As we begin our segue into 2013, I thought it would be helpful to see which posts over the past year have most generated people’s interest. I was not too stunned to see that some of the most popular pieces were about juicy topics like page growth, third-party content, business metrics and the psychology of web performance. But it was really fascinating to see that people were reading and passing along “Performance 101″ type pieces about dormancy and lingo. I take this as a great indicator that there are a lot of people out there on a mission to preach the significance of performance.

1. For Impatient Web Users, an Eye Blink Is Just Too Long to Wait 

Excellent piece in New York Times about Google’s research into the neuroscience behind perceived page speed. Today, literally the blink of an eye is too long to wait for a webpage to load.

2. How One Second Could Cost Amazon $1.6 Billion in Sales 

This piece was published by Fast Company about out lack of tolerance for wait times in general and particularly about page speed. They quickly point out that one in four people abandon a page if it takes longer than four seconds to load.

3. Webpages showing sharp growth in girth

It is not just humans that are steadily growing in girth, webpages are going the same way too! 

4. When good back-ends go bad

“It is not uncommon to see 8-20s back-end times from virtually all of the different CMS systems.”

5. January 2012 Site Performance Report

A report card and great indicator of what worked and what did not work in the previous year. Also serves as a great reminder that optimization is a never-ending task.

More and more, we’re seeing mainstream coverage of web performance, signaling that this topic has permanently entered the public spotlight. The understanding of the importance of web performance and topics that most of us were ignorant of just a couple of years ago is growing rapidly. This is great news to all of us, from users to site owners.