Learn the Average Page Load Time and How to Increase Website Speed
How fast should my website load?
If you want a quick answer, the Google recommended page load time is under two seconds: “Two seconds is the threshold for ecommerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half-second.”
Fast matters, especially when it comes to customer service. It’s the reason fast food became a mealtime staple, it’s the reason Amazon Prime thrives on immediate shipping, and it’s the reason I gave you a quick answer in the first paragraph of this article.
Below you’ll learn the ins and outs of website/webpage speed, including what it is, why it matters, how it’s measured, where the current bar is set, and ways you can optimize your own site to make it faster.
What Is Page Load Time (or Webpage Speed) and How Is It Measured?
Generally speaking, a website page load time is the time it takes for someone to see the content after they’ve landed on a webpage.
However, the answer isn’t really as cut and dry as that. Saying “my website loads in X.X seconds” is distorted from reality. Why? Website speed is a fluid concept, for two reasons:
- Webpages don’t load all at once—they load piece by piece
- Website speed varies from webpage to webpage and user to user, depending on each page’s attributes and the user’s browser, device, and internet speed
If you want to get more detailed, webpage speed can be divided into two different categories: First Contentful Paint (FCP) and DOMContent Loaded (DCL).
What Is a webpage’s First Contentful Paint (FCP)?
First Contentful Paint (FCP) is the time it takes for you to see the first piece on content on a webpage after you’ve landed there.
Typically, webpages load each element individually, but not all at the same time. Have you ever clicked on a webpage to find that the top half has loaded, but the bottom half is still working on it? Or have you landed on a webpage where some parts appear first, and then more detailed parts appear second? Then you’ve experienced First Contentful Paint (FCP).
What Is a Webpage’s DOMContent Loaded (DCL)?
The various parts of a webpage don’t load all at once. DOMContent Loaded (DCL) is the time it takes for every bit of code on the top and bottom of a webpage to load. That includes everything in the First Contentful Paint (FCP) and everything else that comes after.
How Is WebPage Speed Measured?
You need to stop thinking of your website speed as a fixed number. Why? Because there’s a difference in what objective data tells you and how it’s actually experienced in the real world.
Google said it best:
“…load is not a single moment in time—it’s an experience that no one metric can fully capture. There are multiple moments during the load experience that can affect whether a user perceives it as ‘fast’, and if you just focus on one you might miss bad experiences that happen during the rest of the time.”
Here’s an example: Let’s say two people go to the same webpage from different devices and with different internet speeds. During both visits, the webpage takes the same amount of time to load completely. However, the first user can see the images loading immediately, if not all at once. The second user is presented with a blank white screen until the entire page has loaded, leaving the user to wonder if it’s even working.
As you can see, different users have different experiences.
What Is the Average Page Load Time for Websites in the United States?
So, how fast should a website load? If you’re married to thinking of page speed in terms of seconds, I’ll give you this: According to a recentUnbounce Page Speed Report, the average website load time in 2019 is 15 seconds.
The average load time of the top ranking websites in Google is under three seconds, and considering 57% of people leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load, you have an enormous opportunity to increase website traffic just by increasing site speed. People are impatient, and with the rise of micro-moments, they want everything INSTANTLY.
Not only does site speed vary from user to user, but average page speed also varies from industry to industry:
- Automotive: 6.3 seconds
- Consumer packaged goods: 6.6 seconds
- Finance: 5.9 seconds
- Healthcare: 5.4 seconds
- Media & entertainment: 5.5 seconds
- Retail: 6.3 seconds
- Technology: 6.7 seconds
- Travel: 6 seconds
Why Average Page Load Time Matters on Both Desktop and Mobile Devices
Why does website speed matter? Check out these website load time statistics:
- Once your page loads, users form an opinion in .05 seconds.
- Nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed influences their likeliness to buy
- Only 15% of websites operate at an acceptable page speed
- 57% of visitors leave a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load
- Three of the top four SEO UX signals are page-speed-dependent
Put them together, and here’s what you get:
Website Speed Matters to SEO – In 2010, Google made website speed a ranking factor. In their own words:
“Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs.” – Google
Think about it. Google wants to provide the absolute BEST search results, and a high bounce rate (bounce = someone lands on your webpage, isn’t satisfied, and immediately “bounces” back to the search results) is a sign that a webpage does not meet a user’s needs.
The site speed factor only mattered to desktop devices until January 2018, when it announced the same standards would be used for mobile devices.
Speed Matters to Conversion Rates – According to Google, 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load—which increases your bounce rate and lowers your conversion rates.
Speed Matters to Your Bottom Line – Not only do nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed influences their likeliness to buy, but a recent Google page load time study also proved website speed matters to your bottom line and can cost you revenue. They found that even a one-second decrease in page speed can lower conversion rates by 7%.
They even created a website load testthat showshow much revenue your website speed is stealing from you. For example, if this website increased its website speed from 5 seconds to two seconds, it could increase revenue by $48,394.
Bump it up even more to 1.5 seconds, and this plumber could increase revenue by over $100,000.
Google’s Real-Time PageSpeed Insights and What They Mean
If you’re curious how fast a website loads, head over to Google’s PageSpeed Insights. It’s a tool that will help you figure out how others are seeing your website and how long it takes on average for your website to load by averaging users’ FCP and DCL time.
Google then categorizes pages as Fast, Average, and Slow. How it does this is by looking at the median value of the FCP and DCL. But different users experience different load times because not all devices, internet providers, and browsers are the same.
For example, pretend that two people go to the same webpage on a smartphone; we’ll call them Bob and Joe.
- Joe, whose internet provider is Verizon, navigates to the website using Google’s Chrome browser on an Android phone.
- Bob, whose internet provider is AT&T, navigates to the website using the Safari browser on an iPhone.
- Joe sees the first image on the website pop up in .42 seconds.
- Bob, (using a different browser and a different internet provider) sees the first image pop up in 1.8 seconds.
Which webpage speed is the accurate one?
To account for all the variables connected to page speed, Google averages the load time every single user experiences—no matter the browser, device, and internet provider—and catalogs it. Each metric is assigned a speed of Fast, Slow, or Average, depending on where it falls in the distribution:
- Fast: The median value of the metric is in the fastest third of all page loads.
- Slow: The median value of the metric is in the slowest third of all page loads.
- Average: The median value of the metric is in the middle third of all page loads.
An overall Speed score is calculated by looking at the categories for each metric:
- Fast: If every metric of a page is Fast.
- Slow: If any metric of a page is Slow.
- Average: All other cases.
Why Would a Website Have a Slow Page Load Time?
Pretend two runners are competing in a 50-yard dash. One runner has the latest lightweight running gear, and the other has a 100-lb weight they have to carry. All other factors being equal, which runner do you think will have a faster time?
If you guessed the one with no extra weight, you’re right.
Webpages operate the same way.
Most of apage’s load time—80%, in fact—is spent rendering all the different coded elements on a page. Each element on your website has a certain “weight.” This includes everything from style sheets and plugins to contact forms and images. The more unoptimized elements you have on your webpages, the “heavier” it is. The “heavier” it is, the longer it’s going to take to render.
So, what’s the average weight of webpages in the United States? 3.2 MB.
How Do I Decrease My Website’s Average Page Load Time?
If you want to decrease page load time for all users, consider looking for, fixing, and optimizing the following:
- An unresponsive website (non-mobile-friendly)
- A lot of 301 redirects
- Compression enablement
- Slow server response time
- Website caching for images and resources
- Too many resources or elements on a page
- Unoptimized images
- Unoptimized CSS
- Using the synchronous version of a script
- Having too many plugins
- Website isn’t responsive or the viewport isn’t correctly sized
- Too-small font sizes
- Typography that isn’t search-engine-friendly
To get specific tips for your website, enter your website’s URL into Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. This will give you a page speed score and give you page speed optimization tips specific for your website.
However, here are some general tips most sites can incorporate:
- Optimize your images – Compress your images. There are many programs and methods you can use, but one of the easiest ones is a program called Smush.it.
- Optimize your content – The fewer page elements you have, the lighter your webpages will be. To make your pages lighter, combine your files to reduce the number of HTTP requests—including combining scripts and combining your CSS into a single stylesheet.
- Cache your website often – Each time someone visits your page, your website has to load all the elements from scratch—unless it’s cached. Website caching is the activity of taking a “snapshot” of your website and storing the data on a user’s device for future use. After you cache a webpage, the website browser only needs to load updated or new pieces of a page if you revisit the site, which increases page load time even with a slow internet connection.
- Gzip it. – A compression method call gzipping can reduce a webpage’s weight by 70%.
- Avoid landing page redirects – While 301 redirects don’t necessarily hurt your web presence, too many of them can slow down your website. According to Google, “Because redirects trigger an additional HTTP request-response cycle and add extra round-trip-time latency, it’s important to minimize the number of redirects issued by your application.”
11 Tools To Help Decrease Page Load Time
So how can you decrease your average page load time? Use the tools below:
Is Your Website Too Slow? You May Need a New Website Design
Your website design may actually be hurting you if it isn’t completely optimized for website speed. If you’ve done all you can to optimize your existing website and you still see “slow” in your page speed analysis, I highly recommend you get a website audit done by a professional. They’ll find things you can’t, and get you on the right track to page speed success.
The average web page load time is 2.5 seconds on desktop and 8.6 seconds on mobile, based on our analysis of the top 100 webpages worldwide. The average desktop First Input Delay (FID) speed is 12.73 milliseconds on desktop and 59.73 milliseconds on mobile.What is a good website performance score? ›
A score of 90 or above is considered good. 50 to 89 is a score that needs improvement, and below 50 is considered poor.What is a good page speed for SEO? ›
What is a Good Page Speed for SEO? A good page speed for SEO is three seconds or less. A fast-loading page speed will help your SEO efforts, as Google rewards fast sites over slow ones. Keep in mind mobile page speed as well in your optimization efforts.How fast should a website load 2022? ›
Ideally, you'll want your website to load within three seconds, or two seconds if it's an ecommerce site. The two-to-three second mark is the turning point where bounce rates skyrocket – in fact, 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site.What is a good average site duration? ›
A good benchmark for Average Time on Page is 52 seconds, across multiple industries. Based on data from 20 billion user sessions, B2B websites have the highest Average Time On Page of around 82 seconds. However, a good Average Time on Page depends on many factors, including device type, industry, target audience type.How do I check website slowness? ›
The best way to figure out what's slowing down your website is to either use Google Chrome's performance tool or to do a performance audit with Google's PageSpeed Insights. If you're on a mobile device, you'll want to use the speed audit method as Google's Chrome App doesn't provide the tool you'd need.How do I know if my website is performing well? ›
Running a load test is still the best way to see how your website is performing in the real world. A load test will tell you if your site slows down when you have a large amount of visitors, what part of your IT infrastructure fails first under heavy load and pinpoint areas of congestion on your web server.How to check website speed? ›
Google PageSpeed Insights is a popular website speed testing tool that scores your site speed on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the better your website is performing. To account for your mobile traffic, Google PageSpeed Insights can generate tests for both your desktop and mobile website.How do I make my website load faster? ›
- Choose a performance-optimized hosting solution. ...
- Compress and optimize your images. ...
- Reduce your redirects. ...
- Cache your web pages. ...
- Enable browser caching. ...
Site speed is key to ecommerce success. It directly influences your conversion rates, repeat business, and search engine rankings. And with recent changes to Google Search ranking, a fast load speed for your website is even more important as a competitive edge.
In general, however, it's considered that an acceptable latency is anything under 150 milliseconds. That means all the elements of your website, from images to scripts, dynamic elements, and everything in between, need to load in under 3 seconds.What is a good website traffic increase? ›
As with many metrics, website traffic growth will vary widely based on company stage and audience. However, a monthly growth rate of 10-20% is generally considered a good benchmark.What is a good number of traffic for a website? ›
Ideally, you should post new content once a day. Websites that post daily are more likely to get between 15,001 and 250K visitors per month, and less likely to get between 1,0001 and 15K visitors than websites that post monthly. The amount of content is, of course, dependent on the size of your team and audience.What is the 15 second rule? ›
Less than 15 seconds. That's the average time spent on a website. And that's how long you have to capture someone's attention on your website. I've dubbed this “the 15 Second Rule.” If you haven't generated interest in 15 seconds, then you probably aren't going to.What is a good website bounce rate? ›
The average bounce rate is somewhere between 26% and 70%, with the optimal range being between 26% and 40%. To land anywhere under 20% is generally unlikely, so if that's what your data is showing then you may want to double-check some things.What is a good exit rate? ›
On average, (35.90%) the majority of our respondents see a bounce rate between 26-40%. As for exit rates, the majority, (28.21%) have an exit rate of between 26-40% and under 25% each.Why do some websites take forever to load? ›
Slow site speeds can result from network congestion, bandwidth throttling and restrictions, data discrimination and filtering, or content filtering. If you notice slow speeds when visiting your site, you can run a traceroute between your computer and your website to test the connection.How do I fix a slow website speed? ›
- Clean up your website's code. Remove unnecessary elements such as white spaces, comments and inline spacing.
- Check your PHP version. ...
- MySQL Server: Find slow-executing queries. ...
- Analyze slow website content. ...
- Speed up your site performance. ...
- Check your content.
- Author. Take a look at the individual or organization running the website. ...
- Keeping Current. When was the last time the site was updated? ...
- Beyond the Headline. ...
- Solid Science. ...
- Audience. ...
- Ask Questions.
- Invest in a Mobile Responsive Design.
- Website Testing in Different Browsers.
- Monitor Your Online Traffic.
- Introduce Various Payment Options.
- Put Contact Information on Full Display.
- Opt for Easy Navigation.
- Update Your Content.
- Broken Links and Redirects.
if your site loads in 2.9 seconds, it is faster than approximately 50% of the web. if your site loads in 1.7 seconds, it is faster than approximately 75% of the web. if your site loads in 0.8 seconds, it is faster than approximately 94% of the web.What are 5 ways to improve website traffic? ›
- Optimize your content with keywords. ...
- Create targeted landing pages. ...
- Craft engaging, high-quality content. ...
- Use digital ads to promote your site. ...
- Boost your local search reputation. ...
- Send emails that link to your website.
- On Page SEO Factor 1 – Keyword Research: ...
- On Page SEO Factor 2 – URL Optimization: ...
- On Page SEO Factor 3 – Meta Tags: ...
- On Page SEO Factor 4 – Header Tags: ...
- On Page SEO Factor 5 – Content Optimization:
What percentage Search Visibility should I aim for? You're looking to get around 35% - 45%, as this is generally the average click through rate of a URL in the top position in the search results.Is 1000 words enough for SEO? ›
According to Search Engine Land, longer content (1,000+ words) tends to help websites show up in search results. Forbes indicates that an average of 600-700 words per page is optimal for SEO.What is a good PageRank score? ›
Google PageRank scores every website on a scale of 0 to 10, and a ranking of 4 and up is considered to be an above average ranking.What are the 3 C's of SEO? ›
Simply put, the fundamentals of SEO can be boiled down to The 3 Cs: content, code and credibility.How do I optimize my page for SEO? ›
- Crawl your website.
- Conduct an SEO audit and define your site architecture.
- Update URLs, page titles, and meta descriptions.
- Make sure your keyword is in your URL.
- Include your keyword throughout your page.
- Track keywords and topics for each page.
- Don't keyword stuff.
The 'Golden Rule” of SEO is: Understand your customers' needs and create an SEO experience that satisfies those needs - from the search result listing, to the first impression the visitor gets when landing on the page, to the ability for the visitor to quickly and easily find the content she is looking for.What increases SEO score? ›
Quality, authoritative content is the number one driver of your search engine rankings and there is no substitute for great content—this is especially true when doing SEO marketing. Quality content created specifically for your intended user increases site traffic, which improves your site's authority and relevance.What is the minimum word count for SEO? ›
There is no overarching best word count for SEO. However, we recommend aiming for at least 1,000 words for standard blog posts, 2,000 for long-form content, and 300-500 for news posts or product pages. Ultimately, you should try to cover the topic in a meaningful and thorough way without using fluff or repetition.How do you become #1 in SEO? ›
Typically you get to number 1 by having a good online reputation. Well-known brands have good reputations. These brands rank at the top of Google, too. Reputation is increased by the number of quality web pages that link to any page on your site.Do curse words hurt SEO? ›
If you're in a filtered industry, keep the explicit words out of the titles and meta descriptions. Don't worry about profanity if you follow the previous two guidelines. But if you see a reduction in position, take the curse words out and re-measure. Then let the rest of the SEO industry know what you find out!How long is too long for SEO? ›
You Should Expect to See Results From SEO Within 6 to 12 Months... SEO should show results within a 6- to 12-month period. By results, we mean a measurable increase in traffic and associated leads or conversions.How long does it take to rank on page 1? ›
The Bad News: It Takes 5 Months to Rank New Posts on Page 1
If we look at the first few data points in the graphs above, we see that in the first 5 months, regardless of how many posts we've published for a client, on average, zero of them are on page 1 for their target keywords.
The original PageRank algorithm was dropped and in came a new system that considered more than just the sheer volume of links. Google PageRank algorithm now takes into account the quantity and quality of the links.Is PageRank still important for SEO? ›
Although you cannot publicly view the PageRank score for web pages, PageRank is still valuable as a part of Google's internal algorithm. It is still arguably the #1 SEO ranking factor (of over 200 others) Google uses to determine the placement of sites on its search engine results page.