PIngdom Speed test - "Wait Time" - the server's fault or not?
I have a client that hosts a WP website with Hostgator. All comments aside about the use of a commercial host, the wait time on a pingdom test varies wildly. Sometimes it's 5 seconds, sometimes it's 15 seconds.
Is that a function of Hostgator themselves?
I have a test version of the site on my VPS and I ran the same test and the wait time is <2seconds.
But is there a definitive way to confirm that it's the shared sever he's using? I don't want to make him switch unless I can really prove that that's the issue.
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If you see the same results in your web browser - it's likely the server. If you only see it reported by Pingdom and can't reproduce yourself or using any other tool - it could just be Pingdom.
I've found Pingdom to be fairly consistent albeit always reporting higher than most. I.e. a page that loads for me in 0.9 seconds may report to Pingdom at 2.5 seconds but it's consistently ~2.5 seconds at Pingdom.
Is that site is very heavy or have a huge MySQL get on loaded while visiting your client domain ? Try optimizing the database. Most hosting companies applies restriction over the number of process running per second to avoid load and effect other clients on shared hosting plan.