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2 months ago

Web Page Loading Speeds Around Europe

When it comes to attracting, retaining or building a relationship with potential clients and customers, one of your most important resources as a business is your website. Customers and clients want to be able to access all information quickly and easily, so a website that loads fast will give them a good impression of your company.

But how fast should a website load? Where the website and its customers are based can have more of an impact than you might expect. We at BusinessComparison have analysed the average web page loading speed over both desktop and mobile devices for each country in Europe, using the figure for how long it would take the page to load for a visitor in the domestic market.

We’ve identified the countries with the fastest and slowest speeds and created an average speed across the continent. We have assessed factors that can influence loading times, such as the site visitors’ broadband speed and the effect of using a mobile device to browse online.

Average Web Page Loading Speed

According to our study, the average speed across all European countries is 5.17 seconds for a page to load on desktop and 8.78 on mobile.

Top 5 Web Page Loading Speeds (Desktop)

The country with the fastest loading speed on desktop is Sweden. To load a web page would take 3.74 seconds.

Sweden has invested a great deal into the country’s internet infrastructure. High-speed internet is widely available - as of 2022, 95% of Swedish households use gigabit-capable fibre-optic networks.

The country with the second fastest desktop loading speed is Finland, with devices loading a web page at 3.84 seconds.

In 2010, Finland became the first country in the world to make broadband a legal right for every citizen at a speed of 1Mbps, and broadband speeds have advanced enormously since then.

In joint third place, Denmark and Latvia both average 4 seconds to load a web page on a desktop device. Next, Lithuania came in at 4.14 seconds. Switzerland rounds out the top 5 as the fifth fastest at 4.23 seconds.

Top 5 Web Page Loading Speeds (Mobile)

The country with the fastest loading speed on mobile is Sweden, which has a speed of 7.48 seconds.

Not far behind is Denmark at 7.65 seconds. This year, Denmark ranked 3rd in the SurfShark Digital Quality of Life Awards, which assesses countries based on factors including internet quality and internet affordability.

Finland comes in at 7.8. The country with the next fastest score is Latvia at 7.93. Finally, the Netherlands and Switzerland come in joint fifth place at 7.99 seconds.

Bottom 5 Web Page Loading Speeds (Desktop)

The country whose website visitors experience the slowest loading times on a desktop device was Turkey, with a desktop loading speed of 10.22 seconds.

There are issues with Turkey’s internet connectivity on the whole, with much of the country relying on 30-year-old copper cables rather than more modern cables, which can transmit more data faster and further, with less signal loss.

Bulgaria emerged with the second slowest loading speeds, with desktop devices taking 9.38 seconds.

The country used to have some of the fastest internet speeds in the world, ranking 4th in 2009 for fixed internet. However, in recent years, Bulgaria has been overtaken by other countries.

Third from the bottom is Romania, averaging at 8.59 seconds to load a web page on a desktop device. Cyprus comes in next at 7.18. Finally, Poland averages 6.09 to load a page, over a full second faster than Cyprus.

Bottom 5 Web Page Loading Speeds (Mobile)

The countries that placed in the bottom 5 for slow loading speeds on desktop devices are the same that have the slowest speeds on mobile devices. They also rank here in the same order.

Turkey has the slowest speed to load a web page on a mobile device at 13.19 seconds.

Bulgaria has the second slowest speed, taking 12.89 seconds to load.

Romania comes in at 11.91 seconds. Cyprus averages 9.94 seconds, and Poland is close behind at 9.43.

Cyprus is almost a full 2 seconds faster than Romania, which might sound like a short amount of time but would certainly feel noticeable to users.

How Does The UK Compare?

On average, loading a web page on a desktop device will take 4.27 seconds - the speed to connect using a mobile device is 8.26 seconds.

This data puts the UK at 17/30 for its desktop loading speed and 15/30 for its mobile loading speed. Of-com recently released data stating that 48% of the UK now uses full-fibre broadband on fibre-optic cables, which may be a factor of why the country is in the bottom half of the study.

Full Data

These load speeds are an average of the time it takes a webpage to load in each country and, therefore, may be influenced by high or low outliers.

The Effect of Loading Speed on Your Website’s Bounce Rate

One popular metric is the bounce rate - the percentage of visitors to your site who leave after viewing only one page. One of the major factors that can influence bounce rate is the loading speed of the website - visitors waiting for a page to load become bored and frustrated and may decide to leave and look elsewhere. Studies have shown a direct correlation between slow loading times and a high bounce rate.

Advantages of Fast Mobile Loading

There is a clear pattern of the mobile speed being longer than that of a web page loading on a desktop device by 3.6 seconds on average. There are several reasons for this - while desktop browsers are able to cope with media and image files, these will often cause mobile browsers difficulty due to the larger size of these files. Mobile devices can also be slow to load internet pages if there is a poor connection in the area or if the user has a large number of web browsing tabs or even other apps open.

Man laying down looking at mobile phoneHowever, despite it generally being slower, it’s important to do everything you can to get your business’s website running fast on smartphones and tablets. Browsing on mobile devices now accounts for over 55% of all web traffic.

Whether your target audience is consumers or other businesses, it’s in your best interest to optimise your website - a recent Statista survey shows that 16% of traffic to B2B e-commerce sites now comes from mobiles. A Google study found that as the time it takes for a page to load on a mobile device goes from 1 to 10 seconds, the probability of the visitor bouncing increases by 123%.

Rank Higher on Google By Loading Faster

A website’s loading speed has been confirmed to be a factor in how it ranks in Google’s search results. It’s not as significant as the relevance of the page, so the loading speed isn’t the be-all and end-all by any means, but it will still have an effect on whether your website makes the first page for your desired search terms.

How To Improve Your Website’s Loading Speed

If you manage your website in-house, you can use free tools such as PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix to measure the speed of different pages. Even if you partner with an agency that manages your company’s online presence, you might still wish to try this out of interest as they are free to use. You can also test competitors’ websites to see if they have an edge over you in terms of website loading speed.

The server your website is hosted on will have a big influence on how fast your website loads. When your business is building a website, choose the server carefully - check reviews to see which hosting companies are known for high performance and good customer service. The larger a business is and the higher its web traffic, the more likely it is that its website will require its own Dedicated Server. This is more expensive than the other options (a Shared Server, the most basic option or a Virtual Private Server, which lies in between).

Conclusion

In conclusion, which country the online activity is taking place in will undoubtedly have an effect on how long it takes visitors to reach your website. However, there are also tactics that can help increase the speed, from website design to your choice of server and hosting company.

Methodology

BusinessComparison accessed data from the Google page load speed checker, analysing average web page loading times on desktop and mobile devices in European countries.

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Sam White