Chrome 41 displays website contents 10% faster on average
As you may know, I'm currently on a rather slow connection as my main Internet connection is still down (six days and counting). Since the connection is a lot slower, I notice slow loading websites and pages more than before.
Some sites seem to take forever before they start to display contents while others load more or less the same as before.
There is only so much that I can do to influence the loading time. I could use a compression proxy, Opera Turbo for instance or Google's Data Compression Proxy, to compress pages and load them faster but that would mean to route all traffic through third-party servers which I don't really want to do.
Google employee Patrick Meenan just mentioned that the company introduced a new feature in Chrome 41 that displays website contents on average 10% faster than before. While Chrome won't load websites faster because of it, it makes it appear as if it did because of the earlier paint time of contents in the browser.
The improvement comes from a change of processing order. Instead of executing all scripts before painting the site in the browser Chrome is now painting the site in the browser before scripts at the bottom of the page are executed.
It doesn't change the classic technical metrics (Page Load Time, DOM Content Loaded, etc) but it can have a huge benefit to more visual-based metrics, particularly first paint/start render and Speed Index (and more importantly, on when users can see progress and start consuming the page content).
A side-effect of this according to Meenan is that that the new technique improves performance for above-the-fold resources and custom fonts which depend on "layout and styles being applied before they can be discovered by Chrome".
10% may not look like much on paper especially since it only affects page painting and not overall loading time of the resource but it is quite a large gain in practice, especially on sites that load scripts at the bottom of the page.
Since visitors see page contents faster, it should have a positive impact on a site's bounce rate and other user metrics related to that as well.
Depending on the sites you visit in Chrome, you may see large improvements or barely any at all. It depends largely on when resources are loaded by the website in question.Advertisement