Telefonica Launches Firefox OS Smartphones in Mexico, Peru and Uruguay

Telefonica is launching Firefox OS phones this week in Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. Both the ZTE Open and ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire will be available in Mexico starting today, while the ZTE Open is available in Peru, and the ALCATEL … Continue reading

Football Manager 2014 Released, Available For Linux

Football Manager 2014 has been released on Steam and, as it was announced a while back, is available for Linux:”Play on Linux for the first time, plus the inclusion of ‘cloud-save’ technology which means that managers can now pursue a single career from any computer, anywhere in the world. FM14 also includes integration with Steam […]

Duetto C++ Compiler For The Web Is Now Released

Leaning Technologies today published their source code to Duetto, the latest project to compile C++ to HTML5/JavaScript web apps…

Thunderbird 24.1.0 Officially Lands in Ubuntu 13.10

On October 31, Canonical announced that the new Mozilla Thunderbird had arrived in the official repositories for its Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.10, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems.

According to the company, multiple memory safety issues have been discovered in Thunderbird. If a user was tricked into opening a specially crafted message with scripting enabled, an attacker could possibly exploit these to cause a denial of service via application crash, or potentiall…

Oibaf’s Mesa 10.0 Comes To Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy

For those not comfortable in building Mesa and other open-source Linux graphics driver packages from source, the popular “Oibaf PPA” was updated this morning and it brings Mesa 10.0 Git to Ubuntu 13.10, 13.04, 12.10, and 12.04 LTS distributions. There’…

Steam Lands In Fedora / RHEL RPM Fusion Repository

While Valve is mostly centered around supporting Ubuntu right now when it comes to their Linux initiatives, the Steam client and its games will generally work fine on other modern Linux distributions. For making it easier to run Steam on Fedora and Red…

Beautiful Cairo-Dock Gets an Update

Cairo-Dock, a fast and customizable desktop interface which can be used as alternative or addition to Unity, Gnome-Shell, Xfce-panel, and KDE-panel, is now at version 3.3.2. Cairo-Dock is probably the best of its kind on the Linux desktop and works in a large number of environments, including Unity, Gnome-Shell, Xfce-panel, KDE-panel, LXDE, and even Cinnamon. Highlights of Cairo-Dock 3.3.2: • A workaround has been implemented for Chromium and Google …

OpenSUSE 13.1 RC2 Released, Final Version Is Only Two Weeks Away

OpenSUSE, a free, Linux-based operating system for PCs, laptops, or servers that you can use to surf the web, manage your e-mails and photos, do office work, and play videos or music, is now at version 13.1 RC2. OpenSUSE developers have just launched the second Release Candidate for the 13.1 branch of OpenSUSE. This is the last development version before the final build is released. According to the changelog, systemd has been updated to version 208, Shim should now w…

openSUSE 13.1 RC2 Updates Systemd, Has Speedy Fix

The second and final release candidate to the upcoming openSUSE 13.1 Linux distribution release is now available for last minute testing…

Tomahawk Music Player Takes Listening to a New High

The trick to designing an all-purpose music player is to make it work the way you want. The Tomahawk Music Player performs that trick very well. It could well be a better listening choice than any other cross-platform music player application. It runs on a variety of Linux distros, Microsoft Windows and the Apple OS platforms. This flexibility is important to me as a user because I work on all three.

SELinux User-Space Sees A Big Update

The user-space component to the SELinux project saw a major release yesterday. The libselinux, checkpolicy, libsemanage, libsepol, policycoreutils, and sepolgen software was updated to version 2.2…

Blender 2.69 Gets A Halloween Release

Blender 2.69 is now out as the latest release of the open-source 3D modelling software…

Major Steam Update Released for Linux Users

Valve has released a new stable version of its Steam client, featuring a lot of changes and improvements.

Valve usually pushes a few Beta updates before upgrading the stable branch of Steam, and now it’s time for a new stable version to be released.

According to the developers, the application now tracks games that use an intermediate launcher a lot better, the text is now displayed correctly in some Big Picture controls, and a crash at startup with certain window man…

Halloween Makes Left 4 Dead 2 75% Cheaper, Last Chance to Get It

Left 4 Dead 2, the co-op FPS survival game from Valve, has just received a massive price cut during the Halloween holiday.

This is not the first time that Left 4 Dead 2 gets a price cut, but it does fit perfectly with the Halloween theme.

“Do you have plans for Halloween? Sure, sure you could go outside, get candy, dress up, go to parties, or other dangerous activities which will most likely lead to your demise, but we think buying your first copy of L4D2 or gif…

I-Nex system info tool for Ubuntu/Linux Mint/other Ubuntu derivatives

i-Nex Hardware information Tool for Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy/Ubuntu 13.04 Raring/Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal/Ubuntu 12.04 Precise/11.10/11.04/10.10/10.04/Linux Mint 16/15/14/13/12/11/10/9I-Nex is free system info tool which is used to gather information on the main system components (devices) such as CPU, motherboard, memory, video memory, sound, USB devices and so on. The application allows through a tabbed clear interface to […]

Mozilla Firefox 27 Alpha 2 Available for Download on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS

The second Alpha release in the new Firefox 27.x branch has been made available for download by Mozilla for all available platforms, including Linux. There is little to no information about this new branch of Firefox, 27.x, and Mozilla has yet to publish any details, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. As always, the binaries for Mozilla Firefox 25 Beta 12 can be downloaded and run without having to install anything. You can also check the propose…

ARMv8 Project Thunder SoC gains Linux support

At ARM TechCon, Cavium demonstrated an SDK for its upcoming ARMv8-based Project Thunder SoC family, and announced Ubuntu support for Project Thunder, while Cavium subsidiary MontaVista announced Carrier Grade Linux support for ARMv8. Read more ….

Football Manager 2014 Officially Released for Linux Fans

Sports Interactive and SEGA have announced that Football Manager 2014 has been released on all available platforms, including Linux.

Football Manager 2014 boasts a much better Match Engine, tactical overhaul, realistic transfers and contracts, more sophisticated board interaction, improved interaction with players, and a lot more.

“Play on Linux for the first time, plus the inclusion of ‘cloud-save’ technology which means that managers can now pursue…

Shadowrun Returns Excellent RPG Launches on Steam for Linux

Shadowrun Returns, a classic RPG game developed and published by Harebrained Schemes, is now available for download on the Steam for Linux platform. The developers from Harebrained Schemes have finally managed to release a non-beta version of Shadowrun Returns on Steam for Linux. “We’re pleased to announce that the Linux version of Shadowrun Returns is now available on Steam and in the Download section of your HBS account.” “From t…

Page Load Time – The Silent Sales Killer

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Who hasn’t been frustrated when visiting a slow web site?

Having a faster site is a priority for most merchants, especially for businesses with large catalogs. Here are some important statistics on why a faster site is a crucial component for helping a merchant increase sales:

  • Page abandonment rates increase most steeply between one and four seconds
  • Mobile users expect pages to load just as quickly on their smartphone as they do on their desktop
  • 79% of shoppers according to the noteworthy Gomez and Akamai studies will avoid shopping again at a site where they had a poor experience or that was too slow
  • Large internet merchants have performed studies showing that conversion rates can improve by as much as 10% for every second of speed improvement

Kiss Metrics, an analytics service provider that focuses on marketing, put together an infographic that summarizes the issues in a quick-read.

Page Load Time Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is an acceptable page load time?
A. That’s a great question, and the answer is the faster the better. SEO experts often quote the two second rule (which has nothing to do with eating food you dropped on the floor), but, in reality, even a page that loads in a second can stand for improvement so a page that takes more than five seconds to load is most certainly going to have a material effect on your conversion rates.

Q. What causes a page to load slowly?
A. There are many causes to slow page load times including poor server configuration and images that are too large and have to be re-sized by a browser. What can you do about it? Keep reading.

Q. How do I determine how fast my pages load, and how can I compare my times to my competitors?
A. A non-tech person can use Google’s Page Speed Analyzer to check the page speed rating assigned by Google. There are several advantages to using this tool:

  • It’s Google’s test and Google uses page speed, in part, to determine search rankings
  • You can easily see how you compare to competitors by looking up their pages
  • You can input any page on your site to see how it performs (though it doesn’t always work well for checkout and cart because of coding that protects personal data from customers)
  • It produces a list of suggestions for you to implement in order to improve load time

Google has also added tools in Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. All of these are accessible and easily understood by non-technical users.

Q. Does page load time affect my search rankings?
A. Yes! Since 2009, Google has been consistent in their messaging about the increasing importance of page speed in their algorithms.

Q. Are some pages more important than others?
A. In general you want your entire site to be fast because customers tend to abandon a site more often whenever any page takes too long to load. That being said, if your checkout pages are slow, it often becomes a question of trust with the shopper which can kill a transaction. The general consensus is to keep your checkout pages clean and simple to increase their speed.

Q. How important is my host to page load time?
A. Not all hosts are the same, which is a good thing because merchants have a wide variety of needs. However, your hosting environment makes a material difference in page load times. Even with the same server specifications, some hosts are speedier because they have more connections to ISPs, their SAN array is faster, and their load balancing is more efficient. Even a site that is properly optimized for content and server configuration can be slow if the host is running slow. We strongly encourage you to thoroughly research hosting services to ensure they meet your needs before choosing one.

The Big Q. What can I do to speed up my site?
A. There is rarely one cause of slow site speed. Optimizing site speed is really a collaborative effort and often requires creativity from and collaboration between design, tech, and network resources.

When mustering troops to address the issue, you will probably have projects in three main areas:

1. Content optimization: Are the images the right size for the site? Do I have too many images on a page? Do I have large Javascript files that have to download before the page renders? These issues can usually be addressed by your front-end designers, but your server team may need to help identify the priorities.

2. Catalog size: The larger your catalog, the greater the burden on your server(s) to load pages, especially when we’re talking about SKUs tipping over 100K.

3. Your server: If Google’s Page Speed Analyzer is telling you that your server response times are a problem, your team should make sure that your server has enough resources and that they are deployed appropriately. You may have enough resources but you’re not using the server effectively. Solving this issue will require collaboration between your server or network maintenance folks, and your hosting organization.

We also recommend you explore Magento Enterprise Edition. With its latest product update, the focus was on performance improvements, specifically around speed. Find out more about Magento Enterprise Edition and see how it can help with your site performance.

Moving Forward

Page load time is a silent killer and you may not even know it is a problem it until your sales start suffering. Teamwork between designers, content managers, developers and network administrators, and working with knowledgeable service providers are the best way to address the problem and regular monitoring is a must.