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- Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Website Loading Time Analysis - Pingdom

Website Loading Speed Test - Pingdom.com
Have you ever tried visiting websites that takes a century to load on your screen? That you can still have time to go to a grocery and still the website is loading when you came back home? I experienced that today, and that happened to my website maxginez3.com. It was a very tremendous experience, in fact I even  went upstairs and make myself a cup of coffee and when I came back on my PC the page was still loading. My gosh what is happening?
At first, I suspected an ISP problem, but when I checked other websites, BOOM so fast even though I only have a 1MBPS connection speed. Next suspect was perhaps Google, since Google owns Blogspot.com where my Blog was hosted under http://www.maxginez3.blogspot.com/, but when I tried searching a word from google searchbar, the speed was still amazing. So I end up worrying a lot because I have no idea how it happened suddenly without any warning. I was so frustrated thinking of all the SEO efforts that I have done so far.
It may have taken around 2 hours of my time sorting out the problem but I'm just fortunate enough to solved it. So here are the steps that I made with the screenshots so you guys can follow along. But before that, I would like you to read the following list because I thought it is best to understand some technical background behind this slow loading problem.

Reasons of Slow Loading Websites

Unlike the dial-up connection way back years ago, there are no reason that websites should load slowly because today’s high-speed connections and advances in web development techniques assures the reliability of our internet.

Web Hosting Issues

Choosing the right web host contributes a lot on website loading speed. There may be cases that a web server is down due to lack of maintenance. And in some cases shared hosting packages may also cause the problem because the uploading speed (server side) is distributed between sharing websites.

Server-Intensive Dynamic Scripts

Some websites generate their pages from data stored in databases. These are called Dynamic websites which loads slower compared to purely HTML websites. Although the delay is not often noticed on small, low-traffic websites, but for large websites and increase in popularity; the delay is even more noticeable, but this problem is solved by caching. Caching enables your browser to save chunks of dynamic documents allowing files to be accessed when needed.

Unoptimized Images

An image intensive website loads slowly, especially on full size uncropped images. And this is one of the usual problem that most bloggers do (including me).

Flash Enabled page

Although adding Flash on your website is great because it adds interactivity and animation but this will also contribute to a slow loading website. That is why some web developers discourage the use of Flash and instead they focus on optimizing it.

Too much HTML Codes

Well of course, the larger the file size of your webpage, the longer it will takes to load. But there are techniques to shorten file sizes and these is by writing efficient code:
  • Avoid inline styles if possible
  • Remove unnecessary white spaces
  • Using CSS shortcuts
  • External CSS & JavaScript
  • Refrain from Table based Layout and use CSS/DIV instead

Embedding External Media

Adding external videos, slideshows, etc… causes your website to load slowly. Infact if you have embedded media, your website will only be as fast as the external website that hosts that media. So if some external website is having a slow day, so will yours because your website will have to download that file in order to display on the browser. So if possible, try to host all your content on your own web server. We therefore conclude, using external media is definitely a bad idea. But if you really need to source out that media, better use an Anchor Tag target as blank to open a new window and this simple technique will save the day.

So after reviewing these List of Reasons that causes a website to load slowly, I immediately think of the keyword to use in searching for an answer. By using google, I searched for "Analyze Blogger Loading Time" and the result pointed me Pingdom.com Website Speed Test.

Website Loading Time Analysis - Pingdom Blogger

Basically, Pingdom.com is a company Based in Sweden with online serices that tracks the uptime, downtime, and performance of websites. They have their monitoring servers located globally so that it can distinguish genuine downtime from routing and access problems. And you can also use Pingdom.com to monitor both public and password-protected websites, FTP servers, email servers, and any other kind of service that should be accessible from the Internet.
Anyway, so I clicked the link and pushed me to Pingdom.com and immediately their website asked for a URL to test. So in my case I used my personal Blog (maxginez3.com) and see what it has in store for me.

Website Loading Time Analysis - Pingdom Blogger

And BINGO, in just a minute or two, it displayed a Speed Test result saying that my website's loading time is 32.34 seconds with a page size of 2MB. So I browsed down below the results and found out that there were 2 culprits swarming around my HTML file that causes the delay. I discovered 2 files from Rankwidget.com

Website Loading Time Analysis - Pingdom Blogger
As you can see, the time element is displayed in yellow bar across the results table. It is fairly visible how these  two Rankwidget files slows down my website loading speed.

Website Loading Time Analysis - Pingdom Blogger
Rankwidget #1


Website Loading Time Analysis - Pingdom Blogger
Rankwidget #2

Website Loading Time Analysis - Pingdom Blogger
This is the Rankwidget installed in my Blog which was installed just below the Design Blogs Monitor widget

Website Loading Time Analysis - Pingdom Blogger
Here are the available widgets that made me interested to install.

Website Loading Time Analysis - Pingdom Blogger
I immediately locate the Rankwidget files on my Layout Settings and remove the  scripts right  away.

Website Loading Time Analysis - Pingdom Blogger
This is the second test that I conducted right after the Rankwidgets was removed. 
As you can see on my second speed test, it is obvious that my Blog's loading time dropped from 32.34 seconds to only 6.04 seconds. and the Page size was minimized to 1.7MB and that solved my day.

What I can say about Pingdom is that the user interface is very easy to set up and use. And what is great thing about their uptime monitoring service is that they help us keep our web hosting company honest. And hopefully these actual screen shots I did while using Pingdom will serve as your guide as well on how to figure out your uptime and response time from your server. What Pingdom can offer will serve as a very convincing piece of evidence that will surely solve your problem.

In summary, I have been very pleased with Pingdoms FREE service and perhaps I will continue to to use their service for uptime monitoring of this Blog. I believe the results are reliable and valuable which I think helps me a lot to understand more about designing websites (Coding websites).

I hope you found this article useful and perhaps apply it to your own Blog or website. Who knows you will discover a lot from this experiment. And before I forget, just a friendly advice, don't ever try to install a widget from Rankwidget. If it happened to me, it will happen to you.

Your comments are valuable to me so keep it coming.

Website Loading Time Analysis - Pingdom Blogger

3 comments:

  1. nice and well managed blog! i think! i admire your knowledge on the internet! becoz! blogging is fun to do but html coding and a lots of things to do to get followers and rank on google is really annoying and i don't really want to do but i when i see your blog post i think all of that is not hard for you! although our blog content and category is not the same hope you could give me some easy tips on how to make my blog load past! again! you did a really good job! thanks again!
    by the way! i already followed and put your blog to my list as my sweet neighbors blogs! just take a look!
    http://lenyelmedo0322.blogspot.jp/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Any site monitoring tool could be good to solve your problem e.g.Anturis (http://www.anturis.com) is a nice solution to monitor tools. Although it is not so branded as Pingdom, but it works much better and it is cheaper.

    ReplyDelete

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