A fast website is essential to fostering a positive user experience and achieving a favorable search engine ranking. But how do you know if your website is running slowly? And what should you do if you discover that your site is too slow? Below are five proven ways to find out if your site speed is under-performing and some simple steps you can take to speed up your site.
How can you find out if your website is running slowly?
The best way to determine if your website is performing too slowly is to run a test. And thanks to the variety of free, user-friendly tests available online, you can find out quickly whether your site is in need of a jump start. Here are five free tests you can run to determine if your website is running slowly.
Sucuri’s load time test measures two key performance indicators: the length of time it takes to connect to your site and the length of time it takes for one of your pages to fully load. Sucuri also emphasizes the “time to first byte”, which specifies the amount of time it takes for content to be sent to a browser to begin processing a page.
Pingdom is a free user-friendly testing tool that offers a performance grade along with an analysis of your page load time and the bottlenecks affecting your site’s speed. Here is a list of the current locations from which you can choose to launch your test:
- Washington D.C.
- San Francisco, California
- Frankfurt, Germany
- São Paulo, Brazil
- London, England
- Sydney, Australia
- Tokyo, Japan
UPTRENDS offers a free online platform that allows you to test your website’s performance in some of the best browsers on the market. You can choose to test your site speed from cities such as Paris, Berlin, Singapore, Beijing, Amsterdam, and others. You can conduct testing from your desktop or favorite mobile device and manually select whether you wish to use Chrome, IE, or Firefox.
Google’s site speed testing tool evaluates your website and assigns a score using a scale of 1 to 100. Any score above 85 suggests that your website is performing well in terms of speed. The tool offers reports for mobile and desktop versions of your website and offers specific suggestions designed to improve your site’s time to fully load a page and time to display above-the-fold content by the browser.
GTMetrix has analyzed hundreds of millions of pages in an effort to detect slow performance and identify opportunities for improvement. Their free tool enables you to test your page on a real Android device or a variety of simulated device options. You will be able to see how fast your site operates from seven different locations across the globe.
What can you do to speed up your website?
If you run one or more of the tests above and receive the news that your site speed is below average, it is time to swing into action. Fortunately, there are some straightforward steps you can take to address the problems above. From optimizing your files to removing “bad” plugins, you can provide a more enjoyable experience for customers who visit your website. Here are five things you can do to speed up your website:
1) Remove unnecessary plugins
A large number of plugins can really bog down your page loading time. Carve out some time to review your plugins and remove those that are not absolutely necessary. You can also examine your remaining plugins to see how they are impacting page load time by using Google Chrome’s “Inspect” feature to access the plugin developer’s tool panel. By clicking on the “Network” tab and reloading your website, you can view how long it takes for loading to occur.
2) Explore compression
Compression can help you reduce your page size and minimize the need for visitors to download data. Because compression is a setting on your server, the way that you implement it will hinge on the type of web server you have. If you hit any roadblocks with compression, your hosting company should be able to provide guidance.
3) Use a browser-friendly image format
In general, larger file sizes require more time to load in a browser. If you are using heavy formats like BMP or TIFF, you could be hindering your load time. Take some time to review your images and consider switching over to JPG, PNG, or GIF if you discover any heavy formats.
4) Consider a new web hosting service
Sometimes a poor quality web hosting service is responsible for your slow site. If you use a free web hosting service or a service that fails to deliver proper support, you should consider exploring a new web hosting service that is known for delivering stellar support and resources.
5) Identify and repair broken links
Broken links drain your bandwidth, which can cause your site to operate more slowly. They also cause frustration among visitors, which can cause people to abandon your site. Make sure you periodically screen your site for broken links and either remove them or replace them with valid links to help speed up your site.
What is the single best step you can take to maintain a fast website?
Maintaining a fast website is vital to helping your business attract customers and keep them happy. By following the tips above, you can keep your finger on the pulse of your site speed and prevent a poor customer experience with your site. But the single best way to speed up your website and keep it running fast is to seek the services of a trusted web development expert.
For over 18 years, Bash Foo has delivered fast, responsive web design services to thousands of customers. Our skilled web design specialists have the tools and expertise to keep your site running fast. We invite you to contact us at Bash Foo today to discover how we help customers increase sales by 40 percent. We look forward to helping your business thrive!