What is page speed?
Do you want a fast high ranking website?
Pagespeed is very overlooked. Only a few website owners understand the value of a fast website. This means you can get an easy head start on Google.
Google announced in 2021 that load speed had become an important ranking factor. It took them some time to come around, but most people don’t want to wait for long while a website loads. There is an old formula that says 10% of people who searched for you will stop waiting every second your site loads. This means that after 10 seconds no one is waiting anymore!
Your website needs to be fast! Blazing fast! Otherwise, Google will place it lower in the search results.
Now, I’m a speed freak! No, not that kind of speed! I have been speed optimizing websites for clients for almost fifteen years now! Simply because I always hated to wait for slow websites.
I live in Denmark where nobody – except me, has dug deep into speed optimization. Nobody. I am alone with my hobby 🙂
So last year I began teaching people (search engine experts) how they can optimize websites for their clients. Now it is your turn!
What is the Best Web Site Speed Test?
Well – there is more than one. Actually, here are the eight best Speed Test websites on the net:
There is nothing like a slow loading website that makes me run away, back to Google to find the next site in the search. Nobody likes a slow-loading website.
These sites can be somewhat geeky, but they show you the load time of all elements on your website. They show you what goes too slow so you can correct it.
Using a website performance tool is the only way to analyze and improve your website’s performance, and boost your site’s load speed.
Top 8 Website Performance & Speed Testing Tools:
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Yellow Lab Tools
My absolute favourite is WebPageTest, but it can be useful to use a few of them as they are not quite alike.
A website performance tool can be used to evaluate the performance of your website to improve load speed. These sites will check a number of things for you:
- TTFB. Time To First Byte. Google demands 200-500 ms.
- Do you use SSL? This is Make or Break for Google
- How many HTTP requests your webpage has and the load time of each. The fewer requests the better
- Size of images
- Render blocking Java and CSS. (Which is a study in itself)
This is a speed/load test from WebPageTest.org.
It shows Debra’s page loading FAST. Really fast. (Yes, I made this!) Time To First Byte (TTFB) is only 287 ms! That was before she decided to create a webshop so it has probably become slightly slower since then. Try to keep the UNDER 500 ms! You can only improve this number by using a fast hosting company!
In 0.949 sec the most important part of the page is loaded. This gives the user the impression that something is happening.
Here are only 24 elements to load. You can minimise the number of elements by using the W3TC or the Fast Velocity Minify plugins. Keep the number as low as you possibly can. 24 is rare! many pages have 50-100 and can still perform OK.
In 1.3 seconds the page is fully loaded. Which is formidable for a website!
Heavy webpages can take a long time to load. But you must keep the total load time below three seconds. Preferably below 2! People are impatient.
If you want a fast loading website
- Find FAST hosting. People still say you should find the hosting company closest to your customers/readers and this is somewhat true. Some of the biggest companies have multiple data centres all over the world so that is worth contemplating. Shared hosting is pretty normal for most sites but many companies put too many sites on their servers which reduces the load times and you might get the dreaded error 500 which means the server is overloaded. If you really want speed you need a Managed Virtual Private Server. But maybe you can start on shared hosting and upgrade when you get a lot of traffic and your site grows. Shared hosting is inexpensive and the speed and service are often overseeable.
- Keep the number of HTTP requests low. In other words, minimize the number of elements that are loaded. In WebPageTest every line is numbered. This is also the number of elements.
- Make sure the TTFB time is below 500ms. WebPageTest shows you what the TTFB is. The fastest hosting providers offer TTFB times below 200ms. But 500-1000ms is still pretty normal out there.
- Cut your images as small as possible. Preferably to the exact size you use them so WordPress or your theme doesn’t have to scale them.
- Compress your images.
- Use cache plugins like W3TC, Wp Rocket, Wp Supercache or Fast Velocity Minify.
- Delete plugins and themes you don’t use.
- I still see websites out there not using HTTPS (only HTTP). Rest assured Google will forget about you if you do not use HTTPS (SSL & security certificates). Luckily most providers do this for you.
- Use Google Page Speed Insights on the desktop version as well as the mobile version and make sure the mobile version gets as close to 100 as you possibly can. At least try to get it over 90.
- Using Cloudflare (or any other CDN) adds a little more speed to your website. Cloudflare uses data centres all over the world so if your hosting company doesn’t distribute your site among different data centres Cloudflare can do it for free.
- Don’t use free DNS. Premium is faster and nearly all hosting companies offer premium DNS. But Amazon and other offers superfast premium DNS.
- It matters greatly which theme you use. If you really want speed use themes like Thesis or Ashe. Ashe is free and extremely fast. Thesis is also fast but not free and it is for geeks.
Keywords I use in this article:
Website Performance Testing Tools 10-100 visitors
pagespeed test 100-1000
pagespeed 1.000-10.000 low competition
pagespeed tools 10-100
google page speed tools 10-100
what is page speed 10-100 no competition!
website performance testing tools 10-100 medium competition
pagespeed tools 10-100
I am avoiding searches that WANT to find a dedicated speed test site!! It would be stupid to attract people who want a speed test on their website as this article is made for people who don’t know a lot about speed on a website.