Our final performance benchmark results of 2016 for the UK’s top retail sites revealed an all too familiar picture of bigger, slower web pages.
Load times and average page sizes have been creeping inexorably up since 2013. Over that time, we’ve noticed a few trends that might be contributing to the slowdown. Designs that favour big hero images, for example. The rise of third-party content. Or the simple tendency for the volume of content to be constantly ratcheted up – new styles and/or scripts being added more often than redundant material is cleared out.
Marketers use a lot of images on websites. They’re needed to show off products. They’re used for ads and promotions. They form key parts of attractive designs, carefully calculated to turn visitors into customers.
But when images slow web pages down, they have the opposite of the desired effect. They frustrate visitors. They turn people away. They drive potential customers to the competition.
But have we come to rely on it too much?