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Website Speed League Survey

Here at Uswitch, we surveyed 2,011 participants with age groups ranging between 16-24 and 55+ to give a nationally representative view on what the UK thinks of slow websites. Here are the results we found:

Perceptions of Slow Websites

Slow websites are perceived to be less secure than fast websites, with 1 in 3 people stating they think slow websites are less trustworthy. 47% of people are concerned their money payments are less likely to go through on a slow website, with 1 in 4 stating they think money transactions will likely go through multiple times instead of just the once.

Beyond security concerns, 76% of people said they wouldn't recommend a slow website to a friend. Whilst 1 in 4 stated they wouldn't return to visit a website again after a slow experience and 71% of consumers would visit a competitor site instead. Additionally, over half of Brits (51%) would not purchase a product from a website that was slower than expected and would judge a brand negatively for having a slow website (54%).

How Slow Sites Make Us Feel

Understandably, 80% of people feel frustrated and annoyed when they visit a slow website. Whilst over 55s were the most annoyed age group (85%), the least annoyed 16-24 year olds still overwhelmingly said slow websites make them feel annoyed and frustrated (75%).

But it isn't just slow websites that make us feel fed up. 61% of people said they feel annoyed by pop-ups and advertisements online. Whilst 44% of Brits said they feel frustrated by them, 1 in 5 said pop-ups make them angry.

How Long We're Willing to Wait

Overall, we aren't patient when it comes to waiting for a website to load. 29% of the population would wait only 10 seconds or less for a website page to fully load before leaving the page, and a further 30% would only be willing to wait up to 30 seconds.

However, according to Google the reality is we are more impatient than we realise. User behaviour shows that most people will wait only 3 seconds for a website to load before bouncing off the site. Whereas, only 4% of our respondents admitted to only waiting 2-4 seconds before exiting a website page.

Shopping Online

ONS data revealed that, as the UK stayed at home, the online share of retail spending jumped to 33.4% in May 2020, up from 19% in 2019.

As online shopping continues to grow in the UK, we asked participants whether they found shopping online more or less frustrating than shopping in person. Surprisingly, 75% of the 55+ age group stated that they did not find shopping online more frustrating than shopping in person. In comparison, 16-24 year olds were the most frustrated with online shopping, with only 58% stating they did not find find shopping online more frustrating than in person.

Furthermore, 71% of 16-24 year olds think that their online shopping experience with a mobile could improve, whilst only 46% of the over 55s felt their mobile online shopping could improve.

When it comes to online fashion retail shopping, women are almost twice as likely (43%) to be annoyed visiting a slow fashion retail website compared to men (24%). However, Brits would be most annoyed visiting a slow banking website compared to other industries (69%). This increases to 80% for those in the 55+ age category, compared to just 56% of 16-24 year olds.

Why Are Websites Slow?

There are many reasons why a website may be performing slower than expected. However, the British public identified three top reasons for poor website speed performance: the company running the website (35%), an individual's internet connection (25%), and pop-ups and advertisements on the page (19%).

Women (31%) are more likely to blame their internet connection for the speed issue than men (19%). However, 90% of people would refresh a slow website page to check for improvements of speed.

If you are experiencing slow broadband at home it could be because you have lots of connected devices that are putting a significant strain on your broadband. Regardless of your favourite website, having a good broadband connection at home can improve your browsing and shopping experience. Use our Broadband Speed Checker to see what speeds are available in your area. Compare broadband deals to ensure you get the best available deal.


To created the Website Speed League, we tested each site on desktop and mobile with Google's PageSpeed Insights tool, then compared the results to those of Moz's 500 top websites. All websites were tested in July 2020.

Scores were assigned based on a ranking of sites by their Time To Interactive result - a measure of how long it takes for enough of a site to load that a user can interact with it.

  • A score of 50 or above indicates that a site is in the top 50%

  • A score of 90 or above puts it in the top 10%

Results were averaged from tests run at different times of day over the course of a 7 day period to allow for shifts in demand and performance over time.

Additionally, CensusWide surveyed a sample of 2,011 UK adults from the 6th to 9th August 2020. Results were weighted to reflect a nationally representative criteria.

Lucy MoffatContent Marketing Exective - Apr 28th 2020