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How Do Businesses Benefit from Frontend Performance Testing?

Apr 15, 2024
11 min read

Crucial bottlenecks are usually backend-related. That’s  why backend performance testing is generally regarded as a must. However, only 1% of companies perform frontend performance testing. They don’t consider that to achieve the best business results, one should combine the two types. 

Let’s prove it. We will define their differences, emphasize the importance of conducting backend performance testing first, and depict the value of frontend performance testing.

Frontend VS Backend Performance Testing

What Is Frontend Performance Testing?

Frontend directly influences retention and sales. Just check some data: 88% of users avoid platforms after negative experiences, 74% are ready to come back if everything goes smoothly and 53% leave if the load takes over 3 seconds. 
Frontend performance testing means “a way for specialists to assess the performance of a product from a user’s standpoint”. It is conducted to boost frontend by checking page optimization, response times, and speed’s effects on user behavior.

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Frontend Performance Testing Metrics

The core frontend performance testing metrics include:

  • Speed Index
    The average time required to load all sections of the page.
  • First Contentful Paint
    Activated when a portion of content is delineated in the Document Object Model.
  • Time to Interactive
    Evaluates the duration for a page to achieve full interactivity, signifying that useful content is visible, event handlers for most visible elements are activated, and the page responds within 50 milliseconds.
  • First Meaningful Paint
    Initiated by a significant above-the-fold layout alteration.
  • Input Latency
    The delay between signal reception and display.

What Is Backend Performance Testing?

Backend is related to the code that lets software operate. Backend performance testing refers to databases, APIs, server logic, and other complex hidden processes. 

Nowadays, frontend can be written without diving into backend peculiarities, but in most cases, frontends still can’t operate without adequate backend. Frontend interfaces show data retrieved from the backend. If something is wrong on this level, its visualization (and the speed of the process) may be unpleasant. For instance, one can see empty pages for a minute, not for 3 seconds that are generally recognized as the maximum comfortable waiting time for a user.

how do businesses benefit from frontend performance testing 2

Frontend is user interaction-oriented. It is about the quality of actions like authentication or making purchases that trigger the back-end. When it is damaged, the whole business logic is lost. Whenever you want to boost your business platform, start with backend performance testing and polish the basement of the frontend processes.

Frontend Performance Testing Value

What Problems Does Frontend Performance Testing Solve?

To depict the value of frontend performance testing for businesses, let’s name the key issues it solves.

User Experience Influences Conversions

74% of companies agree that UX can boost or ruin your business. Just imagine cases when an inefficient interface ruins vital workflows like checkout processes! Figures say it all: 80% of users are ready to pay more for services with pleasant UX that increases the company’s sales, while 91% of disappointed ones don’t complain, but leave immediately.

People don’t take UX as aesthetics and flow only and relate it to page loads. And frontend performance testing is the way to explore the interface in detail and ensure its elements load adequately enough for a user not to stop on their way to, for instance, a checkout.

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Speed Impacts Loyalty

Time is money. Logically, the speed of page loads is the core performance testing metric is crucial for business results. While a 1-second delay results in a 7% decrease in conversion rates, a website that loads in 1 second has a conversion rate 5x higher than a site that loads in 10 seconds

To be efficient, a platform should work fast. For instance, when a page loads in 0.1 seconds, a user has the illusion of instantaneous response. 1 second is regarded as a slight but noticeable delay and within 10 seconds, even loyal customers lose attention and get prone to leave.

Nowadays, there is a massive growth in the number of pages: the web ones have become over 200% heavier, and mobile ones are over 700%. As a result, loads become more problematic and tend to fail. Clients and companies suffer with over $2.6 billion in annual revenue lost. The best way to solve the problem is to optimize page load times — we will discuss how to do it later.

Speed Affects Website Traffic

80% of loads depend on the frontend. The loading speed directly affects search engine rankings and affects the overall website traffic that partially determines company profits.

Frontend Performance Weighs on Brand Positioning

44% of unhappy customers share their negative experiences with others. 13% of them give details to at least 15 people. It affects the brand’s reputation. If you aim to represent your company as user-oriented and contemporary, you should define all the loads-related issues before the official launch.

Who Can Benefit from Frontend Performance Testing?

The question of losses and profits related to the frontend rings the bell for many businesses. We will name the ones that can be the main winners after conducting frontend performance testing.

Mobile Development Teams

The average page load time on a desktop is 2.5 seconds compared to 8.6 seconds on mobile, web pages load nearly 70% faster on desktop, while mobile platforms tend to face more problems with loads. As a result, companies focused on them can significantly benefit from frontend performance testing.

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

Content delivery networks can be described as networks that deliver content to users according to their geographic location. They are widely used by websites with impressive international traffic. To perform adequately and deliver static resources (images, JS files, CSS, videos, etc.) quickly, CDNs must be configured in the right way with the help of performance testing.

Small Businesses

For small businesses, frontend performance testing is the basis to achieve the enlightenment of user-friendly page loads and improve reputation, visibility, and ranking. 

High-traffic Websites

Big companies have high risks related to the frontend. The thing is that 1 in 3 users confess that they are ready to leave a platform they love after a single unpleasant experience. Especially due to loads. Frontend performance testing is the snatched way to define and manage crashes high-traffic platforms face. For this, optimization is needed.

E-commerce Store Managers

Online shopping platforms depend on speed optimization and responsiveness and regard them as a part of their UX/UI. When bad, UX/UI can decrease sales by 35%. 70% of users are sure that page load directly influences their decision to buy or not to buy. A one-second delay results in a 7% reduction in purchases, potentially leading to $1 million in lost sales annually for a retailer that earns about $50,000 per day.

How to Conduct Frontend Performance Testing

Depending on your platform and target, you can either start with backend performance testing or go to the steps below:

  • 01
    Analyze the typical user flow, the frequency of page usage, and the page selection (with the emphasis on the critical for business pages) to decide what should be tested.
  • 02
    Select relevant metrics like Performance Score, Time to Interactive, Time to First Meaningful Paint, etc. The chosen ones should mirror the critical end-user experiences you want to achieve. For instance, Time to Interactive and Time to First Meaningful Paint are fit for e-commerce.
  • 03
    Go for a fit toolkit that will let you boost efficiency and reduce costs. For instance, you can use Lighthouse, LoadRunner, LoadNinjia, Web Page Test, and Pingdom. For more details, check our review.
  • 04
    Prioritize application experiences to test important pages first (or more frequently). It will boost your results.

Also, you can combine frontend and backend performance testing.

Embrace Frontend Performance Optimization

When the frontend performance testing is over, make the most of the optimization to solve all the issues found. For this, check the tips below.

  • Consider CSS
    A website’s loading speed can significantly diminish when it is inundated with cascading style sheets. You should identify and eliminate any bloated CSS files.
  • Minimize External HTTP Requests
    Limit HTTP requests to a minimum. Consider that JavaScript-driven content and images are among the primary elements that necessitate external requests. Get rid of any content (or plugins) that do not directly enhance your performance.
  • Prefetch
    Apply prerendering, link prefetching, and DNS prefetching techniques to preload images, links, and other content before a visitor interacts with them.
  • Use GZip Compression
    Don’t forget that GZip compression reduces the size of HTML, JavaScript, and stylesheet files, enhancing overall load times.
  • Optimize Visuals2
    High-resolution images tend to impede rendering speed. To keep their quality high but make them lighter, scrutinize them and eliminate data like camera specifications, dates, and locations.

Not to forget these steps, download our checklist:

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Choose Frontend Performance Testing with PFLB

PFLB offers advanced tools and expertise to streamline all the frontend performance testing processes. We shape optimal testing strategies and ensure that you will define and optimize your platform in a truly efficient for your business way. Explore our solution!

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