad? Indeed, at the scale of a navigation (or even a whole life), one might think that this is not much. But for your visitors, all those cumulative milliseconds will degrade user experience, and increase bounce rate and cart abandonment - which has a direct impact on your conversion rate. And that's not all, it can also upset Google bot and therefore degrade your visibility in search results. UX, SEO, conversion rate … let's see the reasons why you need to have a fast site.

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[Case study] How a leading cosmetics company chose Fasterize

case study Fasterize
This global leader in cosmetics operates in a fiercely competitive market and aims to consolidate its position by offering its customers a high-performance website and optimal user experience. The brand has chosen to include its website speeds in its strategy, as it understands the drawbacks of a slow website (81% of French web users would think twice before buying from a slow site).

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Why you should have a Mobile First website

mobilefirst

Is your site Mobile First? You have certainly already experienced this: the speed of the pages varies depending on the browsing conditions. On a recent desktop computer, they are displayed faster than on an entry-level 3G mobile. How to explain this phenomenon and how to improve your performance? For your UX, SEO, and conversion rates, let’s see why it’s essential – but also more difficult – to speed up a mobile website.

Continue reading Why you should have a Mobile First website