Page load times in different countries


#1

Hi Dreamhosters,

Recently I started collecting page load timings with Google Analytics. I was generally quite pleased with the results which tended to very roughly correlate with each country’s technological maturity (if there is such a thing!). I was surprised to see, however, very slow load times for Australia and France. Given that all the timings are coming from the same pages, and at least for Australia there are enough data points to believe that the time reported is real, I must conclude that there is a great amount of latency between DH and Australia.

A sample of the results are below. Has anyone else noticed latency issues in Australia and/or France? Any ideas on how to improve those timings? I’m not too concerned with Jordan & South Africa (nothing personal, of course!) but I’d expect the infrastructure in France and Australia to support faster load times

Table:
      country          time    views samples
1.    South Africa     3.99    38    1     37.50%    21.05%
2.    Jordan           3.25    8     18    0.00%     25.00%
3.    Australia        2.46    347   116   13.56%    17.00%
4.    France           2.24    70    4     8.33%     17.14%
5.    Russia           1.56    80    12    50.00%    30.00%
6.    Croatia          1.55    7     18    33.33%    42.86%
7.    Canada           1.52    801   151   12.23%    17.35%
8.    New Zealand      1.43    364   99    17.91%    18.41%
9.    China            1.21    58    9     8.33%     20.69%
10.   United Kingdom   1.19    682   239   12.50%    16.42%
11.   United States    1.10    6,442 2,065 12.62%    17.59%
12.   Poland           1.07    126   99    13.04%    18.25%
13.   Brazil           1.01    46    158   38.46%    28.26%
14.   Denmark          0.98    10    36    0.00%     20.00%
15.   Italy            0.92    20    42    20.00%    25.00%
16.   Germany          0.86    213   32    10.00%    14.08%
17.   Netherlands      0.78    105   17    23.81%    20.00%
18.   Czech Republic   0.77    100   142   22.22%    27.00%
19.   Sweden           0.70    49    117   0.00%     20.41%
20.   Taiwan           0.68    98    28    10.00%    10.20%
21.   Spain            0.66    81    57    7.14%     17.28%
22.   Japan            0.49    704   84    11.90%    11.93%

#2

i’m from Brazil and my ping average is about: 290 ms
dreamhost support says has nothing to do to resolve


#3

Those numbers do seem odd. Why are Spain and Japan the top two, when they are at opposite ends of most “internet maturity” measures:

Ping times from DH to Australia are typically 187ms (7500 miles). For comparison, DH to the US east coast is around 80ms (2500 miles). Those times seem to be in line with the speed-of-light+switching limits.

Maybe some other factor is skewing the numbers (like ISP web caching, etc)?


#4

Well, averages don’t tell us anything about individuals. I’d guess that most visitors from Spain are on university networks which tend to be faster.

The vast majority of hits to my site are Ajax calls so caching would not really be an option.

Even when broken down by city, places like Sydney are still showing average load times of 2.5+ seconds, which for an Ajax application, is on the verge of being painfully slow.

in the end, there’s probably nothing I can do. Most users are getting page load times < 1.5 seconds which, according to Google webmaster tools, is around the borderline between fast and slow sites.

I was just wondering if there was something obvious I could do or whether there was any transitory connectivity issues anyone was aware of (such as a cable being repaired under the Pacific somewhere).


#5

@DreamHostSimon why my dedicated server ping is so high??
starting from 280ms to 600ms… i’m from Brazil. (ds1273)


#6

If you run some traceroutes that would show you where the slowdown is. The problem is likely to be an intermediate network, outside of DH’s control.

Pings from DreamHost to a San Paolo University server take around 175ms.


#7

But this site: http://www.macmagazine.com.br is hosted by www.liquidweb.com , and his ping take around 144ms to me

Liquidweb:
PING macmagazine.com.br (173.245.60.120): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 173.245.60.120: icmp_seq=0 ttl=51 time=144.802 ms
64 bytes from 173.245.60.120: icmp_seq=1 ttl=51 time=143.773 ms
64 bytes from 173.245.60.120: icmp_seq=2 ttl=51 time=139.130 ms

====
Dreamhost:
PING stiffprodutora.com (64.90.56.107): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 64.90.56.107: icmp_seq=0 ttl=43 time=275.548 ms
64 bytes from 64.90.56.107: icmp_seq=1 ttl=43 time=275.160 ms
64 bytes from 64.90.56.107: icmp_seq=2 ttl=43 time=284.464 ms


#8

If you haven’t already, you might try activating mod_pagespeed for your site to see if that improves the load time.


#9

You are comparing apples and oranges – MacMagazine and StiffProdutora are setup in different ways.

Although MacMagazine’s is hosted by LiquidWeb, it appears to be using the CloudFlare (http://cloudflare.com) Content Distribution Network (CDN) to cache and serve pages. Possibly LiquidWeb is reselling CloudFlare service, or MacMagazine purchased CloudFlare service themselves.

CloudFlare copies pages from a web site and distributes them to cache-servers all over the world (mostly northern hemisphere). When a user requests a page, they are sent to the closest CloudFlare cache-server, not the original web-host server. You will always see good ping times and page-load speeds to CloudFlare, because your browser is talking to a nearby cache-server.

StiffProdutora’s is hosted on DreamHost’s servers which are all in southern California and StiffProdutora doesn’t use a CDN. I believe MacMagazine’s web-host server is host.macmagazine.com.br (69.16.221.65), which is a LiquidWeb server in Michigan.

So pinging/tracerouting to 69.16.221.65 would give you a fair comparison between LiquidWeb and DreamHost. Generally, the farther you are from California/Michigan, the longer pings will take.

CloudFlare’s will work with any web hosting service, so you could use it with DreamHost. If you need the speed, you could sign up for CloudFlare’s free account plan and give it a try. This might help bobocat’s slow Australian page-loads too.


#10

I’ll look into that. Thanks.

I’m not sure how much good it would do though as 90% of the hits to my site can’t be cached because all the Ajax calls need to be customised for each click, but it is worth looking into.


#11

Right, CloudFlare wouldn’t help with AJAX calls, for that you would need to move to a distributed hosting service like Google App Engine (http://code.google.com/appengine/).

However, page-load times are important for AJAX apps, even though page-load times don’t include AJAX measurements. AJAX apps are typically much larger then static pages, with many more components (Javascript libs, css, ui images, etc). The size and component count all add extra latency.

A slow-loading app will make a bad first impression, and users may leave before any AJAX calls are made.

Note, I still think the page-load times you are seeing are wacky. I gather Google Analytics only measure page-load in a select group of browsers (Chrome, IE9, IE+GoogleToolbar), which could skew the results. The browsers make a weird mix of early adopters (Chrome) and trailing edgers (IE6+GoogleToolbar).


#12

Thanks, I’ll look into that in future. My site is a free service, and I don’t really have a budget, so cost is a big factor. In general I’m pleased with DH so far, but if it becomes popular, someday I’ll need to go distributed.

Do you mean that the page load times from Google Analytics are not representing any data loaded via Ajax? I would find that hard to believe. Based on the data I’ve seen, the ratio of recorded events matches what I would expect a user to encounter on my site in terms of Ajax/static

Yes, they are probably not representative of all users, but it’s better than no data at all. I’m not concerned about the too-fast-than-it-should-be wacky though… that’s just an extra bonus. It’s the slow load times that are troubling…


#13

Alexa reports my websites as very slow.

I wonder what is the problem, Dreamhost or Drupal ?