6 Steps How to Test Site Speed and Improve Web Page Load Time

Test Site Speed

A one-second load time delay on a website can result in a 7% conversion loss and 11% fewer page views. Page load has been Google’s ranking factor for a long time, and in 2018, mobile speed also became a ranking factor.

If your website takes a few extra seconds to load, it may impact the engagement and user experience. Most of the users don’t return to a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load.

Sites that load faster perform better across SEO metrics, marketing, and different organic search results. According to a Google report, if you increase your page load speed by 0.1 seconds, it can boost conversion by 8%.

Why page speed matters the most?

Load time or page speed displays the entire content within a specified time. Page speed is individual speed measured on a website, and website speed takes into account all the web pages. It is important to optimize for site speed and page speed for improving the rank.

Faster pages rank better in search results. If your site loads in less than three seconds, chances are your site will rank in the top SERP pages. Pages that load quickly convert better, so it boosts the engagement rate of the site. One of 100 searches has some load time issues that affect the ranking. Google recommends improving your load time when it’s 95% lower than other websites.

How to Test Site Speed and Improve Web Page Load Time?

1. Use Google PageSpeed insights

Google PageSpeed insight is the best tool that helps you to measure, test, and fix speed issues on the website. You need to add your website URL and hit the analyze button. You will get a detailed report of what’s slowing down your website and recommendations on fixing all issues.

It works on two parameters – time to load above the fold content and time to load the full page.

  • Time to load above the fold content is the amount of time a page takes to display content after the user requests a new page.
  • Time to load the full page is the amount of time a browser takes to render a page after the user requests it.

2. Use Web Page Test

Web page speed test helps to analyze hundreds of pages on your site and gives you results based on speed analysis. It lets you know about the load time, time to the first byte, and documentation completion time. The tool gives you the option of simple testing and advanced testing.

You will need to enter your URL, test location and hit the analyze option. It gives you a real experience and in-depth metrics of your web pages. Web Page test measures the metrics according to web browsers, and it can be customized according to your site.

3. Minify CSS and JavaScript

The many codes and scripts that make up your web pages could slow down the load time. It is important to minify the CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files to improve the web page load time. With this, internet browsers will have less work to display, and loading will be easier.

If you use WordPress, WP Total cache can help you to minify the JavaScript and CSS files. Minification strips all the unnecessary comments, characters, spaces in the codes and uses shorter variables and functions by streamlining the codes. The fewer the bytes of data, the faster the page will load.

4. Avoid redirects and compress your files

Redirects slow down the page load time; it makes visitors wait longer on your site for the requested content. With lots of web pages redirected to your website, the loading time will become less. Use tools to identify the current redirects and avoid using them.

Compress your files using the GZIP software for compression. Compress all the CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files that are larger than 150 bytes. If you use WordPress, you can use many other plugins with Gzip capability, which will help you in compression. Most CDN’s have Gzip compression enabled on the site.

5. Increase the server response time

Server response time affects the response time of the website. If a website hosted on a shared server gets more traffic, all the other websites on the server will slow the response time. To increase the response time, you need to use a reliable and faster hosting service or switch to VPS hosting. Use a content delivery network and optimize your site’s database. Choose a lightweight theme for WordPress as it improves the server response. Don’t forget to monitor your PHP usage and configure the caching of your website.

6. Use browser caching and optimize your images

Browser caching feature can decrease your page load time. Use the plugin W3 Total cache for browser caching, as it is the most popular tool available for WordPress users. Large images can affect the speed of your website. Most mobile phones have HD cameras that can increase the size.

When you directly publish from your mobile phone, the resolution is different. When you don’t use the image compression feature, these pictures may take a lot of time to download, which will cause your website to load slowly.

Use an image optimize plugin or Photoshop to compress and optimize the images. Keep the Jpeg format for simple images. You can also use plugins to set automatic image compression if you use an image daily for posting.

Final thoughts,

A slow-loading website may harm your site’s reputation and affect traffic. To measure the web page load time, you can use tools like – Pingdom website tool, Lighthouse, and GTMetrix. Your website should load in under three seconds if you want to improve the ranking. Half of the mobile users abandon a site that takes more than three seconds. With a faster loading time, you can convert leads to sales. Fix render-blocking issues and use CDN for your website. Speed is an important metric for search engine optimization, so you should focus on speed and web page loading time.

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