It has been observed that one in four people will abandon a website and look elsewhere if it takes more than 4 seconds to load the page in their browser. After all, they are not spending money on their broadband internet connection to suffer slow loading of webpages. With a broadband connection, clicking on a site in a Google search result often takes just under 3 seconds to get all the homepage elements on the browser for many speed-optimized sites. If your website allows you to take a coffee break while loading, you need to do something about it, and fast.
How to measure the speed of your site and find bottlenecks
After fabulously designing and competently search-optimizing you webpages, you could still end up with no visitors to your site if it loads painfully slow. Painfully slow = more than 4 secs. Good thing there are online tools that allow you as the website owner or developer to check and confirm how much time it takes to load any of your pages. You don’t have to be techie or programmer. Knowing how to measure the speed of your site and find bottlenecks (server’s own access speeds, total file size of your page, individual file sizes of multimedia content used in each page, unnecessary overhead HTML coding, applets and libraries, etc.) to remedy slow loading times can be a cinch with any of the following online tools:
(1) Page Speed Insights: A Google tool that analyzes and evaluates your webpage content through several tests on your site’s HTML code and server configuration, and offers detailed suggestions on how best to improve your page to reduce loading times, bounce rates, and boost conversion rates. The tool can be an open-source extension for users of Firefox and Google Chrome browsers.
(3) Which Loads Faster: An excellent online tool that allows you to compare on a split browser screen how fast your website site performance against another site, usually from your competitor.
(4) Web Page Test: This free website speed test allows you to do a real-world test on your webpage’s rendering speed using popular browsers (Firefox, Chrome, and IE) with a choice of doing the test from several locations around the globe at common online speeds (56k dial up or DSL). It also allows advanced testing using multiple transactions for video streaming as well as ad blocking so you can determine the performance burden of running ads on your website. Its diagnostic reports contain page speed optimization tests, charts on resource loading, and improvement suggestions.
(5) YSlow: A free tool from Yahoo!’s development team. It analyzes web page performance, identifies bottlenecks and suggests ways to improve the site performance based on a set of high performance parameters
The above online tools that measure your website loading times are just a sample. There are many more similar online tools like BrowserMob’s Free Website Performance Test, Show Slow, Web Page Analyzer, Load Impact, and OctaGate Site Timer, to mention a few more. Many are free and you can use multiple tools to corroborate the results you get from one or two of these tools. All of them basically provide the webpage loading times you want, but each differentiates the service with other pertinent performance test results that fine-tines the information so that apart from knowing your loading times, you can take the necessary steps to address the identified bottlenecks that contribute to your slow loading speeds and thus, enable you to improve you site’s performance. It’s always a good idea to do such tests so there won’t be any surprise when a search-optimized page still can’t get the visitor statistics you are aiming for.