Multiple factors impact how fast a Salesforce page can load. As a Salesforce user, some factors are down to your connection (e.g. browser speed, network latency, or number of cores on your computer). Other factors are the responsibility of the Salesforce Admin, namely the components placed on a single page. Underneath the surface, there are factors that Salesforce are working to improve in their framework – the platform’s foundation.
Performance, as in page load times, has been a focus since organizations began transitioning from Salesforce Classic to Lightning. You only need to read the Lightning Experience LEX post on IdeaExchange to see how hot this topic is. Salesforce states that the benchmark page load time is 1.4 seconds, while 3.4 is stated as a ‘moderate’ performance. This number can be improved using the actionable insights Salesforce provides – keep reading to find out more!
But why is Salesforce so slow? This guide will give you insight into a range of factors that impact Salesforce page load times, which are in your control to improve, as well as simple tips you can leverage to speed up your Salesforce experience.
Your Own Connection
Perhaps the easiest of all to diagnose and fix is your internet connection. Simply Googling “speed test” provides a tool on the results page to check your internet performance. Alternatively, you can use a free service like Speedtest by Ookla (my personal favorite).
Then come other factors:
- Browser Speed: Browser speed can be tested. It evaluates a web browser’s performance by measuring its efficiency in completing a predefined list of tasks. Browser speed can be influenced by network equipment, such as the router and cables – whether or not you are using WiFi. You can also improve its speed by removing unused extensions or clearing your cache and cookies.
- Network Latency: Latency is a measure of delay. Network latency measures the time it takes for data to travel across a network to its destination. The distance can cause issues, for example, if the servers hosting your Salesforce org are in a different geographical region to where your users are based, or trying to access the data.
- Number of Cores: The CPU cores in a user’s computer affect how quickly data is processed and displayed. Typically, the more CPU cores a computer has, the better the performance.
While it’s good to be aware of these factors, it’s the Salesforce Admin that will be able to see their impact org-wide (across all users). We’ll cover the Salesforce Page Analyzer later, but here’s a glimpse:
The Next Navigation Step
The Salesforce Developers’ blog outlined a six-step loading process that’s interesting to review. Once a user has loaded a page, what they do next, in terms of navigation, will impact load time.
This could be either:
- Full Navigation: Perform an action that repeats five of the six-step loading process, e.g. switch applications in the App Launcher.
- Soft Navigation: Click somewhere on the app page that repeats four of the six-step loading process, e.g. navigate to a record.
- Abandonment: e.g. close the tab.
As you can see, the number of steps that need to be repeated varies, impacting how fast the next page loads for the user.
Salesforce Edge Network
The Salesforce Edge Network reduces connection by processing your data via the Amazon Web Services infrastructure. This enables an end-to-end secure connection with persistent TLS connections, and limits caching to the content with HTTP headers marked as ‘cacheable’ by Salesforce or customer integrations. As a result, it brings Salesforce services closer to the user on trusted Salesforce infrastructure – regardless of a user’s location. Your org must use “My Domain”.
There’s a continued phased deployment of enabling Salesforce Edge, with a major release in August 2023 that introduces the Salesforce Edge Network auto-enablement to your org. Routing options can be changed on the “My Domain” setup page. To prepare for this change, see the options if you need to opt out, and the information on the current rollout – read this article.
User Tips to Improve Salesforce Load Time
In order to improve Salesforce load time, you can take advantage of these simple tricks:
- Close other browser tabs. (Are you guilty?)
- Regularly clean your cache and cookies from your browser.
- Reduce the number of Chrome extensions you are using.
- When running reports, toggle the “preview report results” off for a faster load time.
- Avoid using the “CONTAINS” filter. Some reports require more processing in the background, for example, Lead History. If you’re using the “CONTAINS” filter on top of these ‘heavy’ reports, say goodbye to speedy load time. (That is, if it doesn’t time out altogether!)
- If you are screen-sharing a Salesforce process during a call, only keep that specific page open. Also, turning off your camera will improve the experience.
Salesforce Page Load Performance for Admins
Other factors that influence page load performance are the responsibility of the Salesforce Admin, as these factors are dependent on how the company’s specific org is configured (therefore, vary from one org to the next).
Salesforce measures the time it takes for a page to load entirely, which is summarized as the Experienced Page Time (EPT) metric. As of the most recent release, EPT was reported as 1.0 seconds (source).
Salesforce are sharing the responsibility of page load times with Salesforce Admins, empowering them with insights to actively improve the experience for their users:
- Lightning Usage App: View aggregated performance metrics, including:
- Browser Performance: Usage by month, browser usage (last seven days), browser performance by month, and performance by browser.
- Page Performance: Most viewed pages (last seven days), slowest desktop record pages, performance of most viewed pages (last seven days), and single page performance (by selecting a specific page from a dropdown filter).
- From there, you can launch Salesforce Optimizer to give you insight into underutilized or overburdened Salesforce features, with actionable tips to remedy performance issues.
- EPT Counter: For day-to-day monitoring, add the counter (green ticker) to Lightning Experience.
- With Page Analyzer, performance is based on the Predicted Page Load Time metric, which considers the specific configuration of the elements on the Lightning app page. Admins can pinpoint which components are causing speed issues and pointers on how to keep within the bounds of best practice page composition.
In the guide linked below, you can find a full tutorial and recommendations to prevent Salesforce from being slow.
There are also a couple more options for monitoring page load over time:
- Custom Reports: Build custom reports using Lightning Usage App objects. For this, you will need to create a custom report type based on either of these objects:
- Lightning App Usage by App Type Metrics.
- Lightning App Usage by Broswer Metrics.
- Lightning App Usage by Flexipage Metrics.
- Lightning App Usage by Page Metrics.
- Event Monitoring: Use event types to monitor performance.
Salesforce Page Load Time: Background
Years ago, Salesforce released the Lightning Experience. It developed as the UI that can support customers for at least 20 years, with a new, modern codebase – an investment for the future that will serve as the foundation for more agility to develop and enhance components.
However, Lightning is not an extension of the now legacy Salesforce Classic. It is “not a reskinning, updates of font and colors…moving to Lightning is a change management experience, it’s not a ‘lift and shift’”.
What’s the big difference between Lightning Experience and Classic? This is explained on the Salesforce Developers’ blog, all due to client-side vs. server-side rendering: “Lightning Experience is an SPA (single-page web application). It uses client-side rendering of Aura and LWC components, as opposed to Salesforce Classic, which uses server-side rendering and Visualforce components” (source: Salesforce Developers’). Again, there’s a six-step loading process that’s interesting to review.
Lightning was still running on Salesforce’s legacy framework, Aura, which Salesforce worked to optimize and continue meeting user experience expectations. Simultaneously, the core Lightning codebase was being migrated from Aura to Lightning Web Components (LWC). This challenging process started with the ‘heavy-weight’ components.
There’s some positive news on the topic. Scott Yancey, SVP Software Engineering UI Platform, shared that over a period of 4 years, median page load times improved by 60%. Note that this is a median figure, and some orgs have seen even greater improvements.
As we mentioned before, as of the most recent release, Salesforce reported its global Experienced Page Time (EPT) as 1.0 seconds (source). The Salesforce Developers’ blog authors pointed out that average page loading metrics, for all applications globally, range from two to seven seconds.
The key takeaway is that Salesforce constantly strives to improve page load performance. If you’re interested in learning more, there’s tons of additional information in the guide linked below.
Multiple factors impact how fast a Salesforce page can load. As a Salesforce user, some factors are in your control and can be improved by using the built-in features. Other factors are the responsibility of the Salesforce admin, which can be diagnosed using Page Analyzer and Salesforce Optimizer.
Now, do you have some insight into why Salesforce is slow? It’s time to investigate the factors which are in your control to improve!