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How often do people press refresh / reload?

Are there any stats for how often people press the button?

1:13 am on Jan 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm looking at my stats package (a paid for one which I run alongside Google analytics) and I've always had quite a high number of page reloads / refreshes showing up.

I know that my site isn't particularly fast (it's quite image heavy and there's quite a lot of code) so I can accept that it loads relatively slow, but when I see most of my pages having a 20% -30% refresh / reload rate.. that makes me slightly concerned!

The site is pretty big - and has around 300,000 unique visitors a month, but we run two top of the range dedicated servers..

I've confirmed that a reload / refresh gets counted as "anytime the same page is loaded twice in a row", which includes

a) hitting the refresh / reload button
b) Auto refreshes (not relevant)
c) Change in field forms etc (not relevant)
d) Duplicate script (I don't think so - but I'm not sure entirely what this means)

20% - 30% of people therefore seem to be hitting the refresh button.. ouch. Is this high or what does everyone else think and see?

Thanks in advance!

11:41 pm on Jan 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member jab_creations is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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I reload pages after I make changes to them though in general I hit the go button whenever there is form data that could potentially be posted twice. Bearing that in mind I think non-savvy users are more likely (though not entirely) apt to using the refresh/reload button if a page seems to hang. I've seen other people just sit there and wait. Honestly if your site is slow it's time to optimize it because the average person can't tell the difference between their internet being slow/fast and their computer being slow/fast; to both combined are either slow or fast and you'll want to presume your site needs to be fast since their computer is likely to be slow.

- John

5:09 pm on Jan 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hi , Thanks for posting the problem. Will the really the refresh makes load on the server? can anyone please explain how it works.

[edited by: tedster at 5:16 pm (utc) on Jan. 26, 2010]
[edit reason] Sorry, this forum does not allow images [/edit]

11:26 pm on Jan 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The most common user to be refreshing is a webmaster.
Normal users wouldnt refresh the page unless there was a reason to do it. It maybe because they are not seeing the page loading.
12:13 am on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the reply Seb - interesting that you say that the most common user to refresh is the webmaster. When the site gets around 2 million page impressions per month, the webmaster definitely can't account for a large percentage though!

I agree that maybe they aren't seeing the page load. Short of doing tests ourselves in different environments (i.e. finding a slow computer and a slow internet connection and all the variables in between) is there any way in which people have tested whether pages load fully for users? I suppose we could put separate images at the top and bottom of the page and see if both load, but this may not tell the story fully. Any other ideas?

Is it worth getting people to give feedback on the display of the page?


2:20 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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feedback might be a good idea. You should try it, just for a few days at least. Though, for me, users would use it type lots of rubbish - but I would expect it to depend on the type of website they are used on.

Do you use the Google webmaster stuff? This is very good for diagnosing website problems and although not very accurate, does give page loading times, which may help you.

3:10 am on Jan 29, 2010 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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how does your stats package count page loads?
if it is using javascript, then it won't count until the javascript is loaded and executed.
if the javascript is just before the body tag, it won't start executing until the whole page has loaded.
just some things to think about.

if you want to look at page load times there are several tool available for measuring things and some make suggestions for improvement.
i would suggest starting with the open source firefox add-ons called Page Speed and YSlow! and see if those provide some clues.