How fast should my website load?
If you want a quick answer, the Google recommended page load time is under two seconds: “Two seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half-second.”
Fast matters, especially when it comes to customer service. It’s the reason fast food became a mealtime staple, it’s the reason Amazon Prime thrives on immediate shipping, and it’s the reason I gave you a quick answer in the first paragraph of this article.
Below you’ll learn the ins and outs of website/webpage speed, including what it is, why it matters, how it’s measured, where the current bar is set, and ways you can optimize your own site to make it faster.
Generally speaking, a website page load time is the time it takes for someone to see the content after they’ve landed on a webpage.
However, the answer isn’t really as cut and dry as that. Saying “my website loads in X.X seconds” is distorted from reality. Why? Website speed is a fluid concept, for two reasons:
If you want to get more detailed, webpage speed can be divided into two different categories: First Contentful Paint (FCP) and DOMContent Loaded (DCL).
First Contentful Paint (FCP) is the time it takes for you to see the first piece on content on a webpage after you’ve landed there.
Typically, webpages load each element individually, but not all at the same time. Have you ever clicked on a webpage to find that the top half has loaded, but the bottom half is still working on it? Or have you landed on a webpage where some parts appear first, and then more detailed parts appear second? Then you’ve experienced First Contentful Paint (FCP).
The various parts of a webpage don’t load all at once. DOMContent Loaded (DCL) is the time it takes for every bit of code on the top and bottom of a webpage to load. That includes everything in the First Contentful Paint (FCP) and everything else that comes after.
You need to stop thinking of your website speed as a fixed number. Why? Because there’s a difference in what objective data tells you and how it’s actually experienced in the real world.
Article adapted from Blue Corona