Every Millisecond Counts: Why I Created Bitcatcha’s Server Speed Checker

By    Last updated December 07, 2016   Web Development

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You could be losing thousands of potential sales and conversions.

 

Why?

 

The answer is simple. Your website is too slow.

 

On the internet, every second counts. Every millisecond counts! If your site takes too long to load, people will leave and find somewhere else.

 

 

Let’s look at the facts:

 

  1. Amazon would lose $1.6 BILLION every year if they slowed down by a second!
  2. Nearly half of internet users expect your site to load in less than two seconds.
  3. 40% will leave completely if it takes longer than three seconds to appear.

 

It’s clear that speed matters. We love speed. We can’t get enough of it. We’re looking for answers quickly, and we expect to find them.A fast website means a better user experience. It means happy customers and more sign ups to your mailing list. It means more pageviews and more people sharing your content. It means more trust in you and your company.Bottom line: a fast website equals more sales. More profit.But it’s not just your visitors that are hungry for quick load times.

 

 

Google love a fast website

 

Google actively seek out quick websites and rank them high on their search pages. They are looking for excellent user experience. And why wouldn’t they be? Google want to give their users answers. Fast.

 

The quicker your website, the higher you rank on Google.

 

You’re already wondering how your website measures up, aren’t you?

 

 

That’s where Bitcatcha’s speed checker comes in…

 

I created Bitcatcha’s very own server speed checker for one simple reason.

 

To show you how fast (or slow) your server is performing.

 

Now, before I go into more detail, let’s break down the two main factors that affect your overall website load speed.

 

Number 1: The server speed delivered by your webhost.

 

Number 2: Your web design, cleanliness of code, cache, plugins and visual media.

 

If this is confusing, think of it like a car. Number 1 (your server speed and web host) is your engine. It’s how long – in milliseconds – it takes for your server to respond to a request.

 

This is what Bitcatcha’s server speed checker measures.

 

Number 2 is everything else. It’s how long your images and content take to appear. In our car metaphor, it’s the bodywork, wheels and styling. Everything around the engine.

 

Now, you can make your car’s bodywork more aerodynamic, and you can install the fastest, grippiest tyres.

 

But if the engine is slow, you’re going nowhere fast.

 

It’s the same with your website.

 

Sure, you can trim your code, optimise your images and compress your pages.

 

But if your web host and server speed – your engine – is slow, then your whole website is slow.

 

"Web hosting holds the single biggest responsibility for the performance of your website."

 

So – quite simply – Bitcatcha’s speed checker shows you how fast your engine – your web host – is performing.

 

Is your web host holding you back?

 

 

The trouble with web hosting…

 

…is that there simply isn’t enough impartial information about what’s out there.

 

Most new website owners tend to pick the cheapest option, with no thought to speed or performance.

 

Even the larger webmasters tend to make judgements based on reviews, hearsay and personal recommendations.

 

Where’s the empirical data? Where are the numbers?

 

Shopping for web hosting is like shopping blind. You’re lost in a sea of opinions and anecdotal information. It’s too easy to get upsold a lousy service.

 

Here at Bitcatcha, I want to offer people real numbers and facts! Of course, we do feature reviews and interviews too.

 

But ours are backed up with cold, hard numbers.

 

Server speed is one of the only measurable metrics of your web host. And that’s why I built the server speed checker. To show you how well your web host is working for you. With real, tested data.

 

 

So, how does the Bitcatcha speed checker work?

 

Well, for you, this part is super simple.

 

All you have to do is enter your web address and press ‘go’.

 
 
Server Speed Test

 
 
Now it’s our turn to do the computer wizardry and show you the numbers. Here’s how it works.

 

Step 1.

 

After entering your domain name, we immediately resolve the DNS and find the real IP address. That tells us exactly where your server is.

 

In plain terms, we locate the small corner of cyberspace your website is sitting on.

 

Step 2.

 

Next, we send eight different pings to your server. That means we emulate the process of eight different people visiting your website.

 

We do this from eight global locations. Namely, New York, LA, London, Brazil, India, Singapore, Japan and Australia.

 

That way, we get a complete global picture of your server speed.

 

Step 3.

 

We measure the time it takes for each of these ‘pings’ to get a response from your website.

 

Now we’ve got eight median speed values. We calculate the average and present you with the results in milliseconds.

 

Step 4.

 

Next, we’ll show you how that number measures up against 10 million other websites the Alexa Top 10,000 Global Sites. We have actively tested every one of them; and if you think that’s a lot, we plan on testing another 95 million before we’re done! (We find that benchmarking your website against the top global sites is more meaningful because they are top for reasons, aren’t they?)

 

 

So, what’s a good server speed result?

 

Google have revealed that they’re looking for sites with a server response time of less than 200ms.

 

That’s your goal.

 

Try your website on the Bitcatcha speed checker right now.

 

If it’s slower than 200ms, it’s time for a change. It means your web host is holding you back. Your engine is too slow.

 

It’s losing you conversions and driving your Google search rank down.

 

Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of resources to help you look for a faster, more reliable service.

 

 

After all, that’s what we’re here for.

 

We’ve interviewed website owners and asked them about their web hosts. We’ve also built a tool to show you the best host for you. Are you a blogger, online seller, or consultant? We’ll show you the best host for your business.

 

And, if you loved the Bitcatcha speed checker, please share it with your friends.

 

Speed is important. Make sure your web host is keeping up.

 

Thanks for reading. If you’ve got questions or stories about server speed, please get in touch. I’m here to help!

 

 

Daren Low

Daren Low is the founder of Bitcatcha.com and co-developer of the free Server Speed Checker. With a decade of experience in website development and internet marketing to his name, Daren is considered a premier authority on all things related to building and managing an online presence. Feel free to pick his brain by connecting via and Twitter.

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  • I appreciate your website. After reading the content I just had to try out your Bitcacha Speed Checker
    and was relieved that my site was not too bad. Can’t wait to read the rest of your posts to make sure everything on my site is in top shape. It seems a shame to develop a product, make a beautiful website, and word the content just right but then it takes too long to load and potential customers click off to get their information elsewhere. I’m guilty of this impatience also. If it takes more than 3 seconds I’m off to the next one.

  • I am glad that you find the tool useful and congratulations on your fast hosting! How quickly a website loads definitely affects the user experience and the sales. Overlooking the fact of how much damage a slow server can do to a website is absolutely not smart.

  • TheSimpleHomemaker

    You’re totally right! I didn’t give too much thought to my speed, focusing more on the right turn of phrase or pinnable image.

  • TheSimpleHomemaker

    You are absolutely correct–if a page takes too long to load, I’m outta there! Who knows what I could be missing, but more importantly, what that business is losing.

    I was shocked by the statistic about how much Amazon would lose if they slowed down by one second. I remember ages ago when the internet was young and we would click on a link, go wash some dishes, click on another link, change the baby, etc. Today, people want instantaneous results.

    I checked our websites–all B+. Good, but not good enough. We’ll have to stick around and figure out how to bump them up a grade.

    Thanks for a very informative post–I definitely am the student today!

  • I just put my website in and I got a B+ is that good? I think I rank well for a lot of terms so while I’m sure speed is a big factor in SEO, I think other factors are more important. That being said, a fast site is better for the user so as you mentioned this is more than just about SEO. You really want your viewers to come back and the surest way to have them not come back is a slow site.

    Also like to mention that your tool is pretty cool and will give webmasters a good spot to test their site to see how it stacks up. Great work!

  • Katy Smith

    I think speed is a huge issue with websites and web hosting. I know that I’ll leave a website if it doesn’t load in a few seconds. (Ain’t nobody got time for that) I really like your server speed checker. I made a Wix site for my freelance business and it scored like 71ms in the US (East?). I guess that’s pretty decent.
    Again, thanks for the article! It was very informative, especially for somebody who doesn’t know too much about this here tech-y mumbo-jumbo.