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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Website Performance: More Than Just Speed

In addition to evaluating customer experience on a subjective level, the Keynote research assessed seven factors related to the site’s service levels:
  1. High-Speed Response
  2. Dial-up Response
  3. Response Time Consistency
  4. Geographic Uniformity
  5. Load Handling
  6. Availability
  7. Outage Hours
Car rental sites and the travel sector in general lag in technical quality, page performance, and in the delivery of an error-free user experience. Geographic consistency and load handling as key advantages, users know that wherever they are in the country or what time of day they visit, they can count on consistent website performance.

Three bottlenecks that block traffic that car rental sites, and Web sites in general, need to focus on in order to improve technical performance:
  • Too many technical elements on a page: From small non-visual images to java scripts to unnecessary encryption, too many individual elements on a page can stifle site performance
  • Java overload: The ubiquitous coding language is an important tool for developers, but every Java script can act like a tiny speed bump for browsers. “Sites may have five, six, seven or 10 JavaScript files in a page, and every time the browser hits that, it slows by almost a factor of two.
  • Proliferation of third-party tags: The rising number of third-party tags – DoubleClick ads and calls to third-party analytics services – can also hinder web page performance, minimizing them whenever possible is a good idea. Another option would be to move the tags to the bottom of the page where they are less likely to impact user performance.

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