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Difference between Response Time and Page Load Time

In your Pingdom reports you will see two words to describe your website speed: Response Time and Load Time. Response Time is a term used in your Uptime reports, and Page Load time or just Load Time is something you'll see in the RUM and Page Speed reports. You might think it's just different terms for the same thing, but they are quite different! This article will touch upon the difference between the two.

Response Time

For an uptime check (http check) the response time is calculated as the time it takes to perform a HTTP GET to the specified URL, so the response time is calculated in three parts:

  • Time to first byte
  • Time to receive headers
  • Time to load HTML of the site

Skipping dynamic content, most of you will recognize this as basically a cURL request. If you want a response time that is just TTFB (time to first byte) you can use a Ping check as this is almost equivalent.

The Uptime check doesn't load any other elements on the page, and will thus only give you the Response Time of your website or server.

You can read a lot more about Response Time here.

Load Time

In the RUM reports as well as the Page Speed reports Load Time is what we use to describe how long a specific page took to load in its entirety, this includes all images, scripts, CSS and third party resources (as well as the HTML of course) that might be found on a website.

These reports will combine the load time of each element on the page to give you the total page load time, and this is why the load time of a website often is a lot higher than the response time.

 You can read more about the Page Speed check here, and RUM (Real User Monitoring) here.

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