With the world becoming increasingly connected, the internet has become a vital part of our lives. We are dependable on the internet for communications, researches, work, running errands and play. For the younger generation who was born into the cyber world era, they could not even imagine a world without internet.
As such, for your business to be profitable, it is crucial that your business have a presence on the World Wide Web. Regardless of how simple or complicated the website is, the main idea is to have it serve as a platform to engage with your current and potential customers. If not, you stand to lose out to your competitors!
The most important thing that web developers should keep in mind when designing or revamping websites is the loading speed. Not how creative is the design nor how advanced the scripts are.
If loading your website takes too long, then not many people will be looking at it, regardless of how awesome it is. Yes, surfers are truly an impatient lot.
Another important reason for making your website load faster is because a fast loading website is also an SEO-friendly website. Search engines like Google are taking into account a website’s loading speed in their ranking calculation.
There are many opinions on how fast is fast. Some say not more than 10 seconds while others feel that 5 seconds is too long. It depends on the surfer’s preference and the amount of time he has. As for me, I think 5 seconds would be a good indication of how long a visitor would wait for your website to be fully loaded.
Free Website Speed Test Tools
Now that we have made it clear the importance of a website’s loading speed, wouldn’t you be curious to know your website’s loading speed? Right. There are a few speed test tools on the internet that you can use to determine your website’s speed. Here’s a list of those that are popular and free!
Google Page Speed Online
Google’s Page Speed Online is one of the most popular speed tests around. This is because it evaluates your website based on Google’s Web Performance Best Practices. Since most of us want our websites to score a high PageRank on Google’s search results page, we would refer to this tool for suggestions on general front-end best practices.
On top of that, the Page Speed Online test also lists down suggestions for improving your loading speed, which are categorized into high priority, medium priority and low priority.
Also, recently they have added a new category on how to optimize for mobile performances, which I think is most timely considering the rise in the number of mobile surfers.
In a different tab, you will get to see a very detailed page analysis, which is divided into Server Response Code, Load Time Analysis, Size Analysis, and Request Analysis.
Free Speed Test
While Free Speed Test does not analyses your website in as detail as the above tools, it does have a unique feature. It checks your website’s performance through different data centers all around the world eg USA, China, Europe and Australia. This is good information for those websites who are getting traffic from all 4 corners of the world.
So, how fast was your website loading? Was it fast enough for you? There are quite a few reasons why your website loads slowly, from a slow hosting server to overloaded bandwidth with too much traffic.
Speed Up with a Content Delivery Network
What if your website is loading slowly and yet you can’t do away with the tons of images or media files or other downloadable objects on your website? Well, in this case, you could seek the help of content delivery networks (CDN) to improve the overall loading speed. There are plenty CDN services available on the internet, and they are all great for most types of websites, from static websites to E-commerce sites and blogs running on WordPress!
What is a Content Delivery Network?
A CDN is a network of servers that contains copies of your website’s content files such as the graphics, scripts, media files, documents and etc. So instead of a single host, these content files are kept in multiple locations around the world. When a visitor drops by your site, the closest server will deliver these cached data to him, thus promoting efficiency and reduces latency.
My favorite CDN is the MaxCDN, because they have one of the most reliable services and they have proven that they are fast! And that eventually would lead to higher SEO ranking and higher conversion rates on your website!
If you would like to know more on how you can improve your website’s performance, do stay tuned for more tips and tricks in future articles on this website!