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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!
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?
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.
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.