“Site speed plays a very important role in website’s success” – this should be quiet apparent for those who have spent some time in the industry. Google has been saying this for almost four years now, and there are numerous case studies to prove what Google has been preaching continuously for years, on their Webmasters blog.
Google even has its own set of tools that users like you and me, can use to improve the site speed.
Site speed improves the conversion rate and user experience. According to a study done Tagman, one second delay in page can cause 7% loss in customer conversions. Another study, confirms that 47 percent of web users expect a website to load in under two seconds.
In short, if run an online business like me, then you need to make sure your site loads under two seconds.
What causes your site to load slowly?
There are a dozen of reasons why a website loads slowly. One of the first things you need to do is look at your host. Having the right kind of hosting company can have a huge impact on the site speed.
If you are still struggling with choosing the right hosting company, check out our in-depth guide on How to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting for Your New Website.
Things that you can do to further improve your site speed.
- Optimize Your Images – Always compress the images before uploading them to your server. You can use offline app like Shrink-O-Matic or WordPress plugin like Smush.it
- Remove Unnecessary plugins – If you have inactive plugins and active plugins hat you don’t use, remove them.
- Optimize Your Database – Use WP-Optimize plugin to optimize your website database tables. It helps you database run smoothly and removes any extra meta / post revisions data from your tables.
Here are some great posts on how you can improve your site speed:
- 5 Free WordPress Plugins to Speed up Your WordPress Website
- How to Improve the Speed of Your WordPress Site
Free Online Tools for Testing Your Website’s Performance
This is one of the most helpful tools available online to help you test the performance of your website. It runs your site from multiple locations around the globe using real browsers and at real consumer connection speeds.
The only disadvantage this site is that you sometime have to wait in queue for other tests to be completed.
Pingdom speed testing is not only free, but also gives you full information about your site’s performance including load time, page size, and a detailed analysis of page. You can also measure how much time it takes to load all the elements on a specific page, you can then use that information to speed up your website.
Other features include testing from multiple locations, performance grade & tips, ability to share the results with your friends, and more.
Apart from all the great features, Pingdom also saves your performance history, so you can review it later and see how things change over time.
Another great tool for measuring your site’s performance and fantastic tool to have in your arsenal. This site not only gives you all the useful information you need to develop a faster and more efficient website, but also compresses the images that are slowing down your site for you.
This feature is quite useful, but if you have a ton of images, then you would be better off with Smush.it WordPress plugin.
Page Speed Insights was born, as a result of Google’s obsession with site speed. It measures the site performance for mobile devices and desktop devices. It tests your site, for both small screen and large screen devices, and gives you score ranging from 0 to 100 points. The higher the score, the faster your site will load.
It also gives you some useful information on user experience.
5. Load Impact
This is a free tool checks your website speed and performance, and presents useful visuals about your site’s performance. Note: If you don’t sign up for an account on their site, your site’s data will be publicly available on their website.
What’s Your Favorite Website Speed Testing Tool?
There are lots of online tools / services that you can use, to test the speed and performance of your website. After testing a dozen of these tools, I picked five top speed testing tools and listed them above.
Other tools worth checking out are:
- OctaGate SiteTimer
What’s you favorite speed testing tool? If I missed something, please let me know in the comments section below.