On Browsers, Countries and Browsing Speed

Today I have decided to study the relationship between browsers, countries and browsing speed. For starters, let me explain how ClickTale measures browsing speed.

What we do is measure the time (in milliseconds) it takes to load the HTML (the DOM) for each page-view as well as the time it takes to load the entire page. The reason there are two separate parameters is that browsers usually continue loading images and other external resource some time after the entire HTML is loaded. We provide this load time data to our subscribers as part of the ClickTale service.


Let’s see what the average load times are for the top 4 browsers that we support:

Browser Average Page Load (ms) Average HTML Load (ms)
IE 6 3612 1990
IE 7 2715 1279
FireFox 1.5 2824 1145
FireFox 2.0 3431 1132

Disclaimer: This was measured on a subset of a couple of hundred thousand page-views dated 6/2006-11/2006 and is in no way considered statistically representative or accurate. The results are purely for you reading pleasure.


You can see that if you are using IE 6 then statistically your browsing speed should be the worst. Personally, I would like to believe that it is correct and that IE 7 is indeed faster than the mature IE 6, however it may also suggest that those who use IE 7 have better internet connection and/or hardware.

I can’t explain why FireFox 2.0 is slower than FireFox 1.5 . At first I thought that it is due to beta versions of FireFox 2.0 but it turned out that FireFox 2.0 beta is an insignificant part of the subset. I sure hope FireFox doesn’t go downhill from here.

There doesn’t seem to be a significant difference between IE 7 and FF1.5 . Both seem to be equally fast in loading webpages.


The next “study” is statistically more accurate. We look at the time it takes to load a single page, our homepage, from different locations around the globe. Our servers are located in the US, so this can also show us the quality of internet connection between the US and different locations around the globe, as well as the quality of hardware in different locations.

Country Average Page Load (ms) Average HTML Load (ms)
United States 1883 496
Netherlands 1917 560
Canada 2134 564
Sweden 2144 446
Belgium 2313 579
United Kingdom 2343 523
Norway 2841 625
Israel 3046 821
France 3159 755
Japan 3393 1450
Germany 3425 810
Italy 3871 837
Australia 4031 1102
Spain 4319 1050
Brazil 7606 1599
China 9070 2801
India 9933 1803


First, it is amazing to see how page load times can vary between different countries. Average load times can be as much as five times slower than you expect from your home location.

I have decided to include only countries with sufficient statistical data. Some countries have shown even slower load times but there was not enough data to reach conclusions.

Next time

Do people scroll bellow the fold??!
How many visitors scroll to the bottom of the page?!?
When will ClickTale go public?