Why front-end web performance matters so much?
Front-end web performance is complicated. Nevertheless, every business needs to know where it stands as well as what are the bottlenecks. Several years ago, web performance was usually left to the very end of the project. It also didn't involve many processes. But in today's day and age, things could not be more different.
Web performance today is more than just a technical concern. It's also an essential element when it comes to workflow and design. For this reason, front-end web performance needs to be continuously measured and refined as it grows in complexity. It is easier said than done as performance metrics vary wildly based on the device, protocols, browsers, network types, CDNs, ISPs, proxies, firewalls, servers, etc.
So, what issues you will need to consider when ensuring that your user interaction is seamless, the response time is fast, and the site doesn't drain the user's entire bandwidth?
Selecting the Right Metrics
Not all metrics will be equally important. That said, their importance will depend on your application. But rather than focusing on your full page loading time, prioritize this process based on what your customers perceive first. But as we said, some metrics may be more important than others, based on your particular case. Among them, we have things such as:
- Milestone metrics - These are about the lifetime of the loading process. These are great for describing the user experience (UX) as well as monitoring but not as good for discerning what happens in-between.
- Rendering metrics - These will estimate how fast your content renders and are useful for measuring and adjusting performance. However, it doesn't show when relevant content appears to users or if there is interaction.
- Quality-based metrics - These metrics will measure the number of requests and overall performance score. They are good for pointing out red flags and keeping track of changes over time. They aren't as good at monitoring UX.
- Custom metrics - These will measure particular and custom events for the user such as social media posting time. They are good at describing UX but not as good when it comes to scaling and comparison to competitors.
Among these types of metrics, the most common ones that you need to keep an eye out for are: First Meaningful Paint (FMP), First Input Delay (FIP), Time to Interactive (TTI), CPU time spent, Speed Index, and Ad Weight Impact.
Choosing Your Build Tools
As long as you see results from the environment you built using tools like Gulp, Webpack, Parcel, Grunt, or a combination of them; you don't need to change to the latest fad. Among these tools, Webpack seems to be the best and well rounded.
If, for instance, you're working on a landing page that needs to load an image fast, you need to make sure that the JPEGs are progressive and compressed with mozJPEG. Guetzli - Google’s new open-source encoder, is another option. When working on image optimization, it's always important to keep your vector assets clean and tight.
Likewise, make sure to clean up any unused assets, remove unneeded metadata, and reduced the number of path points in your SVG code.
If you are in need of help in improving your front-end web performance, we are here to help. Contact our solutions representative here.