A couple of weeks ago I read a short blog post from HP's "mission critical computing" team. They were promoting a podcast about HP's high availability servers. Now, not every business can afford "NonStop" computing and 100% uptime, but high availability and good performance are essential for all websites.
HP's reasons that businesses need to be continuously on are:
- Customers won't wait
If your site or your app isn't working, and thier transaction can't get through - they'll move on
- Dropping a transaction may mean losing a customer
When they do move on, they may not come back
- Damage to your brand can be instantaneous
Remember, not all press is good press
- Your market is global, mobile and 24x7
If your infrastructure can't handle it, you can bet someone else's will
Now not everybody has a global 24x7 brand to protect, but poor performance is genuinely bad for business and you don't need to take my word for it…..
According to KissMetrics:
- A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions
- 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less
But is the "two second rule" already out of date?
Akamai was reporting 2 seconds as the limit of acceptability in 2009 and by 2012, Google were quoted as saying 400 ms (the blink of an eye) is too long. According to Google, they have measured reductions in "click through rates" when users have to wait longer than 400ms. Planning your infrastructure carefully can help ensure high levels of availability and performance. But it is essential to gather performance statistics both at the test phase and during normal "production" use to stop poor performance creeping up on you. Regular testing and performance monitoring are essential.
We've been gathering performance stats on a daily basis for hundreds of UK websites using our testing servers in Manchester and we'll be publishing stats and analysis soon. Our findings show that UK businesses need to improve if they're to have any hope of meeting Google, Akamai's or even normal user's expectations.