First View

> > What is First View?

Created: August 9th 2015

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What is First View?

  • First View is a web performance metric that represents what a first-time visitor to a webpage will experience.
  • To represent a new user, performance tools use a browser with its cache and cookies cleared out.
no cookies, no cache

By clearing the cache and cookies, a webpage will need to load all resources as if a real person was encountering the web page for the first time.

Why is first view measured?

To test a page with true accuracy the test must replicate how a real user experiences a page.

The first impression of a webpage from a users viewpoint will be different than their repeat visits.

How is the first view of a webpage different than repeat views?

The first time a browser experiences a page, it must retrieve all the resources the webpage references. The images, css, javascript and other resources must all be downloaded.

a webpage and four resources

Once the page is loaded, the browser likely has cached these resources.

This means that the second time a user sees that webpage, those resources will already be downloaded by the browser. Even pageviews of other webpages of the same website will now load quicker because of resources like the logo image, shared css, etc. will already be in the browser cache.

The second view of a webpage (repeat view) will typically be faster than the first view

All repeats views of the webpage (or other pages using the same resources) will be faster as less resources will need to be downloaded.

a webpage and four crossed out resources

Webmasters often think their webpage is much faster than it actually is because their experience of their webpage is based on repeat views rather than the first view.

Measuring a webpage using first view is the only way to truly replicate what a real first time user to a webpage will experience.

Ensure you are optimizing for repeat views

Webmasters should enable browser caching to make sure that browsers are caching their resources. If not, every page view will be a "first view".

Patrick Sexton by