Where To Test Website Speed
I wanted to continue on with our series of blog posts dedicated to website load speed. The last post was on does website speed effect SEO and search rankings.
But where can you find out how fast or slow your website is? That’s what this post will provide you with.
Website Speed Testing – Identify Performance Bottlenecks!
Web traffic and search engine ranking is mostly a gauge of how good a website is performing. Significant as they are, not all is suggestive of the success of an online business compared to conversion rates and sales figures. Taking matters into perspective, online business sites with almost 0% bounce rate, 15% conversion rates, and ten thousand distinct site visitors from low search engine rankings are doing much better compared to high search engine ranking sites reveling in only 0.01% conversion rate and 100,000 distinct visits.
The argument on conversion rate optimization can go on for a long time, and employing business best method on Frankensteinish websites is going to take a lot of investment working patiently that spans for months before any noteworthy result on conversion rate improvement can be seen.
There is a lot more to swaying edgy people of the cyber world in buying products and services online than employing passive business approaches to improve marketability. Businesses online are concentrating on boosting site performance experience results by means of high conversion rates and increased sales.
Page load speed somehow fills in the gap in improving marketability by enhancing the site user experience to ensure that anxious online clients are hooked and happy. According to a latest research conducted by O’Rielly reported that enhancing website user experience through reduction of page loading time improves conversion rates and sales to a significant level.
The quest for optimizing site speed starts with determining vital front-end problems mostly seen under standard site performance testing processes.
What to Test?
Before starting to search for the issues in page speed, knowing the behavior of the most dynamic site speed performance indicators can help to determine website performance gaps precisely.
However, it can be very hard to identify what site performance indicators you must observe.
Below is a list of top seven website performance indicators we think are very vital. Make certain that you track every one of the indicators to ensure optimum customer experience.
Keeping tabs on the accessibility of your site is no doubt the most vital part of monitoring a website. If possible, you must continuously check the uptime of your vital pages from various locations all over the world. Determine the amount of time you website is down for two weeks or a month, and express it in percentage.
- Initial Page Speed
The behavior and tolerance threshold of customers have changed. Today, people who go through websites expect that it will load fast. And if doesn’t load fast, they will immediately leave and go to the website of a competitor. It is possible to check the load speed of your website by using Ping request (which measures the amount of time from your position up until the site begins loading) and load time evaluation, for instance, determining the time it will take to download a web page’s source code. Remember that this evaluation shows the amount of time of the raw page to load. However, that is not the total user experience. For that, you must measure.
- Full Page Load Time including images, videos, etc.
This performance indicator is also known as End User Experience testing. It is the extent of time that will take for dynamically-loaded (AJAX) content, videos, images and other things that users see come up on their monitor. This isn’t the same to the time it takes to download raw files to the device it is going to show on.
Page speed and full page load time are both vital to measure for you can use various methods to enhance for both. Videos, images, and other content can be cached separately, CDNs or content delivery networks, whereas dynamic content may require fast databases and dedicated servers. Determining the way your site behaves as it scales will be helpful in determining what infrastructure to place.
- Geographic Performance
If you have a company that’s globally active or if you have customers from various parts of the globe, knowing your geographical performance – which is the availability and speed of your website in various locations – is very vital. Your main goal is to ensure that your site can be accessed easily by visitors irrespective of their location to provide them a better customer experience.
A lot of companies take this factor for granted, only analyzing performance in common locations. At a minimum, use your website analytics as a guide to put testing in place that shadows the locations from which your visitors are accessing your site.
- Website Load Tolerance
Do you have any idea on a number of visitors to slow down you site? It is a significant indicator to determine for if you’re employing aggressive marketing strategies or are noticed by the press, you might face a predicament where your site is swamped with visitors in a short span of time.
You must perform regular stress tests and compare its results to the number of visitors your site have during peak times. After knowing the load capacity of your website, you can then modify your infrastructure to meet the needs. Check out for “tipping points” so you will be ready when there is surprise increase in traffic.
- Web Server CPU Load
Among the reasons for the website, failure is CPU usage. Excessive processing can bring down almost anything on the server, without any sign as to where the source of the problem is. Web server failures can be prevented by regularly keeping an eye on your CPU usage. If you aren’t able to install monitoring software on your servers because of hosting measures and other limitations, try employing a script that shows the amount of existing disk space and CPU load to a very simple HTML page.
- Website Database Performance
Another source of the problem of your website is your database. A query that is badly optimized, for instance, can be the difference between a fast site and a useless one. It is vital to observe your database logs thoroughly. Produce alerts if there are results that have error messages or give results that are beyond the expected standards. Utilize the integrated capabilities of the database to know, which queries are taking much of the time, and determine methods to enhance those by files and other approaches. Most essentially, keep an eye on the total performance of the database to ensure that it is not a holdup.
If you are capable of monitoring all the seven metrics, you can have a good notion as to how your website is performing and what changes to make if it’s not performing well.
Below I will list three different places where you can see how fast or slow your website loads and what is causing the issues if they are any.
I first came across Pingdom Tools a few years and have been using it ever since. You can test your websites load speed from various locations. After the test it allows you to see what is causing the issues if you have any.
GTMetrix doesn’t allow you to test from any location like Pingdom Tools. But they do a better job dedtailing what the issues are and how you can understand them more clearly.
Google Page Speed Insights
Google has for a very long time done a great job with providing free tools for website owners to create better website. Page speed insights is another one of those tools. After testing it does lack more details on how to fix issues if your website is loading slow. It does give you an idea of exactly the things they are looking for in a fast loading website.
With the three tools above, they should help you find out if and why your website is loading slow. If after testing you are still unsure of what some of the issues are, then read the next blog post on SEO best practices for page speed.