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Load Times: Hotels and Resorts

Nick Finck

October 26, 2004 at 1:56 PM

While we are on the topic of speed tweaks and usage stats I thought I would mention some of my findings with a recent web site load time analysis I did on high-end hotel and resort sites. In this analysis I reviewed and tested approximately 27 different hotel and resort sites. The criteria I measured were the number of HTTP requests, the total page weight (including images, Flash, CSS, Javascript, etc.) and the resulting load time. Note, load time is a much different metric than request time. Request time is how long it takes for the server to respond to a HTTP, where load time is how long it takes for the web browser client to actually load an entire page. I used Andy King's excellent Web Page Analyzer tool to perform the tests. Even though HCI research alludes to optimal load times of being about 8.6 seconds, I discovered the industry standard (that is to say, the level at which sites within a given market are performing) for the hotel and resort industry to be closer to be about 23.19 seconds for load time. There were only a few sites that actually performed better than 8.6 seconds, but those were by far the exception. I also did a qualitative study regarding the web sites within this industry and the typical response is that there were no "optimal" hotel or resort web sites. That said there's probably a lot of room for improvement within that market.

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