98% of web sites are slower than they should be. 50-75% slower. Load time is the reason people joke that www stands for "world wide wait". There is something you can do to vastly improve the load time of your sites.
When web sites load times are optimized, visitors get the impression that the site, it's services and products, are reliable and professional. Visitors feel good when pages just appear without having to watch while images one after the other appear at a painfully slow rate.
The expensive solution is to place your web server within an ISP that is sitting on a main trunk (i.e. on the Internet's backbone). This helps somewhat. But your visitors web connections will never be even close to the bandwidth of the server.
The answer is to send less data down the wire, by minimizing the number of files, size of those files, and using the files that are already in the browser's cache.
Lets look at some real examples to get an idea of the decrease in load time to expect and where those savings occur.
|Empty Cache||Primed Cache|
On an empty cache, the page loads 57.4K, in 4.23 sec, using 18 http requests. As opposed to a primed cache, the page loads 12.3K, in 1.37, using 18 http requests.
There is only one thing that stands out as being very wrong. Why are 18 http requests needed when we have most of the files already in cache?! We should make sure that cached files are used without asking for them again.
|Empty Cache||Primed Cache|
When comparing loading optimized vs not optimized web page, we realize a savings of 1.38 sec load time with an empty cache and a 0.51 sec savings with a primed cache. The 0.51 sec load time delay is the time for 16 unnecessary http requests and retrieving smaller compressed files.
We conducted the tests using firefox.
How to empty cache
In firefox, click Tools->Clear Private Data. In IE, Tools->Internet Options->Delete Files.
How to use primed cache
Empty the cache. Load the web page. Clicking a link to another page on the site and then clicking a link back to the previous page assures the cache is primed.
How to measure load time
Used firefox addon FasterFox and Extended Statusbar, which includes a page load timer in the window status bar. Conveniently located on the lower right portion of the browser window.
Any requirements for the web server setup?
To make the optimizations requires Apache v2.
What type of server are you on and where is it located?
The server is a load balanced cluster server hosted in Germany. The test was conducted from Japan. If the server was also in Japan the load times would be much faster.
When was this case study done?
2008-09-17 First optimization
2008-10-24 Converted gif -> png images. Optimized image file size.
We would like to add many more sites to this case study, so here is the offer which is hopefully makes it hard to say no.
USD$200 or 20,000 yen. As well as a banner on your site.
To get started, email us using the contact form here or call +81 90 6307-0731 or skype: grummerd. Please include your site's ftp account information. Then please make payment to:
Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd
1-10-18 Oji Kita-ku Tokyo Japan 114-0002
Account name: Global Business Resources Corporation
Account #: 1097149
Branch: Oji #175
swift code: BOTKJPJT