Google have published some interesting data on how long it takes for typical websites to load up around the world.
Such ‘stat p0rn’ is of particular interest to webmasters who want to compare their own website load times to see if they are quick enough – like it or not, research proves that slow load times can lose visitors…
Page Load Times By Platform
The load time on mobile internet is about 1.5 times slower than on desktops – even taking into account that many popular sites already optimize the page for mobile visitors.
Mobile hardware may be improving but it’s still a long way off the power of modern desktop and laptops in rendering more sophisticated web graphics and media. The 3G speed of mobile internet (common in much of the world) is also generally slower than fixed internet – although 4G may radically change the situation.
The graph below shows the average speed data for page load times across desktop and mobile platforms:
Note: I had to remind myself of the difference between Mean and Median. For any other non-maths experts:
- Mean is what we normally think of as an ‘average’ – add up x numbers and divide by x. e.g. the Mean of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 90 is 20. If these were page load times in seconds the mean would be highly skewed by the 90s time into giving a very unrepresentative ‘average’ – 20 seconds is clearly not a good indicator when 4 out of 5 sites load in 4 seconds or less.
- Median is the middle number when the set is sorted in numerical order – in the above example the Median is 3. This is a far better ‘average’ when comparing page load times as it is more representative of the typical website.
From the graph, the median ‘average’ page loads in just under 3 seconds. Google’s research shows that whilst 50% load in under 3 seconds another 27% take just 3 to 7 seconds. So it’s fair to say that if your page loads in less than 3 seconds you’re in the top half of websites – good job.
Page Load Times By Country
The following graph shows page load speed in a selection of countries:
Median speeds are as might be expected – developed, industrialized and rich countries tend to score most highly as they benefit from higher investment in (and take up of) broadband infrastructure. There are no real shocks in the bottom half of the table but, in the top half, Vietnam stands out as a country punching above its weight – beating US and most of Europe on median benchmarks.
Page Load Time By Type Of Website
There is very little difference in load times between types of website – most are tightly clustered around the 3 seconds median mark apart from Entertainment (c 4 seconds) and News (c 6 seconds). It isn’t a great surprise that these two categories are the slowest sites to load – Entertainment sites often feature the most videos, pictures and multimedia content which all make pages load more slowly.
News sites are by far the slowest (median and mean) because each page typically features dozens of excerpts, pictures and links to other articles – and crams in as many bandwidth consuming adverts as possible. Most news websites are not profitable so they advertize and promote extremely heavily in an attempt to offset costs.
[Via: Google Analytics Blog]