How to check website loading time
By Jash Unadkat, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - January 15, 2022
This article will explain how vital it is to monitor a website’s loading time at regular intervals. It will also discuss how users can check a website’s loading time across a range of real devices and browsers using a single, free tool.
Page load time plays a decisive role in determining website rankings. This is no longer a secret because Google considers website speed as a crucial factor before ranking it. This was publicly announced way back in 2010. As a result, a website that loads faster is bound to rank well and gain significant growth in organic traffic.
Optimizing website speed for mobile browsers is equally important for businesses as mobile web traffic contributes to 52% of total web traffic.
Read More: Why page speed matters
- Nearly 70% of consumers state that page speed influences their decisions to buy from an online retailer.
- Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each extra second of load time (in the first five seconds).
Teams must consider testing a website’s loading time across a range of device-browser combinations at regular intervals. This enables them to gain actionable insights for specific web pages. It also helps them evaluate which web pages are taking too long to load or identify if there is a specific browser for which the website needs to be optimized.
Users access websites accessed through thousands of different devices and browsers. However, testing a website’s speed across a range of real devices and browsers can be challenging without the right tools at hand. Additionally, calculating relevant metrics such as Time to first byte (TTFB), Response time, Page load time, DOM processing for each browser can be a cumbersome task, especially it if has to be done manually.
To begin with, let’s understand what these metrics represent at a high level.
Key Metrics for Checking Website Load Time
- TTFB: Time to First Byte (TTFB) represents the time taken by a web or mobile browser to receive the first byte of response from the server after it requests a specific URL
- Page load time: Represents the time taken to completely display the content of a specific page
- Response Time: Represents the time taken to fully receive the first response from the server
- DOM processing Time: Represents the time required to parse the HTML into a DOM and retrieve or execute scripts
- LCP: LCP or Largest Contentful Paint is a metric that conveys the time it takes to render the largest text block or images within the viewport. The time is judged relative to when the page starts loading.
- FID: FID or First Input Delay tracks the time from a user’s first interaction with a page (clicking a link or a button, for eg.) to when the browser actually starts to process events handlers to respond to that interaction.
To test the loading time of a website across multiple devices and browsers, QA teams need a reliable tool. It should instantly generate a detailed report that provides actionable insights with respect to key metrics like TTFB, Response time, Page load time, etc.
BrowserStack’s Speed Lab is one such website speed test tool. It allows teams to check a website’s loading time across real desktop and mobile devices as well as browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.).
Pro-Tip: It is not enough to check if a website is loading fast on a single browser or versions of one browser. Testers must ensure that it loads across multiple browsers – older and newer versions of each. Analyze websites for speed levels when running browser compatibility tests.
Use BrowserStack’s real device cloud to check your website speed on 3000+ real browsers and devices. Simply sign up for free, choose the browser-device-OS combination required, and start testing site speed.
However, to start with, testers can run speed tests on real browsers and devices using the steps outlined below. Note, however, that the number of browsers and devices, in this case, will be a lot less than 3000+.
Steps to Check Website Loading Time
- Visit SpeedLab
- Enter the URL of the website
- Click on the Start button
The tool will immediately run tests across the most frequently used browsers, devices, and operating systems. The report generated shows test scores evaluated out of 100 for mobile and desktop devices. It also displays the fastest and slowest performing device-browser combinations for the website in question.
The report covers key metrics for each platform and load time is represented in milliseconds (Refer to the image above). With such extensive detail at hand, teams can instantly analyze performance bottlenecks for specific device-browser combinations.
Adjacent to the device-browser listing, there is a Live Test button that allows users to manually check a website’s speed on a specific device-browser combination. All these tests are executed on real devices that are hosted on BrowserStack’s real device cloud.
Users do not need to worry about evaluating separate reports for unique device-browser combinations. This is because SpeedLab collates results for all combinations and presents them in a single report, designed for easy visibility and analysis.
Teams or individuals must continue to test website speeds at regular intervals. Doing so helps them evaluate website performance on specific devices or browsers. This lets them keep a website accessible, inclusive, and appealing to users using different devices and browsers. It would also help keep the website SEO-friendly and competitive in a constantly evolving and shifting digital landscape.