Retail Web Sites Are Getting Slower; IE 10 Beats Firefox & Chrome, Study Says

turtle-slow-speed-200The top retail websites are slower to load than they were last year, and the problem is at its worst on Google’s Chrome browser — the slowest of three browsers measured in Strangeloop Networks’ Fall 2012 State of the Union study on page speed and web performance.

Strangeloop measured the performance of the top 2,000 retail websites (as ranked by Alexa) during July and August, and found that the median page load was nine percent slower than its last study, which was done in November 2011. That’s measuring first-time page views, which slowed from 5.94 seconds last year to 6.5 seconds this year — a nine percent change for the worse. Load time was 15 percent slower for repeat visits, too (as shown on the right of the image below).

strangeloops-load-time

The study cites a number of reasons for the drop in load times, from websites just not following best practices to an increase in how many server requests are made with each page load — that number rose from 73 in 2011 to 77 this year.

Page speed isn’t only a usability/design best practice, but it’s also been a small part of Google’s ranking algorithm for more than two years.

Browser Performance: IE 10 Beats Firefox & Chrome

Strangeloop also looked at browser performance and found that these retail sites loaded the fastest in IE 10, beating out Firefox 13 and Chrome 20. IE 10′s edge over Firefox was minimal — 6.392 compared to 6.395 seconds — but it was eight percent faster than Chrome 20.

strangeloop-browsers

Those results are very similar to last year’s study, in which IE 9 barely beat out Firefox 7, but had a more comfortable speed advantage over Chrome.

The full study is available from Strangeloop’s website. You’ll need to provide contact information to get a copy.

Strangeloop says it’ll conduct these performance tests on a quarterly basis going forward.

(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license. Tip via GetElastic.)

Related Topics: Channel: Content Marketing | Firefox | Google: Chrome | Microsoft: Internet Explorer | Statistics: Web Browsers | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Mitch Rezman

    IE9 is miserable & slow – we avoid it like the plague – what were those guys smoking?

  • Gurjit Singh Khehra

    IE is very slow..Chrome is fast as i testes it on my own computer…Every user should test every browser on his own PC, Don’t believe on such tests…Each browser may work differently on your computer depending on your Operating System, Configuration and Bandwidth etc.

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