Website performance problems must be addressed

As advanced technologies become increasingly important for day-to-day operations in the business world, decision-makers are placing an emphasis on using cloud computing and other technologies to make life easier. While there are a lot of areas in IT that the cloud can help organizations, the ability to keep websites up to speed and available is among the most important, especially as mobility plays a bigger role in the consumer landscape.

A recent study of the top 2,000 U.S. retail websites by Radware revealed that the number of website access requests has  grown more than 8.2 percent between December 2011 and December 2012. This has contributed to slower load times, as the average time it take to open a website is approximately 7.3 seconds. While this may not seem like much, the acceptable time for consumers is around three seconds, suggesting many people are unhappy with the current web landscape.

"The fact that the median site has slowed down by 22 percent in just one year should be alarming for retail site owners," said Joshua Bixby, vice president of application acceleration at Radware. "This is a massive drop in performance."

Alleviating website availability issues
The top 100 websites were even slower than the average time, taking roughly 8.2 seconds to load, according to Radware. This is largely because the volume of traffic accessing these resources continues to grow, especially as consumers use mobile devices for even more tasks. Because analysts believe following this trajectory will lead to websites taking as long as nine seconds to load by the end of 2013, decision-makers need to be proactive with addressing this problem.

"As pages continue to grow bigger and more complex, site owners need to take aggressive steps to mitigate this growth," Bixby asserted.

Fortunately, the cloud can help. Unlike traditional application hosting environments that are rigid and unable to adapt to high volumes of traffic, a cloud infrastructure is more scalable. This flexibility means companies can manage complex websites without worrying that the increased attention from visitors will create bottlenecks and other performance issues that lead to slow websites or worse - resources becoming completely unavailable to users.

In the coming years, businesses will find that the cloud can help companies resolve a number of issues with websites, especially as the resources evolve into more sophisticated solutions.

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