How To Diagnose Slow-Loading Web Pages

If you're a regular reader of Gizmo's, you're probably the resident internet expert among your friends, family or company.  And you probably get asked for your advice at times on why a particular web site is running so slowly.

Sounds familiar?  If so, some simple free online tools can help you find out the cause of the problems, and they're very easy to use.

The tools in question are at www.webpageanalyzer.com and http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/.  In both cases, type in the URL of the page that's giving problems, and then just wait a few seconds for the report to appear.  In the case of WebPageAnalyzer, the report isn't particularly pretty, and sometimes doesn't appear at all, but when the system's working properly it produces a stack of useful data as well as lots of useful recommendations.  Pingdom, on the other hand, is reliable, and its reports are very pretty, but there's not so many useful recommendations so you're on your own.

A web page is made up of numerous file-based elements, each of which has to be loaded from the server every time someone views the page.  This includes the text of the page, any graphics it contains, plus Javascript files, CSS style sheets, etc etc.  It's not unusual for a single web page to make 200 separate calls to the server.  By using tools such as these, you can find out where all the time is being spent, and help speed up the site.

Impress your friends, family and colleagues, and get to know these 2 sites.

 

 

 

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Comments

by Peter M (not verified) on 25. August 2012 - 7:13  (98279)

Glad I got to this page at last.... Took a while. :-)

Must be my browser.

by gers (not verified) on 24. August 2012 - 19:50  (98269)

OPera web browser 1 click & java turned off/on

by Aram Iskenderian (not verified) on 26. August 2012 - 23:59  (98337)

That would test it on your local computer only. Not the scope of the article.

by Aram Iskenderian (not verified) on 24. August 2012 - 3:51  (98227)

@Tap Dancin' Mouse,
You are misunderstanding the article. This is not about slow loading on your local computer. This is about slow loading pages on all computers. For example if you have a site and your users are complaining that your page(s) are slow for them. Can happen even when your site is hosted on fast reliable servers from reliable hosting providers and even on CDNs.

Such services/technologies/software will attempt to identify and isolate the cause, whether it is a network issue, or it is a server side/code issue or other.

by Tap Dancin' Mouse (not verified) on 26. August 2012 - 23:33  (98336)

On the contrary,these programs may identify/isolate a "cause" but these offer no remedy nor control. Disabling JavaScript in the browser or installing NoScript does.....no need to install unnecessary software.

by Aram Iskenderian (not verified) on 27. August 2012 - 0:06  (98338)

I think you still didn't read the article and missed the point in my reply.
You can disable Javascript/Java/Flash, and any other plug-ins/addn-ons all you want, no question the page would load faster for your local computer.

That does nothing to the rest of the world, if there was a coding issue, in the page itself, and if there was a server side/network issue. That's what this article was referring to.

If you are a webmaster, website owner, system administrator, ...etc, disabling local browser features/plug-ins to test your local configuration is suicide because you are not actually troubleshooting the actual issue. Any serious business today would not have a website that looks professional without css/javascript.

That's why you need to troubleshoot the code/server/network instead of disabling browser features and assume everyone does.

That's why you see dozens of web services that offer such diagnostic tools.

by Tap Dancin' Mouse (not verified) on 24. August 2012 - 3:30  (98226)

Disable JavaScript at the browser or use NoScript,pages will load quicker and it will disable many trackers.

by Aram Iskenderian (not verified) on 23. August 2012 - 17:20  (98205)

Some of us are too lifeless to use Firebug or even wget/curl from the command line. :-)
As always, thanks for sharing.

by Rural MN (not verified) on 23. August 2012 - 16:51  (98204)

I prefer http://www.gtmetrix.com

It's not only pretty, it gives an in-depth analysis of everything going on with the page. Results can even be saved & scans can be set up to run automatically if one chooses to register. Oh, and it's free too. =)

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