A key issue is the time your website takes to respond to visitor requests. Although this value will vary for each request, an average target value can be defined. Once this value is proven to be both achievable and maintainable, it can be used to monitor the performance of the website and indicate the development of potential problems.
The response times you will be aiming for will be different on the author and publish environments, reflecting the different characteristics of the target audience:
This environment is used by authors entering, and updating content. It must cater for a small number of users who each generate a high number of performance intensive requests when updating content pages and the individual elements on those pages.
This environment contains content which you make available to your users. Here the number of requests is even greater and the speed is just as vital, but since the nature of the requests is less dynamic, additional performance enhancing mechanisms can be applied; such as caching the content or load-balancing.