‘Google Sites’ hosted Sites Speed: Slow as!

Google offers free web hosting as part of their ‘Google Sites‘ service. Anyone with a Google (gmail) account can sign up for a website with an address such as https://sites.google.com/site/%5Byoursitename%5D.

Google sites has some nice features, first and foremost that editing the website can be easily done online. Just click the edit button on your site and you can start. Moreover, although there is a large number of free webhosting providers, it often is doubtful for how long they will continue to host your website.

Google is usually a strong advocator of increasing the speed of the web; offering various tools and services for web content providers to monitor and control their services as well as improve their performance. It is all the more surprising that the load time of google hosted sites seems not to be very impressive.

Of course, from New Zealand most web pages appear to be loading with increased latency, but luckily there are a great number of web services available, which help to measure page load time from different locations and systems. I used the service http://www.webpagetest.org/ to test the load time of the google sites hosted page https://sites.google.com/site/eclipsemaven/.

Below I have listed a sample from the load time from a location in the US and in Europe. Google sites appear to be hosted in the US, so there is a slightly longer load time from the European locations. However, establishing the initial connection in both cases did not take much time. The most time seemed to be spent rendering the page on google’s server (time to first byte). As an advocator of fast page loading time, I would really have thought better of google.

From US location:

From European location:

(Test were performed on different days at different times)

Other hosting provider:

As a comparison, a simple page hosted by a budget web hosting provider in Germany:

Test from US location. In this test, the ‘Time to First Byte’ is significantly lower. I

2 thoughts on “‘Google Sites’ hosted Sites Speed: Slow as!

  1. well, there are several things :

    1) your comparison example doesnt run SSL, like the first two do
    2) even then, your start render in third case is over 4 seconds, while google makes it in 1.7 or 2.2 seconds, whole page done in 2.1s / 3.8s, while budget web hosting in 4.9 seconds

    so, time to fist byte is longer, but all the other results are significantly better, and maybe SSL plays a role here

    1. Hi Radek, thanks for your comment!

      Good point about the SSL! But, still, I feel that establishing an initial communication with ssl from US to US server could be quicker than measured above for Google sites ..

      The whole page done is not quite a fair comparison, since I did the test for different websites (which shouldn’t affect time to first byte too much if the pages are not huge).

      All in all, I still think Google sites is great and I try to host all my static web content there!


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