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Deliver a faster mobile UX, powerful image optimization tools & why your CDN isn't enough

Aug 1, 2022


Hi there,

Depending on where in the world you are, right now you might be enjoying the final weeks of summer or the winter wind-down. If you're on holiday, there's a good chance that your web performance work is the last thing on your mind. Though if you're out and about – using travel apps and staying up to date on the news via your phone – there's a very good chance that you're experiencing firsthand the real-world effects of other people's performance work (or lack thereof)... both good and bad.

If you want to dig into those effects, our Industry Benchmarks let you poke into the performance of some of the most-used travel, ecommerce, and media sites in the world. You can drill down into each site and find out what makes The Guardian and Le Monde deliver meaningful content so quickly. Or how Trivago and HomeAway help travellers on the go, even under slow mobile conditions.

Also in this newsletter, we share a roundup of powerful image optimization tools, real-world performance culture tips, Core Web Vitals news, and a great ecommerce case study from our friends at Farfetch.

Wherever you are, I hope you're enjoying whatever season you're in. Until next month, stay safe, happy, and well.



How Trivago delivers a fast mobile UX

Last month we shared that Trivago was at the top of our industry benchmarks for EU travel sites. Xoan Vilas (@xo4n), who heads up web performance at Trivago, replied with a link to an article on their tech blog that goes into detail about the main ingredient in their recipe for speed: their migration from a home-grown JavaScript framework to Next.js.

Your CDN may be great, but it's not enough

If you rely on your content delivery network (CDN) to do all the work of mitigating your site's performance and UX issues, that's not enough... especially for mobile. Every site in this recent snapshot of our US benchmarks for media sites uses a CDN. Yet the Largest Contentful Paint time – which measure when the page's key image is visible – for each site ranges from 8 to 83 seconds for mobile.

Wondering what you could be doing to fix issues on your pages? These are some of the most common solutions we recommend:

  • Reduce page and DOM size
  • Minimize main-thread work (i.e. parsing, compiling, and executing JavaScript)
  • Reduce unused JavaScript
  • Properly size and optimize images
  • Ensure text remains visible while fonts load

You can look at your own SpeedCurve data to find out which optimizations we recommend for your pages. We run Lighthouse tests on all your synthetic tests, and you'll find your audits (aka recommendations) on your Improve and Vitals dashboards, as well as when you drill down into your individual synthetic test results.

Powerful image optimization tools

Optimizing the size of images can have a bigger impact on performance than all other areas combined. In a recent Smashing magazine article, Louis Lazaris covers different tools – both free and paid – available for reducing the size of images.

Farfetch sees higher conversion rates for better Core Web Vitals

This is a great case study from our friends at luxury retailer Farfetch. They correlated Core Web Vitals and performance metrics with business metrics, and found that conversion rate increased by 1.3% with each 100ms reduction in Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).

If you use SpeedCurve RUM, good news! You can create your own correlation charts that show the impact of performance on business and user engagement metrics. Correlation charts are a fantastic tool for driving interest in performance from non-technical stakeholders in your company.

Real-world performance culture tips

If you read the Farfetch case study above, you learned that they built a performance business case calculator to drive product decisions and build their performance culture. That's because having a strong culture of performance in your organization is possibly the single greatest predictor of success.

And that's why I love seeing insights like these, shared by Ethan Gardner (@EthanGardner) in a recent post:

  • Use competitive benchmarking to get buy-in within your organization
  • Focus on one fix at a time
  • Validate everything
  • Celebrate wins internally (Slack) and publicly (Twitter and LinkedIn)

Get more performance culture best practices.

Upcoming performance metrics for the web

If Google's Core Web Vitals have been on your radar, then you'll be interested in this recent episode of the JavaScript Jabbers podcast. Google engineers Annie Sullivan, Michael Mocny, and Yoav Weiss discuss:

  • Current performance metrics, like Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • Upcoming metrics, such as Interaction to Next Paint (INP)
  • Which user page interactions we can measure successfully and which we can't
  • The challenges of single-page applications when looking at Core Web Vitals

What's new at SpeedCurve

July was another busy month! Learn about our latest releases, including:

  • RUM heat maps – Spot which pages and user paths are suffering performance and UX issues
  • New synthetic test regions – Italy, Bahrain, South Africa, and Indonesia
  • Help videos & articles – Track Web Vitals, monitor third parties, and more

Mark your calendar!

The conference season is just around the corner, and we couldn't be more excited. We're very excited to be supporters of some of our favourite in-person events returning this year.

Photo of SmashingConf audience throwing balloons in the air

SpeedCurve is a proud sponsor of all these events, and we'll have members of our team at each one. If you'd like to connect face to face, let us know!