Friday, June 13, 2008

Server Response Time Affects Ranking and User Experience

The faster your server responds, the better. Load time affects both user experience and how search engines evaluate your web site. Elements of a page's load time include many things, like:

  • server response time
  • file size of html, image, stylesheet, scripts and other external files
  • the user's network connection and location

Search engines factor load time into how they rank pages. Google includes load time into its rankings and server response time impacts load time. A page of any size can only be loaded after the server responds to the browser's request.

A faster server response will mean the page loads more quickly for the user, and that affects how comfortable and how much control a user feels while browsing the web. Visitors are more likely to stay on a site that loads quickly. Since 0.1 seconds is the limit for users feeling that they are directly manipulating objects in the UI Jakob Nielsen, Response Time Overview), every moment counts.

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