What’s in your Webperf Stack?
In the tech world, when we’re discussing software development, we use the term “development stack” with great frequency. One simple example is “LAMP”, which is the acronym for the development stack consisting of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. There are many other dev stacks, and just recently, we’ve started hearing of new kinds of stacks, most particularly, the “MarTech” stack, referring to marketing technologies. Sangram Vajre, CMO of Terminus Software, recently shared the Terminus martech stack here. But there’s another stack that most tech folks don’t think about very often, if at all: the website performance stack.
Similar to LAMP, we have an acronym for the items in the webperf stack: TMOA.
Each layer in the stack is a function, rather than a specific tool, and each has it’s place and order in the lifecycle of any particular piece or family of software products. Why are we talking about the webperf stack? Because, as we’ve written before, software development builds for and focuses on functionality; design focuses on beauty and ease of use; and IT focuses on the hardware and connectivity of the web property’s environment.
But who focuses on website performance? Webperf is – or should be – part of UX, because, at the very least, if your website is dog slow or has big performance issues, the user experience will degrade quickly. For an ecommerce business in particular, even a second of delay in webperf can mean huge losses, as KISSMetrics points out here, specifically, these three points:
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions
Webperf affects everyone involved in the development, launch, and operation of any web business, so when you’re going through the development life cycle of a web property or web-based business, specific tools and emphasis should be used throughout the webperf stack:
- Test – we test for functionality and design, but do we test for performance early in the development cycle? If you find a performance bug early, it will save you pain later, just like a software functionality bug.
- Monitor – as we monitor our website’s environment for bugs, user experience, and resource utilization, we should also be monitoring for performance as it relates to the users’ experience on the web site.
- Optimize – performance can be optimized just like UX, software code, and IT environment. A simple task to move towards optimization can (should!) be done on a regular basis, and that is to run a simple report that shows you instantly what elements of each web page are causing poor performance. Something as simple as image optimization can be remedied in seconds, making a huge reduction in the time it takes for a given page to load.
So, what tools are in your webperf stack?