Optimize Load Time -- Ease visitor pain and suffering

  Most web sites' load time could use some improvements

Contact us at (090)6307-0731 and get your web site load time optimized

Slow load time explained

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.

Case Studies
Web site Empty Cache Δt(sec) Primed Cache Δt(sec) Empty Cache total trips Primed Cache Δtrips
  usguyintokyo.com/index.php 1.38   0.51   18   -16  
  webhostinginjapan.com/index.htm 3.89   0.95   48   -45  

Lets look at some real examples to get an idea of the decrease in load time to expect and where those savings occur.

Not Optimized (usguyintokyo.com/index.php)

  Load Times  
  Empty Cache   Primed Cache  

usguyintokyo.com/index.php is a light web page. Has a dynamically generated text/html file, two text/javascript files, no text/css files, and 15 images. Other web pages vary, having more or less javascript, css files, images, static html, iframes, redirects, and AJAX calls.

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.

Optimized (usguyintokyo.com/index.php)

  Load Times  
  Empty Cache   Primed Cache  

Notice the image file sizes are unchanged. They are already compressed. The html file has gone from 12.2Kb->3.5Kb, and javascript files from 7.5Kb->3.9Kb. This translates into a load time savings because we are downloading smaller files. Also notice we have fixed the http requests issue. Now we only make three http requests, not 18.

Conclusion

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.

Most pages has a larger text/html file, more javascript and css files, and things to slow down the load time like google adwords javascript, site stat counters, advertisements. Will be conducting more case studies on larger web sites, to be able to answer the question, "So what load time savings can be expected for a particular site".

Notes on methodology

Which browser?

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.

Ridiculously cheap special offer

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