How to check website loading time?
By Jash Unadkat, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - June 29, 2020
This article will explain how vital it is to monitor a website’s loading time at regular intervals. It will also enlighten users on how they can check a website’s loading time across a range of real devices and browsers using a single 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 observe a 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. Refer to this article on Why page speed matters to learn how speed can be a major differentiator for a website’s growth.
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 figure out if there is a specific browser for which the website needs to be optimized.
The web is accessed every moment through thousands of devices and browsers. Testing a website’s speed across a range of real devices and browsers can be very challenging. Also calculating some key metrics like Time to first byte (TTFB), Response time, Page load time, DOM processing for each browser can be a cumbersome task.
To begin with, let’s understand what these metrics represent at a high level.
Key Metrics for Checking Website Load Times
- TTFB: Time to First Byte (TTFB) represents the time taken by a web or mobile browser to receive the first byte of the 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 amount of 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
To test the loading time of a website across a range of devices and browsers, teams need a reliable tool. A tool that instantly generates 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.).
Steps to Check Website Loading Time
- Visit SpeedLab
- Enter the URL of the website
- Click on the Start button
Once done, 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. The report also indicates the fastest and slowest performing device-browser combinations.
The report covers key metrics for each platform and the load time is represented in milliseconds (Refer to the image above). With such detailed reports, 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 the loading time of a website 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 check a website’s loading time at regular intervals. Doing so helps them to evaluate website performance on specific devices or browsers. This lets them always keep the site accessible, inclusive, and appealing to users using different devices and browsers.