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Website Speed: Learn to Test and Make your Page Faster

Website Speed

It is a fact that the average internet speed in Latin America is far from being good. Nevertheless, many websites manage to worsen this situation since they remain developed without due attention to loading speed and become a real test of patience for the user.

We live in a period of immediacy, where time is already worth more than money. And that era, combined with the internet’s dynamism, makes our audience more demanding every day. The content on your website can be great, but will people pay to see if the loading speed is not right?

Also read: What is a Style Guide, and What is it for?

Does Speed Influence Website Results?

Back in 2010, Google announced that page load time was one of more than 200 ranking factors. That means that your website’s time to load concerning your competitors is one of the influencing points of the organic positioning of websites on the results page. According to research by Backlinko, slower websites remain penalized.

To be one of the organic ranking factors of Google, the Speed of the website also influences the user experience and  results, according to the data to follow:

  • Every second extra in page load leads to an 11% drop in page views and 16% in customer satisfaction, according to Aberdeen Group ;
  • According to research by Kissmetrics, 40% of visitors abandon pages that take more than 3 seconds to load, and every 1 second or more in website load time reduces conversions by 7%;
  • 88% of users who had a bad experience when entering a website due to loading speed are less likely to buy. More than a third of those users will share their bad experiences with friends, an investigation by Econsultancy.
  • 85% of mobile device users expect the page to load at least as fast as the desktop, according to Web Performance Today.

Now that we know that website speed interferes with visitor engagement, conversion rate, and your organic rankings, let’s see how to measure your load to optimize!

What is the Ideal Charging Time?

According to Pingdom, which has a tool to measure websites’ Speed, the sites’ average loading time is 5 seconds. In the Google Site Performance for Webmasters video, Maile Ohye states that 2 seconds is the limit for good performance.

The specialist Geoff Kenyon also carried out an investigation in which he identified that, in the case that a website loads in 5 seconds, it is faster than approximately 25% of the internet; in 2.9 seconds, more than 50% of the network; already if it loads in 0.8 seconds, it is the fastest of that 94% of the entire web.

Despite the statistics cited, the short answer is: as fast as possible. We already know that your website’s loading time influences your results, so the idea is to optimize it to the maximum to keep the loading time to a minimum!

How to Measure the Speed of the Website?

We currently have several free tools where it is possible to measure the loading time of a page. It is also possible to see a diagnosis with the survey of problems and warnings to know how to optimize it. The most used tools are:

Google PageSpeed ​​Insights

The best known on the list, PageSpeed ​​Insights, is a tool in which, by entering a page’s link, it is possible to analyze the content and generate suggestions for the desktop and mobile versions.

Along with each improvement suggestion, the tool also shows how to apply it. Each direction remains classified as a priority indicator:

“You must correct”

highlighted in red, these are notices of improvements that, if applied, will generate more impact on the loading time of the page;

“Consider correcting”

highlighted in yellow, these are notices of improvements that do not influence much on the Speed of the page and should not remain prioritized;

“Approved in …”

highlighted in green, are the positive points of the page.

Despite being excellent at identifying and prioritizing problems, the tool does not detail the page load time. It does not record the number of page requests for loading, which are essential data for diagnosis.

It is trendy among marketers. GTmetrix is considered one of the best and most complete tools for evaluating a page’s loading time and identifying areas for improvement due to the ease of use and variety of data it presents.

Uses of Website Speed

The step by step to use the tool is very similar to that of Pagespeed Insights. Just enter it, including the link to the page you intend to analyze. And create the statement. The closer the test is to the public registry that documents the website, the better.

After including the link to the page and starting the report, the tool does a full analysis and presents various data on the next screen. At the top, it gives a summary with two scores in Performance Scores. One based on Pagespeed Insights and another on YSlow. A project that analyzes the Speed of pages based on the rules of high-performance sites from Yahoo. The scores presented are generally different, as the tools use other criteria to evaluate the page.

Similarly, in Pagespeed Insights, the scores’ colors determine the urgency of the scores. Still, we compare the average of websites analyzed. Even at the top of the report, next to the performance evaluation. The tool also presents the total time to load the page, the page’s size. And how many requests remain generated to load. Similarly to the performance scores. We also have arrows for up and down, indicating if it is above or below average.

At the bottom of the screen, several reports separated by guides remain presented. It is possible to identify the points that need to be corrected through them to reduce the page’s loading time.

PageSpeed

Based on Pagespeed Insights. In this guide, you will find a complete report with all the points evaluated by the tool, ordered by priority. Here we can also see the grade awarded for each criterion according to the page analyzed. The type of configuration (if it is on the server, in the content, or a javascript, for example). Finally, what is the priority of that improvement?

Yslow

Like the report presented in the PageSpeed ​​guide and organized by priority. It remains based on the criteria defined by Yslow.

Waterfall

Cascading report that visually presents the entire sequence of requests made to load the page. Each line represents a request, with its status, its weight. And the time it takes to load.

Timings

Presentation of a timeline of the page load. With the time each of the stages took to load. Redirect, connect, backend, TTFB (time to the first byte), first pain, DOM interactive, DOM content loaded, and Onload.

Video

To have the video report, it is necessary to activate it and analyze the page again. The video report is nothing more than visualizing the page loading in practice, with the timed time and mapped timings.

History

Finally, we have graphs that accompany the page’s performance history to some of the data presented. Timings, page size, requests, and PageSpeed ​​and Yslow notes.

Also read: What is the Structure of the Hero’s Journey?

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