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I'm talking about this one: Time spent downloading a page (in milliseconds)

Here's what I'm getting for one of my sites:

alt text

We are planning a complete overhaul of the site (new layout and switch from PHP to Django) so I'm curious if there's going to be a difference. But apart from other sites on the same server, running the same software, I have no other data to compare against.

Are these values normal? What are yours? Does it matter? Is there a better/easier way to benchmark a site? Am I asking too many questions at once?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

This really all depends. What kind of traffic are you serving up? High graphic intensity? Plain text?

If that was plain text, or almost plain text, or a plain page in the way Google presents most of its pages, then that's pretty poor. The time spent serving just the HTML portion of the page (no CSS, images, JavaScript parsing, etc) should be well under 500ms.

If you want to look into your issues in more detail, check out YSlow from Yahoo! - it's a FireFox Plugin (actually its a plugin to FireBug, which is a FF plugin), and its very good at telling you where you're going wrong. Ignore their scoring about a CDN though, it's irrelevant.

We run several websites that are very graphically intense and they all load, from the initial request to the final rendered page, < 200ms if they've been here before. First ever request = ~ 900ms (to download all the external content). Caching is your friend!

Edit: -- I am SO sorry, I read your question as "Google Analytics", not "Webmaster Tools". In this case, these numbers are perfectly fine. Our average is 1500ms for a huge site and 500ms for a really basic site. And our sites are heavily optimised!

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I see, and are you seeing that kind of values in the Webmaster tool as well or are you using a different tool? – Tomas Andrle Sep 3 '09 at 10:23
We were using a different tool, but I will take a look at our webmaster tools when I get to the office. – Mark Henderson Sep 3 '09 at 20:49
Oh man I'm so sorry. I mis-read your question. I am updating my answers now. I thought you were looking at Google Analytics! – Mark Henderson Sep 3 '09 at 22:20

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