I just tested this site http://thesongmap.com (got home page down from 17.5 to 8 or 9 seconds so far). What I’m wondering is why it is showing a 2.5 second loadtime in pingdom tools (and an 88 score). I think what I’m seeing here reflects the true load times more accurately but I’m curious why the huge difference. I’ve never seen that large a difference in results before.
Make sure the connection speed used is the same as pingdom.
My guess is pingdom isn’t using network shaping so is testing from a high bandwidth, low latency link
As @AndyDavies says - Pingdom is pretty much entirely a synthetic test. It’s fine for running one test compared to another, but in no way represents what a real user will experience.
The connection is direct to the Internet backbone (so massive difference in bandwidth and latency compared to “normal” user) and it’s probably using a synthetic browser as well.
I actually had this info confirmed by Patrick Meenan @pmeenan who built most of the webpagetest tool here.
So use webpagetest set to location closest to your users and their typical bandwidth for much closer to “real” user testing.
Hope that helps?
FWIW, you can usually get closer to pingdom measurements if you go into the advanced settings and select “Native” for the connection type. That will turn off the traffic shaping and run as fast as the test agent can.
It’s still going to be different because WPT is running a full browser, rendering engine and all and it probably won’t be representative of actual users but the numbers should get closer.