Page speed also depends on viewers’ location

While you are trying to get to grips with the speed of your website, you can tweak every setting you like, but there is one factor that is harder to fix – location – location – location.

We currently host our site in the UK with Siteground. However, the table of results on this post, show that having the content in one place makes it far away from others. The local page speed is 1.1s, which is great. But the values from elsewhere are a little more concerning.

Thanks to for the statistics. You may want to signup for regular monitoring from these guys. Page speed from a Global perspective is an interesting angle to review. I have copied out the table and included that on the side or end of this post.

The only way to improve this situation globally is to use some CDN tool to distribute the static content like the images and javascript and CSS to servers closer to the customer. ie With a CDN service giving multiple local data centres. Our first call would be to Cloudflare. There is even an option to start using their system for free. Do not forget that another advantage of a provider like Cloudflare is that it will filter out many types of attacks on the site before they even reach your own server.

Your host may have an option to connect, or you can set it up quite easily yourself. Just make sure to follow all the steps. You can add a plugin to your site to help, but we don’t find it is always needed, so try without.- Unless your cache plugin has some specific options to take advantage of CloudFlare, in which case I recommend using them.

When you start checking results you need to run the test multiple times becuase local factors and time of day will make quite significant differences in your results. Remember, that when the web is busy, you are more likely to have visitors. So these times when your site is slower could well be the time most people visit. That is why it is so inportant to have a good responding site, so that when things are slow, you still produce a good responding site. Do not end in the 10-20second responses that some sites show after ‘our amazing new interactive web site’ is launched. Nobody will stay around for the ride. They will be off to the competitor.

The following table of results are just two picked at the start and end of creating this post. Regular testing is the only way for a true benchmark, but you may find these results revealing. Scale up if your site is taking 5 seconds to load locally and I think you can see the potential problems you can face.

Time GMT 15:00 16:30
Warsaw, Poland 1.9 2.6
WA, USA 3.4 4.6
VA, USA 3 3.2
Tokyo, Japan 6.5 8.2
Tel-Aviv, Israel 3.9 5.5
TX, USA 2.9 4.1
South Africa 5.3 4.9
Shanghai, China 44.4 8.5
Paris, France 3 2.9
NY, USA 2.3 3.8
Mumbai, India 4.9 5
Montreal, Canada 3.3 3.8
MN, USA 3.3 4.3
London, UK 1.1 1.6
Hong Kong, China 24.3 23.1
Frankfurt, Germany 2.4 2.7
FL, USA 2 2.7
CO, USA 2.4 4
CA, USA 2.5 1.9
Buenos Aires, Argentina 10.3 10
Brisbane, AU 5.7 8.5
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1.3 1.4
Amazon-US-East 2.1 3.2
Beijing, China

Here is the report to show that my Javascript and CSS are bigger than my images! – Can only now impress YSlow by merging these together.

Click on image for a better look