I colleague of mine made a video about – how the tools that measure the speed of web pages are sometimes wrong. The speed of a web site or page is important for many reasons – Search Engine Optimization (engines give more “points” to fast sites), end user experience (no user likes to wait and if things are fast – he is happy), less power consumption – on both server and client (fast and optimized sites don’t jam up – the back-end system and if cloud services are used – it means less money to pay, on smartphones – fast and optimized code will not consume battery and will prolong the life (up time) of the device.
Here are my reasons why it is not that much important to lock yourself up inside the vain chase of the numbers a certain tool gives you.
- Most of the tools (probably) measure only the fresh – new open of the web site. Many web old sites have HTTP cache headers and they are also checked by the metrics. And new sites have even Service Worker – that caches the static resources offline and loads them directly – without even hitting the server for the response code – 304 – Not Modified. A second (and/or third) check of the web page should be included in the measurement – so the resulted rating is more accurate.
- As my colleague said – these tools change and as a result – the rating of the web sites. And you have to remember that this evaluation is not global/objective – it is within the systems of Google, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, or whatever search engines is putting to it. The search prioritization changes. The Internet standards and what is implemented within the browsers changes. New Internet Protocols arrive, better compression algorithms are made, everything evolves. I’m not sure that there is a person is capable of keeping track of all of it.
- Besides the pure math – there is a lot of Art in the web pages. According to the niche there are probably different colors that most associate – coding with dark background and green text, Facebook – the blue header, twitter, the light blue, green background for eco-friendly projects and so on. The eyes focus on certain position on the screen and the important items should be there. There are also different sizes of the components according to screen size and many more small tricky details – like the action buttons contrasting the rest or having the legacy idea of – green color – go ahead, red color – stop, and so on.
- The Actual Usefulness of a software much more art than math. There are aspects of software development where the coders must take into account – the non-tech users habits, work, psychology, so the software could – generate money for the users and then – for the software creator, save time – of the non-tech user, speed – improve and increase current productivity.
- Far, far beyond the software is the marketing – the psychological attachment of the masses to the Services and the products of a Brand. Installing into the minds of people – the association of the brand with whatever they offer is art – it is repeating the same idea – what a company or an individual is all about – but with different words, with different shapes – like – text, video, pictures – using different form factors – real world places, TV, street labels and after that – software banners, emails and ads.
Viewing the whole subject could make you pass out. I’ve been diving into the above topics from the top to bottom of this article, because I look it mostly from developer perspective – how to make something work, how to optimize it, and so on. From a marketing, human, business point of view – all the above – are to be viewed from the bottom up. All technical details could be implemented by any tech person once you know how it all fits in the whole picture.