[Tools] How Fast Does Your Webpage Load?

Pingdom LogoHow important is your webpage load time to you? This morning while troubleshooting my webpage, I stumbled across this amazing tool. Instead of emailing all your friends to test your page, simply type your address on www.pingdom.com and see the results. It will show you detail what elements and code slowed down your page. Good for trouble shooting load time issues. Check it out for yourself and let's see how as the best load time www.pingdom.com .

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17 Comments

Jerrit Pruyn's picture

I found out my redirect was hanging my page for 2.9+ seconds!!!

My frontpage loads in 1.55 seconds, the gallery pages in 1-2 seconds and the blog under 3 seconds containing  photos and videos.

It's because I've been optimising a lot and I also use cloudflare.com dns servers (FREE!)

Jerrit Pruyn's picture

nice tip! thanks!

Also Google web pagespeed service (
http://code.google.com/speed/pss/docs/setup.html ) is very similar to of cloudflare.

Speaking of which! I'm on an excellent internet connection and most webpages load really fast for me, but Fstoppers always takes forever. Do more people experience this inconvenience and are the FS crew aware of it?

Jerrit Pruyn's picture

yeah don't test the fstoppers site on there! haha we are working on the load time this month!

Patrick Hall's picture

We are working on making FS much faster.  We recently moved the whole site to our own dedicated server and the site now loads more than twice as fast.  The site is currently around 2mb in size on the front page which takes anywhere from 4 seconds - 9 seconds to load.   Depending on the day it's either faster than 50% of the websites out there or slower than 40%....we are working on a major update to come soon :)

Brian's picture

I have actually been crafting a proposal for you guys (I'm a front-end developer/engineer) on how to improve fstoppers.com - interesting timing on this post.

Some suggestions which
you might want to do on dedicated hosting (my assumption is that you are
running Apache):

1. Install and enable
mod_pagespeed (http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/docs/module.html) plugin in Apache. What the plugin does it that is automatically
applied the best web practices to web pages. For example it a) minifies
external css and javascript (compresses); b) combines external js into a single
file; c) optimizes cache (sets proper expire http headers for static resource);
d) uses url-fingerprinting when combining files; and e) minifies HTML

2. Consider using Nginx as a main server. Nginx is much faster, resource aware compared to Apache. Apache is this gigantic beast running in the background which can handle pretty much
anything, however a lot of those capabilities are not necessary. When Apache
gets a lot of requests, it will spawn (create) a separate process to handle each
request. This has two side-effects: a) eats a lot of ram so in the future fewer
requests can be handled and b) since your cpu has only a certain amount of
cores, for os it is much harder to handle many cpu intensive processes at once.
So when apache spawns processes to handle each request, it in turn slows down
the computer. On the other hand, Nginx has a concept of workers. you can define
how many workers will run at the same time. Usually that would be the same
number as the number of cores you have available. Then when Nginx will receive
requests, it will forward them to one of the workers. When Nginx will receive
many requests, the workers are basically going to handle all the requests as
fast as they can. This makes the whole operation much faster compared to
Apache.

3. Consider running Nginx as
reverse proxy for load balancing. You can get additional dedicated servers, so
then Nginx as it will get requests from users, it will just forward them to
other machines. The other machines can run anything - Apache, Nginx or any
other server.

4. I assume that you are
using MySQL as a database. Switching to something like Postgresql can provide a
pretty big performance boost.

5. Regularly optimize
databases. When you insert or delete a lot of new content to a db, it has to be
optimized – re-indexed, etc.

6. Since PHP and WordPress is
not one of the fastest options, you might want to migrate to a different CMS.
For example you can have a web site done in Python using Django web framework
or use Ruby on Rails. Anything other than PHP will give you better performance.
However since you already have a lot of content, this is not really an option
for you.

Jerrit, how is my site 4X the size of you and Jon's yet my grade is better and the DL speed is better?

Jerrit Pruyn's picture

sometimes things looks big and they really are not.

★★★ Tam Nguyen ★★★'s picture

 TWSS!

not what Cara said ...

★★★ Tam Nguyen ★★★'s picture

I know a thing or two about Wordpress and website optimization. Let me know if you guys want my help.

Holy fark!!!! Site takes almost 15 seconds to load. Think its time for a new WP theme. Image flow takes too long to load. 

Patrick Hall's picture

Your site or yours? We have a big change coming soon :)

any suggestions on some low cost dedicated hosting? I've been using host monster and lately the service has been crap.