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What determines the website loading speed?

The information provided in the article will help you figure out what determines the speed of loading pages on the site and how to check it yourself.

Any web resource consists of different kinds of content: it is a content part, text information, images, scripts and other elements. All this is collected into a single page in the browser.

At the moment when the user visits the site, the page is opened by loading various elements: both static and dynamic. This process can be fast or slow, depending on the amount of content and elements on the site. For example, if we are dealing with an online store, then there will be 50 or more images on the catalog page. Therefore, it should take longer to load than, for example, a business card site. But, in fact, such sites can also load within 2-3 seconds, which is the standard for page loading.

There are methods to optimize the loading speed of internet pages – we will talk about this in more detail, and also answer the question: “What determines the website loading speed?”

Content loading speed

Content loading speed is determined by how quickly the user receives a return response from the web server. At the same time, it is important that the user's Internet channel is fast enough. It should be borne in mind that this depends on many factors, such as hosting, as well as the web server and its characteristics.

What is server response speed?

Server response speed – it is the time delay between the sending of the signal by the user and the receipt of this signal back from the site. The delay time is taken into account, which is measured in milliseconds.

What affects the server response speed?

The remoteness of the previously mentioned server and its configuration are affected. In order to optimize this process, CDN technology is used.

Server load and optimization

The server load is easiest to imagine using the example of an online store, since such sites often have high traffic due to frequent changes (for example, hourly / daily price policy changes), but they also have content that does not change.

For example, product photos – they are always the same. If we know the address of this image, then, as a rule, the same photo will always be available for it. To display a picture to a user, the engine and hosting are quite heavily loaded, given that the number of visits to an online store per day can reach from 1000 to 5000 users. It can also contain many product images. Besides images, there is other content. And this all slows down the server . If there are too many database queries – the server may fail and issue a 500 error code for some users.

To reduce the number of queries to the database, you can store the already formed response in the cache - so instead of five queries, only one will be executed. This task should be entrusted to experienced programmers who will be able to identify queries that need optimization.

What is caching?

Caching - placing data in a specially designated place for faster access during subsequent access. When visiting a web page, the user's browser saves the data on the computer so that later it will not be downloaded a second time, without loading the database with unnecessary requests.

What is CDN?

CDN distributes copies of the content of a site page to multiple servers. The site is loaded from the CDN server closest to the user. Static content is cached for about a week, or even a month. The load on the server is reduced.

CDN technology allows you to cache images and other static content for about 30 days. Therefore, during page loading, no calls to the server are received to display images. They are already loaded from distributed servers, significantly reducing the load on the main server.

How to quickly check all pages of your site for loading speed?

How to do a bulk check of all pages of a site using the GTmetrix API?

GTmetrix – a useful tool for checking website speed. Displays a lot of summary information. The test server is located in Vancouver (Canada).

If you have programming skills, you may find this information useful. Register and get your API key in your account.

Gtmetrix api

 

You can check for free download speed up to 100 pages at 20 pages per day.

Gtmetrix api

The GTmetrix API offers developers an easy way to use the GTmetrix performance testing service. Using the GTmetrix API, you can integrate performance testing into your development environment or your application.

The GTmetrix API is based on the Web Testing Framework (WTF) Testing Services API, which is a RESTful API.

By examining the API, you can easily check your website pages

How to check website loading speed with Screaming Frog SEO Spider + xpath

In order to check the website loading speed through Screaming Frog SEO Spider + xpath, we need to check all pages through Screaming Frog SEO and add the collected URLs to the Google spreadsheet.

Create a Google Sheets Page

Page speed URL Check
https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url= URL to check https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=URL to check

on this principle

Where the check field is, select “linkup” formula

=$A$2&B2

Next, you need to check all pages through Screaming Frog SEO and add the collected URLs to the Google table in the column “URL”.

Then copy all the links that were formed in the column “Check”.

Add to the parser via Screaming Frog SEO and do the following:

Go to parser settings

Screaming Frog SEO

 

 
Next, go to Spider Speed Configyration
 
Screaming Frog SEO
 
Then in Custom - Extraction
 
Screaming Frog SEO
Screaming Frog SEO
 

We take data from the site

We can, if desired, use the plugin in the Xpath Helper browser and get the necessary data.

For mobile:

//*[@id="page-speed-insights"]/div[2]/div[2]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div/div[1]/a/div[2]

For computers:

/html/body/div[1]/div/div[2]/div[2]/div[2]/div[2]/div[1]/div/div[1]/a/div[2]

There are other commands that may be useful to you as well – see below for more details.

Subscribing columns

Mobile optimization score:

(//div[@class='lh-gauge__percentage'])[2]

Mobile FCP:

(//div[@class='metric-value']//text())[1]

First Mobile Input Delay (FID):

(//div[@class='metric-value']//text())[2]

First content loading time for mobile:

(//div[@class='lh-metric__value']//text())[1]

Loading time for enough content for mobile:

(//div[@class='lh-metric__value']//text())[4]

Download speed index for mobile:

(//div[@class='lh-metric__value']//text())[1]

CPU end time for mobile:

(//div[@class='lh-metric__value']//text())[5]

Loading times for mobile interaction:

(//div[@class='lh-metric__value']//text())[3]

Approximate input lag time for mobile:

(//div[@class='lh-metric__value']//text())[6]

Details of the process can be found here:
https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/web-scraping/
There is a newer way to do this through an updated version Screaming Frog SEO Spider 12.6.
 
 
 
To do this, you need to visit the site, click get the key
 
API Google page speed
And enter it into the field Screaming Frog SEO Spider 12.6 as in the screenshot
 
Screaming Frog SEO Spider 12.6
 
and that's all, you can check and get the necessary data on the assessment of the page load speed.

Check with Google Analytics

If you have access to your site's analytics.google.com, you can measure the loading speed of all your pages.

Report group "Website loading speed" allows you to understand how quickly your site loads and how quickly it reacts to user actions. Such statistics allow you to optimize the site and monitor the results of such changes.

Report "Website loading speed" allows you to estimate the reaction time of a resource by three main indicators:

  1. Page load time

  2. Execution speed or loading time of any request

  3. The speed at which the browser processes the document

analytics.google.com
 
analytics.google.com page speed
 

You can read additional documentation here:

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1205784?hl=ru

What does Google say?

Google says that lately, site speed has been considered one of the most important factors that affects its overall score .
Considering that there are more and more users who visit the site using mobile devices – Google is committed to meeting their needs. After all, if content on a mobile device takes a long time to load, users will often leave such pages without waiting for the download. A site that loads quickly will always take precedence over a site that loads slower than 3 seconds.

Resources for checking page load

  1. https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
  2. https://tools.pingdom.com/
  3. https://www.webpagetest.org/
  4. https://gtmetrix.com/
  5. https://analytics.google.com/

Conclusion

Speed also affects SEO. Therefore, it is worth checking PageSpeed Insights metrics once a week or a month, as well as correcting the code and server settings. It is important to translate sites to CDN. This is especially true for sites such as catalogs or online stores. Use different services to check site speed, as you shouldn't rely on one service – it does not give the whole picture. How to improve the download speed indicators will be a separate article.

 


 

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