Is Alexa Right About Websites’ Average Load Time?
Alexa is one of the popular SEO tool that also provides the chrome extension to check a website’s ranking, linking, and average load time. The extension shows a little information that you can click on to get redirected to Alexa’s official website.
Should you care about Alexa showing that your website’s average load time is very slow (slower than 100% of sites)?
Well, I tested Alexa’s chrome extension for a few weeks and decided to write an article to share my experience.
I tested a few websites and games.doomsplay.com was one of them. So here are the screenshots of this website’s page load time data from various tools.
1. Alexa: 13.985 Seconds
2. Webpagetest.Org: 3.228 Seconds (fully loaded time is 3.812s)
3. Pingdom Tool: 1.96 Seconds
4. GTMetrix: 2.3 Seconds
5. Google’s Pagespeed: 2.4 Seconds
Why Shouldn’t you care what Average Load Time Alexa shows for your website?
Same Load Time for Primary and Subdomains
Alexa Screenshot (look at the first screenshot of load time data) may have confused you a little because it appears as doomsplay.com, but the rest of the screenshots show games.doomsplay.com. Well, this is because Alexa always shows the primary domain and the average load time appears the same even for all subdomains. In my case, the primary domains have no data, it’s just a blank page. So I assume, Alexa is showing the load time for games.doomsplay.com. If it is the primary domain, it should be less than a second.
Unrealistic data based on the local machine/internet speed
Alexa doesn’t seem to have a realistic measurement programming setup that can test the average load time. If you want to test, just add the Alexa Chrome extension to your Google Chrome browser and try to browse your website using a slow internet speed connection for a few days. When Alexa updates your Page’s average load time next time, it is likely to show that your website is very slow.
Alexa just shows you the average load time without any suggestion what an individual website lacks that is slowing down the blog/site.
Alexa may show some actual data (as they claim) after subscribing to a premium plan and adding their provided code to your website. It’s not worth it, though. There are several better free and premium tools.
Conclusion (The One You Should Use)
Ignore what Alexa shows, it’s kind of a junky tool. If something doesn’t work, the company either needs to improve it or get rid of it. GTMetrix.com and Webpagetest.org are the best tools that show approximately correct (if not perfect) load time and provides feedback and suggestions. Google’s Pagespeed Insight is fine, but its mobile test load time result will give you a headache unless you are using AMP. Google still doesn’t know that Smartphones and Tablets are now faster than desktops and laptops.