INFOGRAPHIC: Ecommerce Sites Get Slower

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 24 Jul, 2014

We live in a visual world, but images are the Achilles' heel of many websites according to a new study from Radware.

Radware's State of the Union: Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance, Summer 2014 study reveals that the median page of the top 100 retail websites has grown by 67 percent in just one year. That growth has led to many sites lacking when it comes to performance, with data showing that images are actually slowing sites down as most site owners are not taking advantage of image optimization techniques. In fact, the data shows that images make up 49 percent of the average top 100 pages' total weight.

"We're so accustomed to expecting to see high-quality images everywhere on the Web that we take them for granted and don't think about their heavy performance impact," says Kent Alstad, vice president of acceleration for Radware. "Page size has a direct impact on page speed, and images comprise at least half a typical page's weight. As such, they represent an extremely fertile ground for optimization. Yet we found that many leading retailers are not taking advantage of techniques such as image compression and progressive image rendering, which can enhance both load times and user experience."

When it comes to load time, the report shows that the median top 100 ecommerce homepage takes six seconds or longer to render its primary content to visitors, which is a 27 percent slow down over the past year. Moreover, just 14 percent of the top 100 retail sites were able to deliver an optimal user experience.

"Web pages have never been as large and complex as they are today," said Tammy Everts, Web performance evangelist for Radware. "The performance problems unearthed in this research have been born out of all the great things we can now make pages do: dynamic content, high-resolution images, carousels, custom fonts, responsive design, and third-party scripts that gather sophisticated data about visitors. But all of this amazing functionality comes with a high performance price tag if it's not implemented with performance in mind."

Learn more about the slow down of some of the 'Net's top ecommerce sites by checking out Radware's infographic below: