Acceptable Website Load Times for Best User Experience

This article delves into the criticality of website load times for an optimal user experience. It addresses the average load times for different metrics like page, server response, and mobile page load times, emphasizing the importance of maintaining them within acceptable limits for user retention and engagement. The article suggests tools for diagnosing and improving website performance, highlighting the direct impact of load times on marketing efforts, search rankings, and overall site traffic.

Slow Websites affect your marketing efforts because a slow loading page not only impacts your conversion rate but can also impact AdWords Landing Page Quality and ranking in Google search. Improving the performance of your website would in turn improve traffic to your site. Hope, you remember my old post on How to Fix Bounce Rate for More Traffic, now, this post will help you in identifying the standard webpage load times across the verticals.

Obviously, before diagnosing an issue with site load times, you must be aware that there is a problem. With your Google Analytics (GA) account, and the right settings, you could be alerted when your page load times raises above critical levels.

To get an overview of your websites overall performance, you should download this dashboard that configures into your Google Analytics Account. Head over to Google Analytics Solution Gallery and search for “Site Performance Dashboard”.

For each of the following metrics, I recommend that you set an alert to reach you when it goes above acceptable levels.

  • Avg. Page Load times: 3 seconds
  • Avg. Server Response Time: 2 Seconds
  • Avg. Domain Lookup Time: 0.15-1 Second
  • Mobile Page Load Time: 5 seconds
  • Page Load time by Browser: 3 Seconds
  • Load Time for Popular Pages: 3 Seconds
  • Domain Lookup by Country: 0.15-1 Second (for Target audience Countries)
  • Server Response Time by Country: 2 Seconds (for Target audience Country)
  • Redirect Time for Countries: As small as possible (for Target audience Country)

You can find more information on how to create alerts, here.

“According to surveys done by Akamai and, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.” – From Kissmetrics

After identifying the presence of the problem, you need to diagnose the cause that is causing the issue. Yes, there could be multiple reasons for a site’s slow page load time. Here are some of them:

  • A server is slow to respond to the request.
  • The requested page is large.
  • Requested resources embedded in page are large.
  • Page contains server-side code that requires significant processing.
  • Database is slow to respond.
  • Page manipulates a lot of data before responding.
  • Rendered page on the client contains a lot of code and runs slowly.
  • A client is slow to resolve IP from the domain.
  • Network between client and domain is slow or congested.
  • And More.

To get to the specific issue, I would recommend using the combination of the following free tools: Pingdom Tools, Google’s Webmaster Tools, UptimeRobot,, Webpagetest. Pingdom Tools and Webpagetest can run a site speed check in detail. The results will give the overall loading time plus a list of your files and how long each of them took to load. That way, you can see what specifically is slowing things down. Pingdom and Webpagetest will save your test results so you can compare different days and times.


Google’s Webmaster Tools will automatically log your site’s load time every day. You can view these stats under Health—> Crawl Stats. The concerned graph is called “Time spent downloading a page (in milliseconds)”. Webmaster Tools will show you trends over time.


There are many more tools that could help you diagnose your issues with page load times. If you use or have used other tools to help you with this, I would like to hear back from you with what tools you recommend as well as your comments.

You can reduce the website page load time drastically, a self-hosted WordPress website can load fast by getting it on a managed professional WordPress hosting providers like Kinsta and WP Engine.

Ankit Prakash
Ankit Prakash

Ankit is a seasoned technology entrepreneur and founder of Aritic and EasySendy. With over 10 years of experience building product-led B2B SaaS companies, he is focused on ambitious goals and bringing innovative platforms to market. As a Principal Founder, Ankit leads product, engineering, marketing, and strategic partnerships for Aritic's suite of sales and marketing automation tools. He has grown the brand to over $120M valuation and $8M+ in revenue since 2015. Ankit is passionate about analyzing and reviewing software to provide readers with authoritative, in-depth insights. His articles cover martech, SaaS, entrepreneurship, and other technologies based on his hands-on expertise. He stays on top of industry trends and best practices in product marketing, performance marketing, inbound marketing, and content marketing. His work has been featured in leading publications including G2Crowd, Scoop.It, Brandvertisor, Martech Advisor, Smart Insights, and more. Driven by a dedication to shaping the future of B2B SaaS, Ankit enjoys translating his experiences building, marketing, and scaling companies into actionable thought leadership.

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  1. Finally, we moved our money making website from WordPress, to our java based platform. On old CMS, we were not able to update the setting according to acceptable load times, this was impacting our organic traffic. Now, with improved speed of around 4 Second, we are able to get more traffic.

    • Yes Anna, when it comes to tweak WordPress for speed it takes a lot. Recently, I started using Kinsta WordPress hosting.

  2. Yes it is the true fact if your page load time is slow generally google didn’t rank your site.
    A very useful article

  3. I didn’t even know that website load times play a vital role in improving or dampening the user experience. Can you suggest some good tools that can help to monitor the load times of my website. Also, some tips to improve my website performance.

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