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Top websites turning off customers with slow loading

Radware, a provider of cyber security and application delivery solutions, released its 2016 State of the Union: Multi-Industry Web Performance (Desktop Edition) report and the most revealing issue was that many of the top desktop websites in travel, news, sports, and eCommerce fail the most basic test of usability: load time.

The findings show the worst offenders to be top news sites, where 78 per cent of which exceed the 3-second time-to-load window. Worse still, of the top 50 sports websites, all but three are slow to load and take longer than 3 seconds. However, it wasn't just online news and sport websites that were slow to load - as they are predominantly information sites they could have some excuse. 80 per cent of travel sites were also failing to load in a timely manner and considering that the travel industry claims 75 per cent of its bookings through online customers, this is something it needs to address.

"Three seconds doesn't sound like much, but 57 per cent of users will abandon a site that takes any longer," said Kent Alstad, VP of Acceleration at Radware. "That means lost sales and lost advertising revenue. Yet many site owners fail to optimise images, scripts, and HTML-even as these elements increase in number-leading to sluggish load times, site abandonment, and brand damage. These are prime opportunities for improving performance and attracting and retaining customers."

However, it wasn't all doom and gloom as Radware did find that nearly half of the top fifty online shopping sites loaded in less than 3 seconds and eCommerce in general had a mean load time of 3.1 seconds.

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