Pretty much what I’ve been telling everybody (see my previous post) that Google is now increasing their interest in Optimized Website Performance – Faster Website Load Time. This is now finally evident in the new Site Performance Tool in the Google Webmaster Labs where you can see your site load time in historical aspect.
For example one of my website shows:
On average, pages in your site take 1.8 seconds to load (updated on Jan 30, 2010). This is faster than 72% of sites. These estimates are of medium accuracy (between 100 and 1000 data points). The chart below shows how your site’s average page load time has changed over the last few months. For your reference, it also shows the 20th percentile value across all sites, separating slow and fast load times.
Additionally Google released a Page Speed Browser Plugin which allows you to easily find which page is lagging and needs performance optimization. From the stats above you can clearly note that 1.8 seconds average page load for a database driven website is pretty much excellent. If your website has large images and other large components then most probably your load time will be slower and you may need to get it optimized. For images I suggest you use JPEG 80% Compression. That works great for me. I also suggest you don’t use larger than 600 pixels.
If you install the Firefox FireBug plugin — expert web developer optimization plugin — you can quickly track down what are the weaker points of your website design. With a bit of skill you can quickly cache up and gzip to content transmission with few percent.
The most important thing is that now Professional Webmasters will enjoy some small benefits in optimizing their websites. So don’t stand here, fix your site!