Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Speed Counts

I've mentioned earlier the importance of uptime and now want to draw attention to website response time. If a website loads slowly, people will leave it, often never to return. Your website must load as fast as is affordable and practical.

People have response time limits when using computers and Human perception of delays starts kicking in at under 400ms or just under 1/2 second (quote from Bwooce's Log). The closer the server hosting the site is to the user, the faster a site's data will arrive. The faster the load, the better the chances of the user enjoying the site and returning or telling their friends about it.

A video website that has been very popular say in Europe may host all of its content on servers in the Europe since it is close, and therefore fast, to do so. Such a European site will want to seriously consider redesigning their systems before a North American launch of a new site (one intended for people accessing the internet from North America). If they don't, the data will take more time to reach most North American users. The videos may not load fast enough; the audience will have the annoyance of videos stopping every few seconds. Studder-ing video will lose audience. The initial design for Europe may be great, but may not be good for a geographically different audience.

To lose viewers because a site is slow is unnecessary since many have already solved these problems; making a site faster is always an improvement is the user's experience.

If you'd like guidance on how to make a video site run quickly (without buying your own data centers) contact me directly.

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