GNC Mobile Slows Way Down, Size And Excessive Domain Calls The Suspects

In the latest batch of June mobile performance stats, General Nutrition Centers (GNC)'s mobile site plunged to the bottom of the list, with a mobile homepage that took more than 41 seconds to load. Some two months ago, the same mobile site's homepage took about 18 seconds to load, according to Internet Retailer.

Keynote, the vendor that performs the mobile performance benchmarks, had some impressively unkind words for GNC's mobile strategy. "The page fluctuates between 800 kilobytes and 1 megabyte, and it makes 56 unique domain calls to piece together the content, serving 104 objects on the page. This is simply unacceptable," said Keynote's Venkatesh Giri. "Retailers are aiming to load their mobile home page within five seconds, serving as few as five to 10 objects, and making at the most five unique domain calls, while keeping the page size less than 100 kilobytes. GNC's mobile site defies all mobile web standards with no performance optimization techniques implemented at all."

Giri said the unique domain calls were a big part of the problem because of the multiple connections involved. "Cutting down the number of unique domain calls the home page makes should improve load times because a call to each unique domain name, where mobile page content is stored, requires DNS lookup, which on a wireless network can take between 150-200 milliseconds," he said. "A few of GNC's DNS lookups take more than 650 milliseconds and 21 DNS lookups take between 300-600 milliseconds."

Keynote also found fault with GNC's use of images—it used more than 40 on its mobile homepage alone—and strongly suggested that image-optimization (just about any kind of image optimization) would be an improvement.

For more:
- See this Internet Retailer story

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