Microsoft Corp.’s desktop performance surged during the two-week period May 22-June 4, as the technology company and online retailer jumps 12 spots to No. 5 on Internet Retailer’s June Desktop Performance Index.
The June index monitored Internet Retailer’s Top 100 retailers’ desktop home pages between May 22-June 4, according to data provided by digital performance analytics company Catchpoint Systems Inc. Catchpoint provides Internet Retailer with two monthly site performance indexes, one for mobile sites and one for desktop sites.
Microsoft, No. 95 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, loaded in 1.60 seconds on average during this period, compared with 2.17 seconds last month, when it ranked 17th on the index. The retailer improved its website speed by reducing the number of items and hosts on its homepage, a Catchpoint spokesman says.
“The site has gradually cut down page size by more than 1 megabyte, which has boosted its ranking this month,” he says. “It is now the second-lightest site on the index, with an average total downloaded bytes of 0.6 megabytes.” This is much lighter than the index average, which is 2.67 megabytes.
In addition, Catchpoint notes that Dell Inc. (No. 4 in the Top 500) has had inconsistent load times on desktops the past few months. Last month, for example, Dell ranked No. 6 on the index because it reconstructed page elements to download at the same time instead of consecutively, and it sped up its website by 15% month over month, Catchpoint says. On this index, however, this restructuring was not in place, and Dell ranked No. 26, loading in 2.48 seconds, the Catchpoint spokesman says.
For the two weeks of April 24-May 7, the Top 100 retailers’ average load time was 3.63 seconds compared with 3.57 seconds the previous month. The 100 leading North American retail sites are those ranked by Internet Retailer by online sales in 2015, according to Internet Retailer’s Top500Guide.com.
The average page weight was 2.67 megabytes compared with 2.79 megabytes the previous month, and the average number of hosts was 49 compared with 48. The average number of items per page was 172 compared with 169 a month ago. The 100 sites were, on average, available 99.91% for May 22-June 4, compared with 99.87% available for April 24-May 7.
Catchpoint monitors each website’s home page with measurements taken from Catchpoint’s in-country or in-region monitoring nodes, at intervals of five minutes for two weeks each month. Backbone monitoring nodes are the locations of Catchpoint’s devices that are near data centers operated by the main internet service providers that provide service to a city. The nodes simulate end-user contact with each website. Catchpoint monitors web page load time, availability, hosts and items.
They are defined as follows:
Web page load time: The time it takes for enough page elements to load for a consumer to begin interacting with a page, such as searching, tapping or scrolling. From a consumer point of view, the time it takes for the progress bar or spinning wheel to stop.
Availability: The percentage of time during the two-week test week that the site can be successfully reached by a consumer.
Host: Any domain that delivers data, content or services over the internet to the site.
Items or Requests: Web page components, such as files or images that a page loads from internal and external hosts or domains. These can include PDFs, PNGs, JPEGs and GIFs.