Initial request took longer than 3 seconds to load

Rule from network under performance category

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Slow response times increase page abandonment with the average user only waiting 6-10 seconds before leaving a site. Response times of less than 1 second feels instantaneous to the user, while in the range of 1 second a user maintains his/her thought process. Anywhere from 6 seconds and longer, the user loses patience with the site and will abandon it.

The error could present itself by simply having a slow website due to application code. Or just a slow connection to the server overall. Which could indicate that your link is saturated and it's time to upgrade to a bigger or more servers to handle the traffic. Shared hosting is a common problem here.

When testing we expect to see that the server responds with content for the user to start processing in under a second at a minimum, and ideally this would happen as close to 100ms (the goldy locks zone of response time) as possible.

How do I fix this ?

  • Enable Gzip compression
  • Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
  • Minify your JavaScript and CSS files
  • Test database queries for inefficiency
  • Add an Expires or a Cache-Control Header
  • Combine external JavaScript and CSS files
  • Test and optimize code related to requests
  • Move CPU intensive operations to the client
  • Reduce the number of HTTP requests being made
  • Use page level caching or leverage local storage

Resources

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