Page load speed is a big deal. And it’s getting to be a bigger deal. Your site has to be fast for your visitors, and it has to be fast for search engine optimization reasons.
For the longest time it was about internet connections, and who had high-speed connections vs. who didn’t and how long it would take to get a page to load.
That’s not the case any longer. High-speed internet connections are available worldwide, and site visitors are expecting your site to be fast and so are search engines. (click to tweet)
Most numbers I’ve seen expect page load speeds to be under four seconds, Google’s standard for SEO purposes seem to be under two seconds.
In order to know how fast your site loads on machines other than the one that you’re sitting in front of you need to use a good tool to give you feedback. But not just feedback – actionable feedback. So I’ve put together a list of seven page load speed tools to help you see how you’re doing and where you can make improvements.
This tool is really easy to use, and you’ll get a ton of great info here about page load speeds. This is an extremely popular tool that you’ll see around a lot when site owners are talking about their own page load speeds. One of the great things with this one is that it gives you a quick grade, and tells you how fast your site is compared to all other tested websites. I use this site and the next one all the time to compare performance.
Definitely not among the greatest in terms of appearance but the info you get by running tests on your site with this tool is incredible. Your site will be graded on seven main areas:
- First Byte Time
- Keep-Alive Time
- Compress Transfer
- Compress Images
- Progressive JPEGs
- Cache Static Content
- Effective Use of CDN
The last two are among the most popular items to look at, but they’re all important. Time to first byte is a huge deal regarding the responsiveness of your server. This is one of my go-to tools and I use it all the time.
QuickSprout Website Analyzer
This is Neil Patel’s tool for checking on a website’s performance. This is similar to other tools that I’ve used and it provides a lot of easy-to-understand information, targeted at website owners, and less on the hard core technical elements that you’ll see from other services. I ended up with a score of 86/100 which I’ll take, but there are some warnings and information that I found here that conflict with other tests that I ran using other tools for my site and I’m not sure of the reason for that. But this is why checking your site using multiple tools is a good idea. There is a lot good stuff here that includes social media analysis and competitor analysis.
Google PageSpeed is a whole suite of apps and information designed to help you make your site as fast as it can be and maximize performance. Some parts are rather complex and in-depth, but for the purposes of this post, just checking your site speed and finding recommendations here is a great place to start. For the more technically inclined you can dig deep – really deep and use their PageSpeed service to increase the performance of your site. There is also a Google PageSpeed browser plugin available as well.
This free service gives you some great feedback on how your site performs and grades your site in similar ways as other tools I’ve listed here. If you register for a free account, there are additional features that you can take advantage of to help you dig deeper. You can track history, get tests from different regions of the world, set up alerts and more. There is a premium version available as well.
YSlow is a bit different than some of the other tools that I’ve mentioned because this one is actually browser plugin. Your website will be graded based on some benchmarks common to high-performing websites. Like the others you’ll get an overall performance score as well as grades for the performance of individual components that affect your site’s performance.
The great thing that I really like about Host-Tracker.com is that it gives you page load information from around the world fast and in a way that’s pretty easy and straight-forward to understand. You will see how much disparity there is between U.S. based services, and those from other places around the world and see how you’re site is holding up in all those areas.
Having a fast-loading site is essential. It’s vital for keeping visitors on
your site. It’s vital for search engine purposes. The bottom line is that you cannot neglect how fast your site loads for your visitors. These tools take a look at your preformance from all kinds of different perspectives. Find a couple that you’re comfortable with and bookmark them. The most important thing is that you can always find ways to improve and that’s what makes these tools so strong.
Do you have a favorite tool that’s not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!
image by Nathan E Photography