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Website Speed and Performance Standards

Posted on 2008-06-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-07
Question:

I am developing an upgrade to a corporate website. The website is not intended for public use but just as a tool for internal consultants and analysts. The website is primarily used an audit tool so a large amount of data is added, analysed and then exported into excel sheets, reports and presentations.

In the past, this website has been plagued by slow refreshing and browsing speeds. Therefore, to counter that, I would like to establish some benchmarks and standards for speeds for loading pages, refreshing lists, navigation from one page to another. The standards should ideally be global and should be used by major websites just like Experts Exchange.

Also, we are anticipating a large number of data to be added in coming years, so I would like to know the best ways to perform load and performance tests. Can anyone assist me to achieve the above?


Kind Regards
Amarjit Kapur
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Question by:amarjitkapur
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LVL 36

Expert Comment

by:Loganathan Natarajan
ID: 21791959
Try,
http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/

and see the comments of your web page and work accordingly.,
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Author Comment

by:amarjitkapur
ID: 21792015
Hi,

I have tried this already. Unfortunately my website is secured and needs password to get in. when I put the URL in the websiteoptimisation it returns nothing.

Regards
Amarjit
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:fibo
ID: 21792437
You might consider using site-explorers programs like Xenu or Gcrawler: they are free, would give you easily a complete klist of linked pages and of some characteristcs such as weight and loading time.

This would help you spotting any very heavy page, that you would then edit manually.
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:fibo
ID: 21792457
You might also use local versions of tools like those of W3C. For instance on Apache logs, using Log Validator at http://www.w3.org/QA/Tools/LogValidator/Overview.html.en might be highly useful.

The idea there is not to be a standards-integrist, but to identify prioritized list of edit suggestions.
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Author Comment

by:amarjitkapur
ID: 21802502
Hi,

I undertstand.

What I would ideally like to know is what is th benchmark for these characterstics (loading time etc.)?
I am not doing the development myself. I am sending it to a team of developers but I would like to know what kind of speeds they should have as targets.

For example some of the pages right now are taking upto 20 secs to load, we know its way too much.
If we say reduce it, they will reduce it to 10 secs and it still be slow and if we tell them to reduce to 2 secs then it might not be realistic.

Regards
Amarjit
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LVL 36

Expert Comment

by:Loganathan Natarajan
ID: 21804872
Ok, try considering to use some tools to do, like WEB CEO,

http://www.webceo.com/index.htm

when u do your site analyze here, you can get the details, what you are looking for
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Author Comment

by:amarjitkapur
ID: 22161515
Hi,

According to my developer, the above methods are best suited for websites with little interaction. Our site is actually an web application with a lot of internal procedures and interactions. What about be the best method to analyse and optimise such an web application?

Kind Regards
Amarjit
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:fibo
ID: 22165925
It seems you will need to profile your apps.

Look at tools from Zend for profiling php apps, and at mercury load to experiment heavy loads
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Author Comment

by:amarjitkapur
ID: 22168063
Hi,

My understanding of the technical terms is very limited.
Can you please explain what you mean profiling and heavy loads?


Regards
Amarjit
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:fibo
ID: 22168261
Profiling program allow you to get a profile of computer resources use, eg programs or data transfers.
There are several tools that allow that; usually the more complete the more complex.

If your programs are running php, then Zend (the current editor of PHP) has a profiling tool for php that is moderately difficult to setup.
There are other tools for asp pages etc.

Another track is to overload you server and to find where the bottlenecks happen. Mercury load is a commonly-used tool which allow to create these loads... and then to compare the performance impact of some changes
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Author Comment

by:amarjitkapur
ID: 22168492
Hi,

What are the best tools for ASP Pages?
How do we get hold of Mercury Load? Is it a free software or does it need to be licenced?

Regards
Amarjit
0
 

Author Comment

by:amarjitkapur
ID: 22203008
Hi,

Can someone answer my question please?
I have been told by my developer that there are hardly any realible tools for profiling ASP Pages?
Is that right, if yes, what is the best alternative then?


Regards
Amarjit
0
 
LVL 29

Accepted Solution

by:
fibo earned 250 total points
ID: 24743826
Hi Amarjit,

Browsing back on this old thread.


I am now using in most situations the 'Yslow' extension to FireFox (needs also the Firebug extension) which gives you a more detailed view of the performance factors.
It is meant for html, and does not care if they were generated in ASP, PHP or pure HTML: so they will give you some general help, which might already improve your performance quite a lot, but do not expect from this tool any help for fine-tuning your ASP.

Also, your highly interactive site is probably doing lots of SQL access, presumably to a MS-SQL database (you are not using MS-Access, right?) or a MySQL database.

Looking at your more frequent queries, you might consider adding indexes that would speed up these queries.

And of course you are not doing SELECT * queries (except in some cases), but just requiring those fields that you need: this may have a HUGE impact on SQL server, volume of data between the SQL server and the web/ASP server, and volume managed by the web/ASP server as well.

Anther source that might be overlooked by your developper, speciallyu if you have lots of pictures: are you transferring them at the right dimensions, so that the traffic is kept as low as possible
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