Render Time vs. Load Time: Which One Matters More?

How important is your website’s loading time? WordPress experts can tell you in just one word: very.

  • A whopping surveyed say they’ll abandon a website that exhibits poor performance. [1]
  • 73% of mobile internet users have come across a slow-loading website. [2]
  • Nearly half of those surveyed expect a website to load in no more than two seconds. [3]
  • Pages just one second slower in response time can experience a 7% drop in conversions. [4]

So yes, speed is important, but there are two factors in play. While we may refer to “load time” as the biggest influencer, render time also has a major impact on how quickly your audience can access crucial information.

Here’s what you need to know about render time vs. load time:

Load Time

A page’s load time is the amount of time it takes for a web page to download to the user’s browser. Data-heavy objects like large images, JavaScript and cascading style sheets (CSS) take longer to download and can cause load times to lag. When you’re searching the web for a new recipe or information on the latest developments in net neutrality, you need a site to load before you can read content, click on a link, navigate from sub-page to sub-page and so on.

For a shopper looking to make a purchase, slow load times serve as a substantial barrier, especially if those load times are repeated page after page. Those delays add up quickly.

Render Time

Like load time, the term ‘render time’ refers to the amount of time it takes for a page to load or reload, but in this case, the metric is using a different endpoint: when visitors can actually use and interact with the page. This is an important distinction as load time will tell you how quickly a page is visible, but render time tells you how quickly your site is usable.

Why Both Are Important

If you’re packing your site with third-party elements, load time may not be the most accurate way to understand how visitors experience your site. External content may still be loading after your on-site content is fully displayed. This is where audience perception comes into play. Readers will judge your site’s speed based on how quickly they see content, how quickly they can interact with that content (when they can click and get a result) and how easy it is to scroll without encountering an unresponsive page or broken media.

Take care of your audience by cleaning up your site and optimizing for speed. This optimization process isn’t easy. After checking the site’s current speed, you’ll need to evaluate everything from image size to whether or not you’re using a content delivery network (CDN) or hosting your own videos.

Reach Out to the WordPress Experts

The public’s tolerance for slow load times has plummeted from eight seconds in 1999 to two seconds or less today. Are you losing leads due to poor speed? WP SitePlan’s support and maintenance plans include options for optimization, monitoring, and support, so you can keep things running smoothly and scale your way to success.

[1] https://blog.kissmetrics.com/speed-is-a-killer/
[2] http://forum.fiverr.com/discussion/is-your-website-speed-sloware-you-looking-for-a-guy-to-fix-it/
[3] http://insights.wired.com/profiles/blogs/47-of-consumers-expect-a-web-page-to-load-in-2-seconds-or-less#axzz4O014A6gW
[4] https://econsultancy.com/blog/10936-site-speed-case-studies-tips-and-tools-for-improving-your-conversion-rate/

By |2018-09-25T16:31:49+00:00September 25th, 2018|Pagespeed|

About the Author:

Cody Vance is a detail-oriented Web Developer with professional web development and technical experience for internal and external clients ranging from executives to end­-users. Exceptional web development and web maintenance with knowledge in a full range of front-end languages including HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript. Also provides a great deal of knowledge with modern Content Management Systems and E-commerce platforms.
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