S peed-
S urvey
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Frequently Asked Questions

What do you measure?

  1. The time from click to page display start.
    Where possible, normally only on links between measured pages.
  2. The time from page display start to page display end without images.
    Depending on the page content this may require some images to be loaded.
  3. The time from page display end to loading of the last image.
    This can be surprisingly long.
To provide additional information, we record the context of the above measurements.

What results to you get?

Have a look at the report for this site from its first month. Example Report

Does this replace benchmark testing?

No, benchmark testing is a valuable part of the development of a successful website. If you can afford to do benchmarking, it will be invaluable for solving software and configuration problems long before they become "mission critical". The Speed-Survey intends to provide an ongoing, in the field, form of performance testing that will back up the bechmark suites. One thing that you might find if you use both, is how representative your benchmark simulation environment is.

Can I use it on my website even if I only have FTP access?

Yes, the measurements are carried out on the visitors browser and require no server involvement. So a web hosting service that only offers FTP access is no barrier to using the service.

I use SSI to construct my pages with a common header/footer is this a problem?

No problem, simply set up the same data for every page of the site in one go. The only minor difficulty would be if you had some pages with very low traffic levels, which would result in insufficient data being recorded for those pages. But if they are so seldom visited then they are obviously not part of the core website.

I generate my pages from Perl/PHP/ASP/JSP is this a problem?

Not really, the measurements are carried out by JavaScript and so the code is delivered as part of the HTML source of each page. You need to take care to properly escape the quotation marks in the code.

I use frames on my site, is this a problem?

No, you need to place the measurement code on each of the content pages as well as the parent frame.

I use mirrored/balanced servers for my site is this a problem?

No problem, we can even measure the delivery performance across all your servers, or each server (provided you have a very slight difference on each server's version). See the instructions.

My site contains adult material, is this a problem?

No problem, we treat all sites the same for this service. However, you may not be permitted to enter the general section of our forthcoming Speed-Survey Awards.

Can I measure my intranet delivery?

Probably, if your intranet users also have reasonably unrestricted internet access - and so can see this site then recordings can be made. Some people even use it in emails. This may increase your overall bandwidth usage.

Can I measure the password protected/private sections of my site?

Yes, the browser will act as normal once authentication has been completed. However, you should avoid using the service for pages that are accessed with password information as part of the URL.

Can I use the service for my secure server?

Yes, please contact us so that we can send you alternative instructions.

Will the measurements slow down my site?

Very slightly, an average of around 18 milliseconds per page.
The small print The browser has to execute the JavaScript required to make the measurements. If the browser has not yet encountered JavaScript in the current session, then it can take up to 500ms (depending on browser) to start an interpreter. This is rare as most ISP home pages contain at least some JavaScript. The first part of the script takes around 8ms to run. After this the page will display. If a visitor clicks on another link there can be a delay of up to 40ms before action if measurements are still being made. Any onLoad events in JavaScript of your own can be delayed by up to 60ms.

Can I make the measuring code an external script?

No, this will affect your measurements making the results invalid.

Will the measurements increase my bandwidth usage?

Very slightly, because you are adding content to each page then the page size grows. The recordings do not pass through your site and so will not affect your bandwidth usage.

How much does it cost?

0, free, nothing, gratuit. We do however welcome donations.

Do I need to register?

No, all we need to know about you comes from the use of the service. We may at some point contact you regarding improvements to this service, and other services offered by Speed-Survey. We will not bombard you with junk mail.

How do I start using the service?

Follow the step by step instructions.

How are the results delivered?

By email to the address detailed in the configuration of the measurements. Please note that the email can be large, when the results reach 1Mb in size they will be stored for a limited period on a download site and the email will provide only the download URL. Results are not reproduced as part of the free service. See the instructions.

What if I change email address?

You should change the details in your configuration as soon as possible. Send us an email to let us know and we can redirect existing measurements.

How do I stop using the service?

Simply remove the measurment code from your pages.

Are there any security issues?

Yes, the information you place in the configuration part of the pages could be considered confidential. We have taken steps to try to obfrusticate your email address from crawlers. We do not need the real visitor statistics, so if you wish to change them please enter a lower figure than your actual traffic level.

Can I compare my site with other sites?

No, we consider all sites performance figures to be confidential information, and as such kept between you, the Speed-Survey and its partners. You could always ask other webmasters if they would let you see their results.

How can I find out more?

Contact us using info@speed-survey.net.

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