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How Fast Do Your Web Pages Download?

By: Maneet Puri at Lexolution IT Services

Submitted on Mon, Feb 16th, 2009 6:57 am

How fast do your web pages download? That is for you to answer. But how fast ‘should’ your web pages download? This is something that has to do with how much you want your visitors to stay on your website and not leave.

Going by the numbers quoted by industry experts, some say that web pages should not take more than 4 seconds to download. But there are others who believe that web pages that download between 8-10 seconds are as good as it gets.

The fact is, web pages download differently on different browsers and across different platforms. Therefore, their download times will not be the same either. And this in a way justifies the fact that people report different speeds as the acceptable standard.

People use different web connections to connect to the internet. And the factors that influence the connection speed are modem, disk and CPU speed of your computer. Apart from these, another primary influencing factor is the route traveled to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and its performance. If the ISP is overloaded, then the internet speed can slow down, resulting in slower rendering of web pages. Moreover, the speed at which the server can deliver information also plays an influencing role.

So, apart from the limitations of the equipments and ISP, what can be done to speed up the downloading of web pages?

To obtain good data, it is important that you delete your cache files. The browser doesn’t take time to download things that are already present on the disk even if it is asked to be reloaded. Therefore, find your cache directory and delete all the files in it to make it empty. Now, try downloading your website homepage and watch the time.

There are certain graphic elements that are repeated on almost all the web pages like the navigation buttons, logos and so on. Therefore, after it has been downloading once, subsequent download times would be faster. What matters if the time to download the first page with no files in cache, because this is what new visitors will see and make an opinion of the website with.

After this, browse through the internet for similar website and check their download speeds in comparison to yours. Make sure to delete all cache files if you have visited the websites before.

The difference in the download speeds of various web pages is often because of number and sizes of graphics and images of the website. While comparing the download speeds of other web pages, test the ones that have more or less the same amount of graphical elements so that it gets you precise and relevant results.

Internet users have the system and ISP limitations when they browse. And this is one thing that you can do nothing about apart from making sure that you are using a fast enough host.

The numbers quoted about the ideal download time of web pages are all irrelevant if you are doing things well at your end. People use different equipments and have different ISPs, thus making comparison impossible. Rather, compare the performance of your web pages to other similar pages and judge if you can make things faster!

About the Author

Maneet Puri
Lexolution IT Services
Maneet Puri is the director of LeXolution IT Services (LIT), a leading provider of Web Application and KPO services in India. A well-known web programmer, web developer, an author-in-the-making, Maneet offers expert advice on various web based applications and software services to many clients across the globe. Leveraging on his substantial IT experience of over 10 years, Maneet has written hundreds of articles and blog posts on website design & development & outsourcing solutions with an objective to share his invaluable thoughts with the web citizens, tech junkies and other professionals.

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