What the heck is Web Performance: An Overview

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Web Accessibility and Performance are some of the most used words in the web-verse today and that's a good thing cause we are in an endless pursuit to push the web to do more.

Here I would be giving a general overview of the subject and in upcoming articles, we'll dive into the moregruesome details(not so gruesome but just the right amount of gruesomeness).

Performance issues vary. At best, they create small delays that are only briefly annoying to your users. At worst, they make your site completely inaccessible, unresponsive to user input, or both.

Web performance is the objective measurements and the perceived user experience of load time and runtime. Web performance is how long a site takes to load, become interactive and responsive, and how smooth the content is during user interactions - is the scrolling smooth? are buttons clickable? Are pop-ups quick to load and display, and do they animate smoothly as they do so? Web performance includes both objective measurements like time to load, frames per second, and time to become interactive, and subjective experiences of how long it felt like it took the content to load. -MDN docs

Why the heck is this important? I mean web performance?

Performance is one of the essential mentions in any "What makes a good software" listing. Every branch of software including mobile, embedded or desktop must consider performance if that software is to be considered good software and I'm sure even though it wasn't included in the system requirement document, every client or user would not use software that's not accessible and performant. Some of the reasons why considering performance is vital :

  • Performance is about improving conversions : Retaining users is crucial to improving conversions. Slow sites have a negative impact on revenue, and the opposite is also true.
  • Performance is about the user experience : Performance is a foundational aspect of good user experiences. When sites ship a lot of code, browsers must use megabytes of the user's data plan in order to download the code. Mobile devices have limited CPU power and memory. They often get overwhelmed with what we might consider a small amount of unoptimized code. This creates poor performance which leads to unresponsiveness. Knowing what we know about human behavior, users will only tolerate low performing applications for so long before abandoning them.
  • Performance is about retaining users : Performance plays a major role in the success of any online venture. Here are some case studies that show how high-performing sites engage and retain users better than low-performing ones.

source: Google Developers

Conclusion

In 2020, if you don't consider the performance of your website, you're probably not doing the right thing. Software development teams should also include performance in the system and software design stage of software development activities.

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