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Sitting and waiting for a slow website to load is a very tedious task. This is more so when you want to start your task quickly.
Instead of waiting patiently for the slow site to load, a user invariably presses the back button to restore to the browser to the original position.
This means, he did not visit the site and read the content on it thoroughly. This phenomenon is common with sites, which have slow loading times.
It is seen in the internet space that sites, which load quickly, experience better user involvement and get more traffic.
Such sites also rank higher in the search engine rankings.
Tools To Measure Website Speed
Loading speeds are going to vary from one site to another. However, a few factors tend to trip up sites and make them slow.
The most common causes of slow loading of custom WordPress developed sites are bloated plug-ins. However, before we lay the blame for slow loading sites on plug-ins, we should check the speed of our site before we try to optimize it.
Plug-ins has their own advantages and therefore, laying the blame of slow loading sites on them would not be right. This article will tell you about five tools, which will help you, measure your website's speed.
1. Google PageSpeed Insight
This website app measures your site's performance across many devices including desktops, laptops and mobile browsers. It is the brainchild of Google.
This application is very useful if your users are browsing your site from different screen sizes and devices.
Using this tool will give you the speed of your site so that you can then decide how much to optimize it.
This tool is unique in the way that it saves your performance history. This helps you track your efforts at optimizing your site speed.
Pingdom is a free to use tool, which gives you information about your website including loading times, page sizes, number of pages. It also gives a detailed analysis of each page on your site.
The reports of website speed generated by GTmetrix, show you the complete history of website loading speeds and give detailed suggestions on how to improve your site's performance.
This apps video playback feature will allow you to see where the speed bottlenecks exist.
This app also gives you detailed page analysis of your site.
4. Webpage Test
WebPage Test app helps you measure your site's loading speed and also gives you a grade breakdown of its performance.
Webpage test allows you to see your website from other countries too, as it has an option for it on its interface.
Companies with a large overseas user base derive benefits from such apps.
5. Yslow Browser Plugin
Yes, a plugin to measure website speed. You need not fear that your website will get heavy with it.
This plugin gives information about the performance of the site you are currently visiting. This plugin does not give you the load time directly; however, it measures over 20 different parameters of the site.
You can also compare your website with your competitors' using this plugin.
The tools mentioned above are available free on the internet. Site speed is an important parameter in Google's scheme of things.
In the Google ecosystem, fast loading websites can hope to generate more traffic apart from ranking higher in the SERPs.
Apart from this, more visitors will stick to your website, if it loads faster and has relevant content. There are chances of users converting on websites that load faster.
A lightning fast website is what all website users look for. Using the tools mentioned above, you would be able to gauge your website speed and to decide whether to optimize your site or not.
If you ask me, what is the optimal site loading time that we should target using the above tools, I would say that a site loading speed of about 2 seconds is good to go.
When analyzing website speeds, you have to differentiate between perceived performance and actual performance.
When measuring site speed, please measure the actual speed of the site and not the perceived speed.
Measuring the actual speed will help you take the decision on whether to optimize your site or not.
The tools mentioned above will help you measure the speed of any site. Sites slower than 2 seconds may be optimized to make them faster.
Try to measure the speed of a site when doing custom WordPress development. This is a good way to take a decision regarding the optimization of the site.
All the five tools mentioned above will give you the relevant information about your site speed. They will also give you statistics about load time, website size and total requests it has received.