When we run up against the "World Wide Wait," we tend to think that we're waiting for the requested page to download. But there's something that happens before the download even begins: The server on which the requested site lives must acknowledge the browser's request to view the site. In other words, if this were a telephone call, response time would be the number of rings before the telephone is picked up. And slow response time can be just as annoying to potential customers as five, eight, or 10 rings.

Understand How Response Time Is Measured
Response time is a product of server performance. Therefore, those tools that track your server activities are the tools that measure response times. Your ability to access and interpret response-time data will depend on your server model, i.e., where your site resides.

Troubleshoot Response Time Issues
You know the feeling of dialing a telephone number and then listening to ring after ring on the other end. With every ring you become more tempted to hang up - particularly if you're calling a business. Likewise, potential customers are more likely to surf over to the competition with every second they spend waiting for your page to respond to their browser. So if your response time is routinely more than one to two seconds (industry average is around 0.8 seconds), you need to take steps to reduce the wait.

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