DNS- DNS is the amount of time it takes to relate IP and Host names. A high DNS look up timing could mean problems with DNS servers. If it takes over 10 seconds, it may indicate the DNS server has timed out or can’t be reached. You should notice if you entered an IP address in host name field, no DNS look up will be conducted at all and time will be close to 0.
Connection time - How long it takes to connect to your own server. Being the main index , you having high connection time indicates possible routing or network problems.
Redirect -This is the time for any http to redirect to the redirected http service, plus the time needed to conduct your DNS look ups or your connection times occurring for that particular event..
First byte - Means the seconds it requires from establishing a connection until your first byte is ready to transfer, including negotiation time with the server and time the server needs to calculate results. If there is a problem with your server load or the page you monitor requires more time to send response to the client, your results will be too high.
Last byte - Refers to the seconds required to download final response from the server. If too high you should consider bandwidth upgrading to accelerate download speed from site or server. This is not applicable to monitoring basics when the server does not download data.
Jakob Niesen’s 1993 book, Usability Engineering, explained human attention span best:
- “0.1 second is about the limit for having the user feel that the system is reacting instantaneously, meaning that no special feedback is necessary except to display the result.
- 1.0 second is about the limit for the user’s flow of thought to stay uninterrupted, even though the user will notice the delay. Normally, no special feedback is necessary during delays of more than 0.1 but less than 1.0 second, but the user does lose the feeling of operating directly on the data.
- 10 seconds is about the limit for keeping the user’s attention focused on the dialogue. For longer delays, users will want to perform other tasks while waiting for the computer to finish, so they should be given feedback indicating when the computer expects to be done. Feedback during the delay is especially important if the response time is likely to be highly variable, since users will then not know what to expect.”
With all the considerations and complex issues involving your websites and use of the internet, why is responsiveness so important to the user? You own limitations in areas of attention and your own memory make fast response time highly significant and desirable to users. We humans need to feel in control. We need to not feel a computer is running our show. We humans consider companies that do not provide us with responsive service as arrogant and incompetent at what they do. We want a fast experience rather than a chic or sophisticated one. We relate more with sites where we move freely and can focus on the content of the site instead of terminal wait time.
Users today think the same as they did 15 years ago. Users still complain about slowness, and that still makes such an impression that speed is one of the brand values customers expect. If a site shaves a fraction of a second off its response, the rewarding result is a rocket lift in conversion rates for it. The actual working experience using a web site is more important to users than slogans. Customer opinions run more to personal experience and then to word of mouth praise for responsiveness.
Efforts to load web sites up with fancy widgets and entertaining sophistication only bog down response time and actually cost the web site the users it is trying to hold in its grasp. The adage of less is more still holds true with the internet, at least when discussing extra additives that divert your attention from the web site’s main thrust, and lets you fall between the cracks instead.
So in summary, our need for highly responsive speed of light web sites stems not from our intense business acumen and needs, but rather to the human brain and its capacity for attention focus and memorization. An adept poster graphic illustrates this particularly well. Your Brain on Slow Web Site.
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