ANN: eValid FT-150 Top Page Download Time Survey

Discussion in 'Cisco' started by SR, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. SR

    SR Guest

    eValid: FT-150 Top Page Download Time Survey

    How does WebSite quality track with company size and reputation?
    How well do big companies WebSites compare? Can we learn something
    by studying the technical properties of these big company's

    In an earlier in-depth study we detailed some partial answers to
    this question; see:


    But what about a web surfer's very, very initial experience? What
    you might call the "speed of first encounter" experience. What
    happens when someone goes to the very topmost page of a WebSite?
    For just these pages alone, how do the FT-150 sites compare?

    Experimental Setup

    To find out we used eValid's record/play capability to record total
    page download times.

    The playback script downloads the top page of the each of the 150+
    sites with eValid set up to run with an empty cache, exactly the way
    you would download the page the very first time you navigate to that
    page. The full page timings are reported in the Performance Log.

    We ran the test script on fast DSL connections. From our office
    here in San Francisco, we ran the test 10 times and averaged the
    data. We ran the same test from Eastern Canada, from France, and
    from South Africa, all with similar speed web connections. each
    page, To minimize the effect of web latency all the test downloads
    were run in quick succession. As a result, the performance data
    differences we observed are due to primarily to variations between
    the particular WebSite's server capabilities and not on web latency
    or "last mile" factors.


    Here is a sampling of the results we found. Some were expected;
    some were amazing.

    o The achieved download rate varied by nearly 16:1. Because the
    rates never exceeded 40% of available DSL capacity, and the
    tests were run so quickly on after the other, we know that the
    wide variation we observed is due primarily to server

    o The top page size on the 150+ WebSites varied from 17 KB to over
    575 KB, a 32:1 ratio. Amazingly, some of the larger pages
    actually were downloaded and rendered quicker because the
    servers were faster so much faster.

    o The average top page took ~5.9 seconds to download. This is
    well over the "the 3-second click-away rule" -- the guideline
    that is generally accepted as a worst-case response criteria.
    Amazingly, some pages took as long as 65 seconds.

    The conclusion is that the biggest companies often don't pay as much
    attention as you'd think to maximizing the "speed of first
    encounter" -- probably to their detriment. We think they could do a
    lot better.

    You can see the complete results -- including the full set of download
    timing data -- at:


    Please let us hear from you if you have any questions or comments!

    eValid Division
    Software Research, Inc.
    1663 Mission Street, Suite 400
    San Francisco, CA 94103 USA


    Phone: +1 (415) 861-2800
    FAX: +1 (415) 861-9801
    SR, Jan 16, 2004
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