What is server response time?

A guide on server response time

Server response time is simply the time it takes from when someone clicks on a link to your webpage and the time it takes for your server to start to send the page content back to your visitor.

Why is server response time important?

The obvious answer to this is that a faster website is going to provide a better experience to your visitors overall. From surveys done we can get an insight into visitor behavior and how much this effects your traffic and conversion rates as well as what kind of speeds we should be aiming for. Here are some interesting stats on why speed is important.

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less
  • 40% will abandon your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load
  • If your website is generating $100,000 a day a 1 second delay in page load could cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year!

Based on Google's speed test rules we know that google likes websites to respond in under 200 milliseconds. Googles search rank algorithms take into account page speed so not only does every second count from your user experience and bounce rates but also effects how much traffic your site will get in the first place.

What could be effecting my server response time?

There are a large number of technical elements which can impact your server response time some of the main reasons are:

  • Server specification
  • Network bandwidth
  • Website build quality
  • Database queries
  • Pages and data not being cached

We have seen many examples of websites suffering from these issues and they stem from two separate sources. 

  • Incorrect or bad hosting/server
  • A poorly built/optimized website

These two sources of poor performance also go hand in hand. A poorly built/optimized website means you will need a more powerful server/host and a more powerful host means you can get away with your website not being as optimized as it should.

Our customers often forget about traffic from different countries. The most common mistake when people sign up for hosting packages is not knowing where there server is located. Having a server in a different country can add 100-300+ milliseconds on to your response time potentially tipping visitors over the edge when it comes to abandoning your website.

What do i do to improve my server response time?

In addition to the website monitoring services we provide we also provide server monitoring which enables you to keep track on server resources such as CPU, Memory, Disk & Network utilization. This can help identify what your server is struggling with which in turn may provide you with quick resolutions by simply increasing the resources on your web server. These performance reports can also help your developers in optimizing their code for example, High CPU can indicate a lack of caching. Server Monitoring is only available to you if you have a dedicated or in house server and therefore you may need a specialist to analyze your site if this is not an option for you.

Due to the number of different factors unless you are an expert developer we suggest you get in touch with the team at DYSC IT Solutions. They high quality optimized websites and has been resolving speed issues on their clients websites for years. They can provide a free consolation and site optimization plan to get your site performing as it should.

My response time is good so why should I monitor it?

Fluctuations in server response times happen all the time and can be caused by a number of reasons out of your control. Problems can be caused by your Host, ISP, Server Administrator or Web Developer. Here are some common scenarios which cause changes in server response time:

  • Host adds a new website onto your server which hogs resources.
  • A new backup plan causes bottlenecks in the server connection due to data transfer.
  • Increase in traffic means server is under stress at specific times
  • Host decides to add restrictions on your website to limit the amount of resources you can use.
  • Some guy in the data center decides to download the latest 4k film

If your not monitoring your response time yet sign up here for a free trial of monitormyweb

Conclusion

In our experience a slow server response time has one of the biggest impacts on the ability to create and retain customers. Its also the most basic and fundamental way of telling how fast your website is loading for customers.

If you are experiencing server response times over 200ms we urge you to seek help from our team at DYSC who can help you give your customers a better experience and potentially save you thousands in lost revenue.

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