We are happy to launch a new free tool (aka Global Website Performance Tester) that allows anyone to quickly check how fast a website is loading from across the globe.
We extract three key metrics that are critical to the performance of any website: connection time, time to first byte (TTFB) and total load time:
- Connection time: It measures how long it takes for the TCP session to be established to your website. If you are a networking geek, it measures how long it takes for the 3-way handshake to be completed.
- Time To First Byte (TTFB): This is one of the most important numbers to pay attention to, as it tells you how long it takes for the first byte to be received by the browser. This metric is important because as soon as the browser receives the first few bytes, it can start to load the page and display content to the end user.
- Total Load Time: This shows how long it takes for the full page to be loaded.
To give us the visibility we need for these tests, we setup 13 globally distributed testing stations:
- 4 in USA (New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles)
- 1 in Canada (Montreal)
- 4 in Europe (Germany, UK, France and Netherlands)
- 2 in Asia (Japan and Singapore)
- 1 in South America (Brazil)
- 1 in Australia
And we run all our tests from all of them. To get started, you can test your websites performance here: https://performance.sucuri.net
If you are looking for an example, you can see the results from our own site here: https://performance.sucuri.net/domain/sucuri.net.
Understanding Global Performance
When measuring the performance of a site across the globe, we rate it based on the average total time average from all our testing stations. That means that most sites without a CDN (or a geo-based caching), will have higher page loads the further our testing station is the origin location. This is normal and expected.
However, there are many performance improvements that you can make to improve the load time even without using a CDN:
- Choose a good hosting provider. A good hosting will be well connected and have low latency from most locations.
- Cache your site. If you use a CMS, make sure you have caching enabled. It will save your webserver from having to rebuild the pages each time, causing the pages to load much faster. If you are using our Website Firewall, having caching enabled, will do magic for you.
- Use compression. Whenever you can gzip (compress) parts of your site, it will certainly help with performance, specially from longer distances.
- Enable SPDY. If you are using HTTPS, enabling SPDY will improve performance quite a bit as well.
And these are just some suggestions.
Testing and Feedback
This tool is still in BETA status, but feel free to play with this toolset as much as you like, and you can give us feedback right here in our comments.