Do you believe one of the top news websites in the world which has millions of readers every day is taking long time to load?
If you consider regular performance metrics like Load Time, Fully Loaded Time then cnn.com takes between 12 to 20 seconds depending on the device you use to browse.
But when you visit cnn.com you won’t feel it is slow. Of course, it is not as fast as google.com but an international website which changes its content every minute and has huge content ( lots of images & videos ) on the home page, it is pretty fast.
Why everyone talks about cnn.com when they give examples for a slow website? Because they are using old performance metrics like Load Time, Fully Loaded Time and SpeedIndex. But these old metrics won’t show the performance of a website accurately in today’s times.
Why is this happening? To get an answer for this first, we need to know what exactly performance is for a website.
Any website is as fast as its user feels it. So, when does user feels it fast? When the user visits the website, first he does his basic primary activity like reading text content, entering input in the form or something else. While the user is doing his primary activity, rest of the website loads in the background without him/her knowing about it. For the user, all it matters is how fast he can interact with the website.
Here we are discussing cnn.com, so let’s see whats going on with it.
If we consider Load Time as the performance metric, cnn.com Load Time on different devices
- On Desktop “18.02” seconds
- On iPhone 6 “15.69” seconds
- On Samsung Galaxy S8 “11.68” seconds
Below you can find screenshots of the cnn.com which was taken for every 0.2 seconds from the start :
Samsung Galaxy S8
If you observe above screenshots, you can easily find out that user can interact with the website (i.e reading news content) with the following timings :
- On Desktop “6.2” seconds
- On iPhone 6 “3.6” seconds
- On Samsung Galaxy S8 “2.8” seconds
If you observe above facts, we can conclude that we need a different metric to measure website performance.
PUIT (Perfhack User Impression Time) is the new metric which exactly does this. If you want to know what exactly PUIT is, you can read it here https://www.perfhack.com/blog/what-is-puit-perfhack-user-impression-time-how-do-you-measure-it/
In simple terms PUIT measures how fast user can interact with the website.
As per PUIT:
- On Desktop “6.2” seconds
- On iPhone 6 “3.3” seconds
- On Samsung Galaxy S8 “2.9” seconds
PUIT is almost close to user interaction time.
So, even though you know your website is fast but you are worrying about other performance metrics are showing you that it is slow then don’t worry about it because those metrics are outdated and don’t show actual performance.