Does your website take a while to load? Take a Google page speed test first. How long did it take to load? The reason we’re asking you this is because, according to research by Google, the average time a website’s landing page fully loads on a mobile phone could take up to 22 seconds. However, it also shows that 53% of people browsing on their phones would leave your website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
That is a huge loss – especially for websites with abundant traffic daily – considering that the number of mobile phone users has overtaken the number of desktop users in 2014 and it continues to rise.
If you don’t do anything to speed up your page loading time, you could be dropping down the search engine results and losing a lot of potential visitors faster than your social media boosting can bring in users. Luckily, there are plenty of ways and tools you can use to help your website quickly load on both mobile and desktop platforms.
Take a look at these page speed optimization tools you need to be using now to help your website load faster and rise back up the search results.
Solarwind’s Pingdom is a website that scans your website to check for performance issues that could be slowing down its load time. Website owners can also see the uptime and interactions to see where they need to improve upon. It’s a good starting point for those who want to make their websites load faster.
All you have to do is simply copy the URL of your website and paste it on their web speed test. Select where you want it tested, preferably the server nearest your geographical location, then start the test. You will see a report that will show your website’s performance grade, page size, the number of requests made, and, most importantly, the load time. You will also get a detailed report on where to improve on and your website’s strongest points. Sadly, you only get a few cracks on it before you have to start paying.
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2 Google PageSpeed
Aside from Pingdom, Google also has its own developer tools called PageSpeed. Like Pingdom, it takes your website’s URL and runs a few tests to analyze its performance and give feedback to its developer.
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The PageSpeed tool shows how long a user has to wait until they see the primary content of the page, the time it takes for a page to be fully interactive, and the speed index, among others. As mentioned, developers get to see important feedback on where they can specifically improve on both mobile and desktop platforms. The good thing about Google PageSpeed is that it’s completely free. However, there isn’t any option to get a copy of the reports.
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3 URL Compression Test
We’re not talking about bit.ly or tiny URL here. The URL Compression Test is a tool that checks your server if it’s sending out compressed data. It checks for compression using mod_gzip or mod_deflate, and any other server languages that can compress data. It’s very important for both saving space and achieving fast website loading speed.
With a smaller, compressed file, your server can have more space for more data. In addition, your server can transfer your data over the internet faster, thus helping it load your website quicker on both mobile and desktop platforms – especially on devices with slow connections. This will prove to be essential in website load tests and page speed test tools.
4 Google Cache Checker
One way to find out if your website has been indexed by Google is by running it through a Cache Checker. It will tell you if Google already knows that your website exists, if they have already added it into their index, and, ultimately, have included it in the search results.
This is a very important website testing tool as it can help in SEO – especially in times when you change domain name or hosting. Knowing if your website has been indexed by using this tool will play crucial during that transfer. As web developers and SEO managers know, it takes 24 to 72 hours for your DNS to be updated. In that period, any user will be redirected to the most similar website cached in Google’s database.
Different browsers and different locations provide different results in terms of page loading speed. That’s not even considering the internet speed of the area and device yet. That’s a lot of scenarios for you to test and it could take some precious time. Luckily, there’s a website that allows you to test a page’s speed simultaneously called Dotcom-Monitor.
Like the other page speed checker tools on the internet, all you have to do is enter your website’s URL and tick all the parameters you would like it to check. The test itself may take a few minutes to complete, but it will provide web developers and SEO insights and other information from different locations to help improve page loading speed.
YSlow is arguably the best page speed analysis tool out in the market today. It’s an open source project that uses the rules for high-performance websites set by Yahoo! It starts by crawling the DOM to find its components, retrieves information about each item, and uses it to grade each rule.
Aside from that, web developers will be happy to know that YSlow also offers page summary with analytics, improvement suggestions, and more tools to analyze performance.
It’s available for popular web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. It’s even available for mobile/book market. It’s truly one of the best page speed tools. It’s also one of the page speed chrome dev tools available as an extension in Google Chrome.
7 Tiny PNG
One of the most common things you will see on every website is an image. It could be anything from their logo, people, and even scenic places. However, having images in its full resolution for aesthetic purposes could be slowing down your page and website load speed test. The sheer file size of those pictures may require a little bit more time to load – especially for mobile platforms. That’s why you should learn to optimized your images as well.
Aside from Adobe Photoshop, there are other online tools that you can use to reduce the file size of an image without losing too much quality. Such an example would be Tiny PNG. According to its website, “it uses smart lossy compression techniques to reduce the file size.” This means it selectively and effectively decreases the colors to shrink the data needed. The effect isn’t noticeable to the normal eye.
Another powerful website speed optimization tool you should maximize is GTmetrix. It provides a full report on how fast your website loads, PageSpeed and YSlow score, as well as other page details. It also allows you to compare other website performances with your own, set up alerts, and even monitor it. What sets it apart from the rest is that you have the option to record a video to see where the bottlenecks happen.
And if you’re an SEO, you can easily produce a detailed report to show your clients as GTmetrix lets you download the results via PDF format.
Data can be compared to a car part. And in motorsport, a lighter car means it drags less weight and can go faster. The same thing can be said with websites. The fewer data, the faster it can load. That’s why web developers go to the extent of optimizing even the smallest of details such as the icon.
IcoMoon generates icons for websites. It may seem trivial, but it’s a powerful tool that lets you design pixel precise designs. In addition, designers can also create custom and optimized fonts for their projects. Having lighter icons and fonts will definitely help speed up your website’s loading time.
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10 Chrome DevTools
Probably one of the most used tools by both web developers and designers to identify problems and test solutions on a live website is Chrome DevTools. It’s readily available in all Google Chrome browsers and can be easily accessed by pressing F12 on the keyboard.
A tab pops up wherein you can see CSS codes and HTML elements that you can freely edit. Moreover, you can check resources, scripts, and more to get a grasp where an error or bug could be coming from. Web developers and designers can even simulate mobile devices in it to test responsiveness and device-specific ports.
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11 Yellow Lab Tools
12 Google Speed Scorecard
Yes, it’s another website loading speed test run by Google, but there’s one big difference from the rest of the list. Aside from the usual speed report, scores, and issues, Google Speed Scorecard actually let you see how big of an impact your website’s speed can have on your revenue.
By completing the fields on the evaluator, you can immediately see how much your revenue will increase depending on the loading time.
13 Google Lighthouse
Yes, Google has a lot of tools to help web developers, designers, and SEO to improve its page loading speed. After all, they are the one who implemented the mobile-first indexing. Anyway, Google’s Lighthouse is also an automated tool used to see the performance of a website.
Lighthouse, however, is run in Google Chrome’s DevTools. This makes it easier and faster for web developers, designers and SEOs to check a website’s performance numbers, test for improvements, and make changes since it can be seen in one tab.
Google’s mobile-first indexing has web developers, designers, and SEOs scrambling to update their codes and designs. If they don’t do it as soon as possible, well, we all know the impact of not conforming to Google’s mobile-first indexing - loss of visitors, loss of profit, and dropping down the search rankings. Your business could take a big hit if your website isn’t updated properly.
Luckily, there are plenty of tips and tools available on the interweb to help you get your website up to speed and rise-up the search results again. It’s just a matter of knowing which tools to use, how to optimize your website, and planning the update efficiently.
Aby Nicole League has a Masters Degree in Biology and works full-time as a researcher. But more than research, she is always on the look out for new innovations. As a part-time job but in full-time passion, she writes about Technology, Online Banking and Shopping, Investing, and Market Research at abyleague.com .