Want people to love your website?

Make it fast.

"53% of visits are likely to be abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load."

Google, 2016

People are turned off by slow websites.

And unreliable networks combined with low-end smartphones can make otherwise slick sites appear agonisingly slow.

About me

Alex Painter

My name is Alex Painter, and on top of a long career in marketing, I've been building and optimising websites since 2006.

In 2013, I joined NCC Group, where I worked as a senior web performance consultant.

This meant I helped all kinds of organisations, from retailers to universities to banks, to deliver faster, more reliable online experiences. I've also written a large number of articles on the subject.

This site contains a few of my thoughts on web performance and related topics.

Latest blog posts...

How to A/B test your site without making it slow

7 November 2019

A/B testing a website can be valuable but risks slowing it down through scripts that hide the page until the experiment is ready.

This post looks at an example and gives a few tips on how to implement testing in a way that minimises the performance impact.

Read on...

Top web performance tips for Black Friday

15 October 2019

Black Friday presents risks as well as opportunities for online retailers.

Here are a few tips to help mitigate the risks and make the most of the opportunities, from tracking down third-party single points of failure to contingency planning.

Read on...

Easy ways to make single page apps faster

25 September 2019

Single page apps offer many advantages but they can be slow to start displaying meaningful content.

This post looks at a few simple ways to make them faster.

Read on...

Three kinds of web page that need special web performance attention

12 September 2019

Your home page, campaign landing pages and other key entry points to your website probably need to be treated differently from other pages.

This is partly because they represent your chance to make a good first impression. So you need them to be fast.

But people visiting these pages typically won't have any resources from your website in their browser cache. This will make them seem relatively slow.

Prioritising key pages will help you get the most from your web performance optimisation efforts, and this post talks about some of the approaches you can take.

Read on...

Why I'm preloading a font even when I shouldn't have to

4 September 2019

Preloading fonts is a great way to get text to display faster on a web page.

This post looks at why it's a good idea to preload fonts, even if they're referenced in inline CSS.

Read on...

How to deliver super-fast web pages with prerendering

29 August 2019

Prerendering essentially allows you to load an entire web page in advance, so while a visitor is on one page, the browser can be loading the next one.

This can give the illusion of almost instantaneous load times.

Read on...

Does a better speed index score always mean a better experience?

26 August 2019

Relying too much on one web performance metric is probably a bad idea.

Research from Radware some years ago challenged the widely held assumption that progressive JPEGs delivered a better experience than baseline JPEGs.

There may be an analogy with speed index. While better speed index scores probably mean better experiences most of the time, there could well be some notable exceptions.

Read on...

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