How to speed test your website

How to speed test your website

Speed is a key factor in determining if your website can achieve its goal conversion rates and provide a pleasant user experience. Your visitors are used to not waiting for websites to load. A user will go to back to the Google search result if your website is slow to open.

Your site will be abandoned more often if it takes longer to load. The maximum load time of a page is two seconds. A majority of internet users expect two seconds or less loading time. Most people will abandon your site if it takes longer than three.

Your load time can have a significant impact on your bottom line, especially for eCommerce websites. According to Amazon, if the site loads one second faster than it does now, that would result in a loss of $1.6 billion annually. Even for non-Amazon users, this is a big deal. A second slower and you could see a 7% drop on conversions.

Free website speed test tools

There are many website speed testing tools available. They will tell you how long it takes for your website to load and give you suggestions on how to improve it. It's worth running all three speed tests on your site. Each tool will highlight different ways you can speed up your site.

Pingdom Speed Tool

Pingdom is perhaps the most popular of all these tools. It gives you a performance score, shows how your site compares with other websites, and allows you to change the testing location so you can see how your speeds differ around the globe. This report provides a detailed chart that shows when and how many elements are loading on the page.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights is another popular option. It excels in helping you fix speed problems on mobile. You can choose to view the results on desktop or mobile. Each tab will give you a score from 0 to 100 along with a list of optimizations that you can try.


GTmetrix is another speed tool. This tool taps into Google PageSpeed Insights, Yahoo's YSlow and provides different perspectives on site speed issues. It offers some of the most detailed suggestions of all these tools.

Interpreting your Speed Test Results

Each speed test tool above performs their test in a different manner. You will probably get three scores and three loading times from each of the speed testing tools. There are also suggestions for improvement.

Remember that the magic number is 2 seconds. It's best to load faster than that. You risk losing visitors if your site takes more than two seconds to load.

The speed tools can provide suggestions for optimizing images, minifying code, and using browser cache. These suggestions are often ranked according to speed tools. It is a good idea not to stop at the top and then work your way down.

Quick Tips to Make WordPress Work Faster

WordPress plugins can help us fix some page speed issues. This is often a quicker way to address the speed issues suggested by speed testing tools, than manually making changes. Although adding plugins can sometimes improve your site's load time, it's not always a good idea. You should continue testing the plugins as you install them to find out if they are helping or hurting you.

Install a Caching plugin

Caching plugins can do much more than save static pages of your pages and load them faster for your users. A good caching plugin will optimize your HTML, CSS and JavaScript according to speed testing tools. They can combine multiple CSS resources to create one.

WP FastestCache is a popular caching plugin that has been awarded 5 stars in the WordPress plugin repository. It comes with a straightforward setup. W3 Total cache is another popular choice. It offers more advanced settings and more control over caching. The premium WP Rocket caching plugin can be very effective and easy to use if you are willing to pay for it.

A caching plugin will be a great addition to most blogs. These plugins can address speed testing suggestions like "leverage web caching," "minify CSS," and "minify HTML."

Use a CDN

CDN (Content Delivery Network) serves your visitors files from your site's closest server. Your visitors will experience consistent fast loading times by having their files served from different locations around the globe. Although many caching plugins have CDN capabilities, they can vary in quality. Some prefer to use a CDN solution such as Amazon CloudFront or Cloudflare.

Optimize your Images

These speed tools often suggest optimizing your site's images. This means that images are displayed on the page dynamically scaled down rather than being scaled to the exact dimensions that you require.

There are many reasons this might happen, but one common reason is to switch WordPress themes. It is often necessary to regenerate images when you change themes. The new theme has different sizes for featured images as well as media embedded within the post. A plugin such as Regenerate Thumbnails is the best way to do this. This plugin can be installed, used, and then removed from your website.

EWWW Image Compression plugin

A plugin such as EWWW Images Optimizer can also help reduce the file size. The plugin is free and removes any unnecessary data when you upload images to reduce their file size.

Use Lazy Loading

Lazy loading is a feature that speeds up a website's loading time by loading only the elements above the fold. Scrolling down will load other elements as necessary, which results in a faster site and less bandwidth. You may find themes that will allow you to do this. If your theme does not, the plugin Smush is available for free. It covers everything, from embedded videos to Gravatar thumbnails.

Lazy loading can be a great way to address speed testing recommendations such as "prioritize visual content." It can also speed up mobile loading times which are often much slower than desktop.

Eliminate Slow and Unnecessary Plug-Ins

You may have used WordPress for some time and have probably accumulated plugins you don't need anymore. They may have been a temporary solution that served its purpose (such the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin), or they might have added features you no longer use. It doesn't matter what reason it may be, it's worth taking a few moments to remove any plugins that you don't use anymore. Like everything else on your website, plugins use resources. The more plugins you have, the more resources will be used.

Key Takeaways

It's easy to make your site faster by using speed testing tools that are available. A small reduction in load time can make a big difference in a number of metrics like bounce rate and conversions. It's worth running all three speed tests on your site. Each tool will highlight different ways you can speed up your site.

Source: elegant themes

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels


GDPR Compliant Data Collection

Use GDPR compliant tools to collect user data. Stop worrying about legal implications of Google analytics and other similar tools.

Scroll to top