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Load Time Analyzer

September 29th, 2006 at 5:00am — Rating: Firefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox no pointLink

I really had to dig to find this one.

Developers should enjoy this extension. The LTA (Load Time Analyzer) is provided by Google and installs nicely as a toolbar on the top of Firefox.

According to the site, the intended use is as follows:

  1. Choose which events you’d like to record using the “Record” drop-down menu.
  2. Click the “Clear” button on the toolbar to reset the event log.
  3. Visit a web page.
  4. Click the “Graph” button to display the page load graph.
  5. Use the “Scale” menu to view the graph more easily.
  6. Choose which events to graph using the “Graph” menu.
  7. Choose which labels to show on the graph using the “Text” menu.
  8. Change the colors of the graph by clicking the “Colors...” button.

The data in the graph proves useful in showing how long it takes for each section of the page to load. Using this graph, you can focus of which section of the page needs optimized and provide a faster page load...all thanks to Google.

The downsides to this extension are the presentation (translation: colors and buttons) and the Events and Time metrics. First, the presentation. Since Google's name is on this extension, it makes me wonder if a developer at Google developed it and just shipped it out the door without pretty-ing it up. Just a visible usability issue. This may be a personal preference to me, so just ignore me. :-)

Secondly, at first glance, you can't determine what you're gauging by the numbers. Are the numbers in seconds or milliseconds? You don't know. I imagine they're milliseconds.

The LTA extension is still excellent for testing your web pages for simple speed metrics and the graph can easily be used to analyze and optimize your layout for quicker load times.