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factors influencing site load speed

     
11:07 am on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm not asking this because I'm wondering of the SEO-effects it might have...but rather because I'm a bit of a n00b when it c omes to some things :D.

What are the factors influencing the speed at which I can see a webpage I click on, on my monitor? Is it a combination of the upload(?) speed of the server (that the web page is on), the download speed of the client (my own PC)...and the speed of the connection?

I'm basically wondering if I could be more productive (because "stuff should load more quickly") if I had a better PC/connection...or if that doesn't have anything to do with it.

thank you!

PS: Do I understand it right that my PC downloads the document (web page)..into my temporary files folder (or something), and the server uploads it (to my PC)?
11:53 am on July 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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That's pretty much the gist of it.

There are quite a number of factors determining how fast a page will be downloaded and rendered by a web browser.

Some of these are:
- Bandwidth and latency of the server (site). Shared hosting and cheap dedicated hosting have a smaller 'pipe' and can sometimes be the bottleneck.
- Bandwidth and latency of the client (visitor)
- Server load. Busy websites take longer to process requests.
- Distance between server and client
- Whether the page is cached somewhere between the server and the client
- Number of DNS lookups required.
- Number of requests required to load the page. A page with 100 uncached images means 101 calls to the server for files.
- Size of the page.
- Pages with large <table> elements. The browser has to read the entire <table>...</table> content before being able to render it.

There are lots more factors. Some depend on all the hardware involved, others depend on what the content of the page is.

There have been a few 'epic' threads on WebmasterWorld that have covered ways to improve site speed, if I can find the links I'll post them.

YSlow [developer.yahoo.com] is a tool used to help people optimize for site speed. Having a look through that will give you a fair idea of the various aspects of keeping a site and its page loads as fast as possible.

Bear in mind that visitors and search spiders like Googlebot load pages differently. You may have heard that Google likes to consider 'site speed' as a small ranking factor, essentially they are just trying to rank sites in order of visitor experience, your first priority is the visitors and google only aims to mimic that.

In regards to you being the visitor:
- Have a good ISP!
3:02 pm on July 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Very interesting/useful info - thanks!
8:59 am on Aug 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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you may find some relevant information in this current WebmasterWorld thread:
Googlebot Crawl Speed is NOT the same as Site Performance:
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4178897.htm [webmasterworld.com]
7:39 am on Aug 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I will check it out, thanks!
2:06 am on Aug 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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One can leverage Google Code as a content distribution network. They have most of the popular open source libraries:

* Chrome Frame
* Dojo
* Ext Core
* jQuery
* jQuery UI
* MooTools
* Prototype
* script.aculo.us
* SWFObject
* Yahoo! User Interface Library (YUI)
* WebFont Loader

and more! See [code.google.com ]

For the small aka 'one man' operations using free externally served code saves building another server!