Singapore is an impatient nation.
So expect its citizens to be turned away by sites that load like a terrapin. According to Google, people generally give your site an average maximum of 2 seconds to load; failure of which, they’ll simply close it or load up another site in lieu.
In the same vein, Google aims for a max 3-second load time, their words.
So does it mean the under-three seconds load time is the cut and dry industry standard?
Well, the whole idea of loading speed is a fluid concept in itself. How your site loads is dependent on a number of variables. Among them is the browser in use, the internet speed of the user, and the specifications of the device in use.
It all dates back to 2010 when Google decided to make site speed a ranking factor. In their rationalisation, faster sites could be generally interpreted to mean happy users. When visitors land on a site and find it responding in a sluggish manner, they immediately hit the back button or replace it with something else.
So basically, a faster website is for the most part about improving the online experience of users.
The whole idea of site speed only applied to desktop loading until early this year – January, 2018, when Google decided to apply the same standards to mobile ranking as well.
About Conversion, different reports indicate that close to a half of online visitors will immediately hit the exit button upon visiting a site and finding it taking longer than three seconds to pop up.
How Is Loading Speed Measured?
Site speed is designed to give you a rough idea of how efficient your site gets to display its content on a browser. The fixed number matters, but there’s a huge difference between the objective data you’re fed and the real world experiences users have while interacting with your website.
According to Google, load time is fluid. There isn’t a single point in time when one can confidently say their site is done loading. In other word, it’s an experience that can’t be captured by only one metric.
Users undergo several moments while loading up a site. These are the moments that determine how they view their loading experience, and whether or NOT it passes as fast enough. As a web owner, by focusing on only one of these experiences, you’re likely to miss on some other bad experiences that some of your users consider a turn off.
To get this, imagine a scenario where you have two sites that take an almost similar amount of time to load, say, 3 seconds. The first site begins by loading up some images almost immediately, and takes the rest of the three seconds to load up the remaining content. As for the second site, nothing loads until at the brink of the 3 seconds. Users find themselves staring at a blank page, wondering if the site is even working.
A typical website has so many webpages, each comprising of so many elements. These elements load individually — NOT at once as many people like to assume.
The Average Load Time of Top-rated Websites in Singapore
This section of the article takes into account the average amount of time top-rated websites in Singapore take to fully load or until most of its functionalities and features can be fully seen or accessed through a web browser.
Otherwise referred to as Speed Index, this is the amount of time a site will take until all of its visible content are clearly display on a web browser. The lower your speed index, the faster your site loads.
To prepare the table, we had to start by picking a top-rated website in each industry by running a simple Google search. We then ran the site on Similarweb to come up with a list of at least 5 similar Singapore sites in each industry. That would then be followed by us checking the speed index of each site and recording the results, and afterwards averaging the numbers to arrive at the load speed and page size figures we have.
|Industry||Load Speed for at least random suites||Page Size||Singapore Average Loading Speed and Page Size|
|Automotive||1. i. Stcars.sg 3.49 secs
2. ii. Automart.sg 2.89 secs
3. iii. Oneshift.com 7.47 secs
4. iv. Sgcarmart.com 5.54 secs
5. v. Cars.mitula.sg 5.59 secs
6. vi. Quotz.com.sg 2.54 secs
= 4.59 Secs
Page size = 3.170 Mbs
|Business and Industrial Market||1. i. flywire.com/ 3.70 secs
2. ii. moneysmart.sg/ 1.70 secs
3. iii. site.tradehero.mobi/en 3.02 secs
4. iv. grapplemax.sg/ 9.38 secs
5. v. surfset.sg/ 6.97 secs
= 4.12 secs
|Page size 3.563 Mb|
|Classified and Local||1. i. Gumtree.sg 7.488 secs
2. ii. Singaporeclassifieds.net 2.504 secs
3. iii. Sgadsonline.com 5.123 secs
4. iv. thebestsingapore.com 12.417 secs
5. v. Singapore.locanto.sg 5.002 secs
|Page speed = 6.5068 secs|
Page size = 2.088 Mb
|Finance||1. i. dollarsandsense.sg 8.057 secs
2. ii. moneysmart.sg 4.563 secs
3. iii. seedly.sg 8.068 secs
4. iv. singsaver.com.sg 5.020 secs
5. v. 1investmentmoats.com 17.3355 secs
|Load time = 8.6087|
|Page size = 2.229 Mb|
|Media and Entertainment||1. i. www.todayonline.com 17.2575 secs
2. ii. sony.com.sg 4.208 secs
3. iii. ticketcube.com 3.087 secs
4. iv. Singapore.virtual-room.com 16. 014 secs
5. v. singaporebikes.com 14.831 secs
Load time = 11.0795 sec
|Page size = 2.666 Mb|
Average load time for all industries = 6.981 sec
Average page size for all industries = 2.3166 Mb
This section of the article look at the industry standard of loading speed and page size by comparing different sites in each industry and finding their averages afterwards. The table should help you figure out the speed to start targeting if you’re planning to outrank some of the giants you’ll be competition with.
Keep in mind that these figures are only from the most top-rated sites within the industry. Of course there will be an endless list of other poor performing sites, but they’re NOT important, considering your plan should be to compete with the best sites the industry has to offer.
Overall, websites in Singapore have been found to have an overage load time of 6.981 secs. So if you can’t afford to hit the industry standard of 3 seconds, it’s important that you work to ensure that you don’t also fall below Singapore’s average score.
The Average Page Size
Simply put, page size is the total weight of a web page’s content. Even though there’s a direct connection between page size and load time, it’s safe to assume that with other factors held constant, a lighter page will load faster.
While the average page size of different websites in different industries in Singapore is 2.3166 Mbs, the recommended standard on a global scale is 500 KB.
So until you’ve hit the standard mark of 500Kb, then there’ll always be room for improvement.
Resource count is simply the number of files a browse has to pull from the web server to display your page. While page size focuses on the weight of this content, resource count is all about the number.
Usually, this number includes the html file, the css file, image file, and a number of other files and scripts that the browser has to download straight from the server for your page to display.
The more the number of resources the slower the page will take to load up, considering each of these files has to send a request to the web server to load.
|Industry||Resource count for different sites||Average Resource Count|
|Automotive||1. vii. Stcars.sg 157
2. viii. Automart.sg 90
3. ix. Oneshift.com 269
4. x. Sgcarmart.com 307
5. xi. Quotz.com.sg 87
|Business and Industrial Market||1. vi. flywire.com/ 124
2. vii. moneysmart.sg/ 68
3. viii. #/en 61
4. ix. grapplemax.sg/ 165
5. x. surfset.sg/ 302
|Classified and Local||1. i. Gumtree.sg 48
2. ii. Singaporeclassifieds.net 48
3. iii. Sgadsonline.com 37
4. iv. thebestsingapore.com 102
5. v. Singapore.locanto.sg 216
|Finance||1. i. dollarsandsense.sg 216
2. ii. moneysmart.sg 68
3. iii. seedly.sg 33
4. iv. singsaver.com.sg 128
5. v. investmentmoats.com 185
|Media and Entertainment||1. i. www.todayonline.com 212
2. ii. sony.com.sg 109
3. iii. ticketcube.com 25
4. iv. singapore.virtual-room.com 126
5. v. singaporebikes.com 122
Average resource count = 146
Even though the average resource count in Singapore is 146, it’s widely recommended that you keep the number below 50 to be on the safe side.
Average Server Delay
Your page loading time is one of the factors Google and other search engines use to rank your site. Another one is the Time to First Byte — commonly abbreviated as TTFB, this is the time it takes for a browser to receive the first byte of response after a request has been send via a url or web link.
Sites with a higher TTFB are generally ranked higher — of course with other factors held constant.
Again we prepared a table comparing the TTFB of various sites in different industries to come up with industry averages that you could use to determine if your server needs some fixing or NOT.
|Industry||Resource count for different sites||Average Resource Count|
|Automotive||1. i. Stcars.sg 2.806 sec
2. ii. Automart.sg 0.869 sec
3. iii. Oneshift.com 3.689 sec
4. iv. Sgcarmart.com 4.984 sec
5. v. Quotz.com.sg 2.531 sec
|Business and Industrial Market||1. i. flywire.com/ 1.312 secs
2. ii. moneysmart.sg/ 1.997 secs
3. iii. site.tradehero.mobi/en 1.128 sec
4. iv. grapplemax.sg/ 2.642 sec
5. v. surfset.sg/ 2.732 sec
|Classified and Local||1. i. Gumtree.sg 1.23 secs
2. ii. Singaporeclassifieds.net 0.996 secs
3. iii. Sgadsonline.com 1.025 secs
4. iv. thebestsingapore.com 4.049 secs
5. v. Singapore.locanto.sg 1.107 secs
|Finance||1. i. dollarsandsense.sg 2.987 secs
2. ii. moneysmart.sg 1.884 secs
3. iii. seedly.sg 3.659 secs
4. iv. singsaver.com.sg 2.085 secs
5. v. investmentmoats.com 0.9165 secs
|Media and Entertainment||1. i. www.todayonline.com 0.981 secs
2. ii. sony.com.sg 0.6883 secs
3. iii. ticketcube.com 0.224 secs
4. iv. singapore.virtual-room.com 1.854 secs
5. v. singaporebikes.com 2.890 secs
Average server delay time = 2.0507 sec
The average server delay time for different websites in Singapore is 2.0507 sec. But the recommended industry standard is under 1.3 seconds.
Testing Your Site for load time, page size, resource count, and server delay
Now that you know what you’re up against, and the recommended standards, how do you determine your own load time, page size, resource count and TTFB?
Simple – there are tool that you can use to measure all these element. The tools include:
WebPage Test measure real time site performance. The results displayed are collected from some of the common web browsers you know running on common operating systems.
With this tool, you can measure the load time of your site, page size, and TTFB to name a few.
Pingdom measure almost the same thing as WebPage test, except that only little is known to how they arrive at these figures.
GTMetrix has a lot of valuable insights on how best you can optimise your site for speed.
Read this bearing in mind that any of the three tools is fit to provide the stats you need. All you’re required to do is enter your site’s URL and give the site a few seconds to run the test and get back to you with the numbers.
It’s advisable to develop a practise of checking your site’s stats from time to time. The internet is constantly evolving and so is your site and its host.
If you lack the time to run the test, then you might want to consider using the tools that run automatic testing on a regular basis to send you scheduled reports and results.
Machmetrics is a professional recognised side speed measuring tool. The platform can run scheduled tests for the URL you provided, and from various locations and different devices to provide you a detailed report of the results gotten on regular basis. This could be daily, weekly, bi-monthly or monthly, depending on your preference.
Speed Curve is designed to closely monitor the front-end performance of your website and send you regular results with regards to load time, server delays, and page size to name a few.
An alternative would be to consult an online marketing agency such as MediaOne for a detailed analysis and report, coupled with insights on how best you can improve on the various elements, for a better site performance. What makes this option even better is the fact that you’ll be guided on what to do instead of just pinpointing where the issue could be.
Always Strive for Better Results than the Industry Averages and standards
Your goal isn’t just to hit the industry standard and relax. But to aim for even better results.
You want to come on top of your competitors, then don’t aim to beat them, but to beat the market standard set by Google and the industry at large. For site load time, aim for a figure less than 3 and you’ll be safe instead of sticking around the industry average.
While your site speed may seem like a trivial matter, different reports indicate that a one second delay in the load time of your site could cost you up to 7% fall in your conversion rate, 16% fall in customer satisfaction, and up to 11% reduction in page views.
Does Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Help?
It’s a Wrap
Looking back, this year has been all about making websites more mobile friendly and load faster. Google stepped in with Accelerated mobile Pages and made it clear that it will also be using sites loading speed on mobile to determine SERPs ranking.
Meaning, the bulk of what you’ve been doing to improve your site’s performance must be centred on improving its speed. If not, this is the right time to get it done to avoid dropping further down in the SERPs.
Still not sure on what to do? Here’s your chance to reach out to MediaOne for a free SEO consultation and direction on how you can make your site load even faster.