Search engines and users love a fast website. Here are the website performance tools to measure your website’s speed. Go on, use them!
This is part 2 of a 6-part series on website marketing by increasing traffic to your website by ensuring search engines know what your website is about.
I’ve mentioned this so many times now, but today we’ll SHOW you the website performance tools you can use to measure website speed.
I’ve said before that:
A 1 second slower website load time for Amazon would cost them $1.6 billion in sales per year.
How much does 1 second cost your website?
People are just impatient and so are your website visitors.
Therefore, it’s critical that you have great website performance by having a fast website load time.
Here are some website performance tools that you can use to measure the load time your website.
An Important Note About Load Time
When you commission a website the goal of the website is convert visitors into business. You work with the designer and you come up with a website that has a look and feel and functionality that you require.
What you are NOT focusing on at this stage is website performance, website speed or load time. Using website performance tools is something that you should ONLY do after the website has settled.
Don’t forget that you also need great looking website! Make sure you know how to hire the best web design company with this infographic that we have for you!
There are lots of things you can do to improve website performance but,
Website speed DOES NOT fall within the designers project spec parameters.
These website performance tools that we’ll share show you what needs to be done and you will need an expert to help bring down your load time.
We call this website performance optimization and it’s a totally different service to website design. You cannot expect your web designer to have used these website performance tools to tweak your website speed as it’s not their job. It requires a completely different set of skills.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the website performance tools that we regularly use.
Pingdom offers a free online tool that analyzes a URL’s load time. You simply enter a URL, and the tool displays a summary of the page’s load time, size, and number of corresponding HTTP requests.
When you view the results the tool also presents a waterfall visualization that displays the load time and size of each of the page’s objects.
Under the ‘Settings’ you must select the server that’s closest to the majority of your site visitors for your website to get an accurate idea of your websites speed.
What you should look at is the overall page speed. Your technical expert will know what all the recommendations mean.
We’ve been looking at how crucial website speed is for the user experience as well as conversion optimisation.
So far, we’ve looked at two speed test tools, and but I’ve got 2 more that we regularly use here at Lab41.
GTmetrix is a free tool that grades your website’s speed. Not only does GTmetrix provide your page speed, but it will also analyze around 30 different ways to improve your website’s speed and performance. You’ll even see your website’s YSlow grade.
If you signup for a free account you’ll be able to track the history of your reports for up to 5 websites whereas, paid plans are available starting a $15/month and include the ability to track more URLs, hourly monitoring, PDF reports, and more.
We love this tool and recommend that you setup a free account, as this also allows you to change the testing server location which is very important.
The Tool We Use Most Often
WebPagetest is a free online tool that displays the load time of your web page as well as 6 different performance grades.
If you click on “Page Speed” after running a test you’ll find an overall grade as well as a checklist of some suggested changes (in order of importance) for increasing your website’s speed.
One cool feature of WebPagetest is the ability to select the country from which to run your test. This can be used to track how your speeds vary across the world.
For this feature we suggest selecting a country that’s closest to the majority of your website visitors.
Make sure you read this! Case Study: Improving Website Speed By 600%.
Now that you have a good feel for your website speed by using these website performance tools you can decide if it’s something that you need to improve upon.
If so, we suggest contacting an expert and asking them to go through the various recommendations by the website performance test tools.
To get an idea of what it costs to fix your website’s performance, have a look at our ‘Website Performance‘ app that we offer our Lab41 clients (this only applies to Lab41 SitePRO powered websites).
You’ve just finished part 2, please click on the link below to view the next article in the website marketing series!