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Is there any industry rule of thumb for what's considered an unacceptable load time v. an OK one v. a blistering fast one?

We're just reviewing some Google Analytics data and getting 0.74 Avg. Page Load Time reported. I guess that's OK. However it would be good if some meatier comparison data were available, or a blog post, or somewhere where there's some analysis of what speeds are generally being achieved by various kinds of sites.

Any useful links to help someone interpret these speeds? If you Google it you just get a lot of results dealing with how to improve your speed. We're not at that stage yet.

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3 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

The figure I keep hearing is that you should keep it below two seconds. I think that's actually Google's recommendation, but I can't find the link at the moment. There is a ClickZ article on page load times written by Bryan Eisenberg, where he mentions that:

Several influential people (SEOs and marketing execs) have shared with me that getting load time under the two-second load time mark, as Google recommends, has improved rankings significantly.

You should also keep in mind that the average page load time is for all the pages viewed on your site; this means that you might want to focus on landing pages as they're important pages, but often much slower than subsequent page views due to caching of resources.

Another thing about site averages is that they often mask the very wide differences in connection speeds and latency between different areas of the world. If your business is regional, then you might want to segment your GA reports so you can see how fast pages are in the places where the visitors that matter to you are located.

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Thanks Ewan, that's great –  hawbsl Apr 5 '12 at 17:18
    
Which Load time do you look at, the one reported by GWT, or the one by GA or the one by PageSpeed? –  Prasad Mar 16 '13 at 6:32
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A couple of hours on, and I realise I could perhaps have checked Google Webmaster Tools before posting my question.

GWT have the kind of overview I wanted under Labs -> Site Performance

enter image description here

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I also thought to find the above graph but I do not see Site Performance under Labs. –  Satya Prakash Dec 23 '13 at 13:24
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I wouldn't use Labs -> Performance in WMT because the data is only pulled from users who use Chrome as their browser so it's very inaccurate for measuring across all site visits. Instead use Pingdom-tools and select the New York server as the most accurate measure if based in the UK or Ireland (not the Holland server).

Google's Page Speed tool can also help in addressing any 'slow down' issues for your site. Repair these until you get to 90+ and you are on the right track.

Ideally your website 'load time' should be under 1.5 seconds for a good quality user experience - which can be a challenge in itself!

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protected by John Conde Sep 27 '13 at 12:53

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