FT.com: The Fastest Publisher Site Worldwide
2017 Winner

FT.com: The Fastest Publisher Site Worldwide

Financial Times

London, United Kingdom

Category New Technology to Generate Revenue and Engagement

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

Our goal was to increase revenues by making the site faster without spending resources on unnecessary efforts that don't yield commercial outcome. We faces 3 challenges: 

Business: We needed to understand the impact of a faster site on engagement and revenues. We conducted an AB test in which readers who had opted in to the new site were split into 4 groups, and each experienced a site that rendered 0, 1, 2 or 3 seconds faster than the old site. The test results showed that for every second increase in speed, our engagement score (RFV, based on Recency, Frequency, and Volume) increased by 5%. In subscription and ads inventory this translates into millions of pounds.

Product: We defined what we meant by “page loaded”. Taking a user-centric approach we defined “page loaded” as the moment when a user can start reading.

Technological innovation:


  • moved the whole website to http2, a faster protocol.

  • collected user performance metrics (RUM) from around the global to measure and diagnose bottlenecks

  • built various services to optimise the front-end code, eg. reduce boilerplate JavaScript, lazy-loading, compressed images

  • reduced custom fonts

  • implemented predictive feature loading to avoid loading page elements (such as comments) if unused

  • minimised third-party code by use of strict guidelines

Results for this campaign

Revenues: Speed has contributed massively to a 30% uplift in engagement (resulting in higher retention and conversion), and to an 18% increase in ads Inventory. These two factors have resulted in millions of pounds in annual revenue (cannot disclose exact number).

Leadership: Compared to key competitors (NYT, WSJ, BBS, Washington Post and more) via a third party, we are the fastest site in the industry.

Median page load time for desktop is 1.3 seconds.

Median page load time for mobile is 2 seconds.

Customer Satisfaction: “Faster” is one of the main reasons for users satisfaction with the new site.


Page load time of publishers site. Benchmark: SpeedCurve

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