Product News

Bigcommerce Websites Now Load 30% Faster, Response Time Less Than Half a Second

Scott Baker / 2 min read

A new study into online page load times suggests consumers are looking for a 166% increase in speed from just a few years ago. In 2010, consumers were willing to wait a full eight seconds before abandoning a retailer’s site. Today, 57% of consumers say they will abandon site if it isn’t loaded within three.

This isn’t particularly new information. After all, even though many consumers would wait the full eight seconds only a few years ago, the best converting online stores loaded in two seconds or less. In fact, for every one second included on your page load speed, your conversions decrease 7%.

This is why Bigcommerce has spent the better half of 2015 reducing page load speeds for our clients. We’re proud to announce that our engineers have reduced the average network response time by 30%, resulting in a blended average response time of 369 milliseconds (.369 seconds). This means that in about 1/3 of a second, the end user has all the data they need to render the page.

All of this work has been accomplished before the start of the holiday season in order to allow Bigcommerce customers to close as many sales as possible, page load lag time not being an issue.

How We Measure Page Load Speed

Bigcommerce’s engineering team measures response time several ways. There is the server response time, which is how long it takes our application servers to respond to a request with all the elements needed to create a web page. We have decreased server response time by 50% since September 2014. This does not include network time from the server to the client browser.

Below is a recent snapshot of average Bigcommerce Storefront, Control Panel and API performance. You can check these anytime on Bigcommerce’s Status page. Updates to these graphs occur every five minutes.


The team also measures network response time, which is the application response time plus the time it takes the information to transit to a client browser (including domain name lookup, network handshake and transfer time). Most sites use the server response number because it is lower and looks more impressive. But, sites rely on networks to carry the data to the browser, so that number is also always incredibly important.

We’ve improved our clients’ site speed by 30% thanks to work involving optimizing code and database queries, upgrading server hardware and software, employing greater caching, changing CDN providers and tuning network settings. In September 2014, our average network response time was 523 milliseconds –– which isn’t bad. As of September 2015, though, our average blended response time is 369 milliseconds, meaning that your website will render quickly in order to provide your customers with the utmost in website experience.

Have any questions or concerns, or believe that your site isn’t experiencing the benefit of our work? Leave us a comment below.


Scott Baker

Scott Baker

Scott is the Head of Site Reliability and Operations at Bigcommerce. He has more than 15 years of experience in website operations, including having led teams at Eventbrite, Digg and Apple.

View all posts by Scott Baker
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