As higher visitor engagement, retention and conversions are obtained through fast and optimised web pages, one needs to identify performance best practices that can be applied to his/her website. As studies show that users leave a website if it hasn’t loaded within 4 seconds, you need to keep your users happy and engaged by providing a fast performing website which is also good from a SEO perspective, as Google nowadays take into account the loading speed as a ranking factor. The following websites are meant to help you determine how fast your website really is and take the necessary actions to speed the loading of your pages:
1) PageSpeed Insights
Measures the performance of a page for mobile and desktop devices. The URL is being fetched twice: once with a mobile user agent, and once with a desktop user agent. The page score ranges from 0 to 100 points. The higher the score, the better. If you have a score over 85, it suggests that the page is performing well.
This tool measures how a page can improve its performance on:
- Time to above-the-fold load: Elapsed time from the moment a visitors requests a new page and to the moment the above-the-fold content is rendered by the browser.
- Time to full page load: Elapsed time from the moment a visitor requests a new page to the moment the page is fully rendered by the browser.
2) Pingdom Website Speed Test
It was built to help you analyze the load speed of your websites and learn how to make them faster. Tests are done with real test browsers from dedicated Pingdom servers to match exactly the end user experience. They use a bunch of instances of Google’s Chrome web browser to load websites, record performance data and so on.
- Performance overview – They automatically put together plenty of performance-related statistics for you based on the test result
- Performance grade and tips – See how your website conforms to performance best practices from Google Page Speed (similar to Yahoo’s Yslow). You can get some great tips on how to speed up your website this way.
- Trace your performance history – We save each test for you so you can review it later and also see how things change over time (with pretty charts!).
- Test from multiple locations – See how fast a website loads in Europe, the United States, etc.
- Share your results – They’ve made it easy for you to perform a test and share it with your friends, work colleagues or web host.
This service uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow to grade your website’s performance and provides actionable recommendations to fix the issues. You can test your website and get extra features if you sign up for free. Some of the benefits include but not limited to:
- Track History with Graphs: With 3 interactive graphs, you can keep track of the performance for your page and visualise your history
- See how your page performs on an actual Android device; thus you can optimise your website for mobile users and ensure a fast page load on their devices.
- Test from multiple locations – check the page load from different regions around the world (Vancouver, Canada; Dallas, USA; London, UK; Sydney, Australia; São Paulo, Brazil; Mumbai, India; Hong Kong, China)
- Playback Page Load with Videos – By recording your page loads, you can pin point exactly where bottlenecks or stoppages occur.
- Set up Monitored Alerts – You can be notified if your page speed falls below a certain score you set.
This is a web performance company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota that monitors websites, servers and applications for availability, speed and functionality from their worldwide network. The free website speed test provides:
- Browser-based load time testing of all page elements
- Test via Chrome, Firefox, IE and mobile web browsers
- Results from nearly 2 dozen global locations
- Detection of slow/missing elements
- Complete waterfall report, charts & graphs
With this tool, you can test your page loading speed in 20 locations worldwide, including cloud based tests (Amazon-US-East) and from behind the Great Firewall of China (Shanghai).
This service provides webmasters with valuable information about the loading speed of their domain and website. The tool generates a report that includes:
- Domain Lookup: The time taken to resolve your domain to the correct server IP
- Connection Time: The time taken to establish a connection to the web server
- Page Size: Total page size of the website downloaded in bytes
- Download Time: Time taken to download the HTML source code
- Average Speed: The average speed of connection during download
- Files Report: Details about the files loaded (size, path) and how fast they loaded
6) Gift of Speed
Recent studies have shown when web pages do not load within 3 seconds, 25% of visitors will already have left.
Besides testing your website speed, this service also offers a range of tools including:
- CSS Compressor: Automatically compress your CSS scripts and files into a much smaller size. Minimizing the disk size your CSS needs can improve page speed.
- Caching Checker: Check whether your files are correctly cached or not by viewing the caching information of your URL.
- Gzip Test Tool: Tool to check whether your page has GZIP enabled and how well it compresses.
- CSS Delivery Test: Test whether your CSS delivery is optimized to the maximum and learn how to improve the delivery.
What I particularly like about this service is the fact that they have a “How to” section with a lot of articles about improving page speed and steps you need to do. Very good to go through, especially for beginners!
Has any of these websites helped you in particular to measure website speed? If so, please share your experience with us.