Critical Server Response Time

How slow would a server’s page load time have to be to create substantial effects on sales on an e-commerce site for hi-end furniture?


Good question with no clear answer.

I think the main factor would depend on the individual visitor.

For a rough contrived example.

80% of the target audience has fast connection speeds.

  • those with slower connection speeds will be more affected by “slow” pages.

40% of those with faster connections think anything longer than 1 second is too long and will leave.
40% of those with faster connections think anything longer than 0.5 seconds is too long and will leave.
20% of those with faster connections think anything longer than 0.2 seconds is too long and will leave.

So if the page speed is 0.3 seconds, you’ll lose that 20%

What is considered to be “substantial” is subjective.

Because you can’t control how fast a visitors connection speed is, the best approach is to optimize your pages and hope for the best.

I think the usual main causes of slow pages are large image (and video) files, and excessive HTTP requests to resources (eg. 45 js files, 23 css files)

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What 3rd party site can I use to measure my site speed? Or can you do it easily? …

Also would like to know it’s issues, if any, with js, css, and large image files.

You can always take a look at your browser dev tool Network and Timeline panes to get information that is specific to you, but often also for others.

Two (of the many) online testers are

The web developer toolbar has an option to view document size and this is what I see for your home page:

That’s a lot of requests for a single page. Many of those scripts are tiny - 8 are under 1KB - so combining some of them to make fewer requests might be a good place to start.


Server response on homepage was 3.1 sec. On a popular product page scores are better. But bad. And mobile scores much worse than desktop. Ok. Gee, I wonder why…

90% reduction in sales in calendar year 2016. Mobile bounce rate 93%. Desktop BR 87%. This was for paid ads. Organic BR not as severely affected. But still bad. The solutions behind all this are not difficult. But I’m disappointed that my dev team, who do everything I tell them to, and pretty well, would leave me with this new website with such extraordinary liabilities. It’s all mindset. And experience. I now have $25,000 excess inventory sitting in a warehouse at $350 / month, and a vendor in Malaysia who believes he’s never getting any business from me again because I sold only 3% of my order. Pretty earth-shaking.

This is better than all my previous explanations. I just could not believe given the product position I have, utility patents included, and in the market for 15 years, that there could be a sudden consumer rejection of my brand underlying the sales picture. One customer did in fact say he hated the speed of the site. I shrugged my shoulders. I’m on the site weekly. Saw slowness. Ok - but nothing I would imagine to lead to our disastrous results.

Thanx for referring me to Pingdom and other. I think everyone selling online should be particularly aware of the nitty gritty details behind their website. Assume nothing.

Thank you and best of luck in the new year - Paul

Well, 3 seconds isn’t long for me, but I have patience (to a fault).

I agree with TechnoBear, I think the best chance you have of speeding things up is to work on the number of HTTP requests.

That is, combine CSS and JavaScript files where you can, and don’t call them in if the page isn’t using them.

And if they aren’t browser cache-able change that where you can.

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