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The Navigation Timing API provides data that can be used to measure the performance of a web site. Unlike JavaScript-based libraries that have historically been used to collect similar information, the Navigation Timing API can be much more accurate and reliable.

This article currently describes Navigation Timing Level 1. There is a specification for Level 2, but it is not yet covered here.

Concepts and usage

You can use the Navigation Timing API to gather performance data on the client side which you can then transmit to a server using XMLHttpRequest or other techniques. Also, the API lets you measure data that was previously difficult to obtain, such as the amount of time needed to unload the previous page, how long domain lookups take, the total time spent executing the window's load handler, and so forth.

Interfaces

Performance
The window.performance property returns a Performance object. While this interface is defined by the High Resolution Time API, the Navigation Timing API adds two properties: timing and navigation, of the types below.
PerformanceTiming
Used as the type for the value of timing, objects of this type contain timing information that can provide insight into web page performance.
PerformanceNavigation
The type used to return the value of navigation, which contains information explaining the context of the load operation described by this Performance instance.

The Navigation Timing API can be used to gather performance data on the client side to be sent to a server via XHR as well as measure data that was very difficult to measure by other means such as time to unload a previous page, domain look up time, window.onload total time, etc.

Examples

Calculate the total page load time

To compute the total amount of time it took to load the page, you can use the following code:

var perfData = window.performance.timing; 
var pageLoadTime = perfData.loadEventEnd - perfData.navigationStart;

This subtracts the time at which navigation began (navigationStart) from the time at which the load event handler returns (loadEventEnd). This gives you the percieved page load time.

Calculate request response time

You can calculate the time elapsed between the beginning of a request and the completion of getting the response using code like this:

var connectTime = perfData.responseEnd - perfData.requestStart;

Here, the time at which the request was initiated (requestStart). from the time at which the response was finished being received (responseEnd).

Calculate page render time

As another example of an interesting piece of data you can obtain using the Navigation Timing API that you can't otherwise easily get, you can get the amount of time it took to render the page:

var renderTime = perfData.domComplete - perfData.domLoading;

This is obtained by starting with the time at which loading of the DOM and its dependencies is complete (domComplete) and subtracting from it the time at which parsing of the DOM began (domLoading).

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
Navigation Timing Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 6.0 (Yes) 7 (7) 9 15.0 8
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 4.0 (Yes) 15 (15) 9 15.0 8