Best page speed tools in 2021
Nobody likes to wait for ages for a web page to load, particularly when it’s so easy to navigate to a competitor’s site. Slow web pages are a problem for many owners because in that way they’re losing plenty of potential buyers. If you don’t want that to happen to you, monitor your page speed and improve it.
People expect pages to load in two seconds.
The Akamai study, published in September 2009, interviewed 1,048 online shoppers and found that:
- Consumers become impatient when pages take longer than two seconds to load. 47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, representing a significant evolution in consumer expectation over the 2006 study, which showed customer expectations at four seconds or less. Forrester found that 40 percent of consumers will wait no more than three seconds for a web page to render before abandoning the site.
- Online shopper loyalty is contingent upon quick page loading, especially for high-spending shoppers. 52 percent of online shoppers stated that quick page loading is important to their site loyalty, up 12 percent from the 2006 study.
- Shoppers often become distracted when made to wait for a page to load. 14 percent will begin shopping at another site, and 23 percent will stop shopping or walk away from their computer.
- Retail and travel sites that underperform lead to lost sales. 79 percent of online shoppers who experience a dissatisfying visit are less likely to buy from that site again, up 17 percent from the 2006 study. 64 percent would simply purchase from another online store, up 16 percent from the 2006 study.
Why do you need to care about site speed?
Seems like a strange thing to worry about, right? But the speed of your site affects every metric you care about.
Bounce rate. Search ranking. Conversion. Pageviews. Reader satisfaction. Revenue.
Imagine the following situation
You are working on a campaign and invest $100K in marketing. While your commercials are on TV, your web pages become unavailable because of customer rush or they’re loading too long and rejecting visitors.
We believe that you’ll agree with us that wouldn’t be a great investment. Would it?
What does all of this have to do with me?
For beginners, the loading speed of a web page affects search ranking. In other words, fast load times equal higher rankings. And higher rankings lead to more traffic. Now, page speed is just one of about 200 signals Google uses to determine rank but that’s not an excuse to ignore it.
A faster website means a better visitor experience. A slow website will lead to a poor user experience. Your bounce rate will grow. Page views will drop. That way, in the end, you will lose money.
Strange Loop puts it like this: a one-second delay can cost you 7% percent of sales.
If you make just $5,000 a month from your website — that’s $350 a month you are losing — and $4200 a year. Can you afford to just throw away $350 a month? $4200 a year?
What can slow down the page from loading?
First, you should check which web hosting you’re using. Today, many hosting providers offer their services for as low as $1 per month. Those hosting packages are often pretty loaded and situated at badly configured web servers.
You should find a quality web hosting solution that will help you to speed up your page. If the website is large, heavy and complex, I suggest using some of managed VPS hosting packages which will help you to remove some of the troubles that might slow down your page. In the next few lines, I will present you with common causes of the slow loading of web pages based on WordPress.
- Widget or plugin overload: In this category, you’ll find common plugins such as a comment plugin.
- Too many ads: Of course there is a temptation to display ads once you’ve got high levels of traffic. However, one of the major causes of high bounce rates is slow-loading ads.
- Bloated images: Giant graphics can grab attention and pull readers in. But large images can also make slow down the page speed.
- Design Theme: A theme is your blog’s paint job. It’s what makes heads turn. It’s what makes people bristle with envy. But, in some cases, it’s what makes your site painfully slow.
- Analytics code: That snippet of code you dropped across your site to measure performance might add a hair’s breadth of drag to your site speed.
How to improve WordPress web pages loading?
- Upgrade WordPress and all additives to the latest version.
- Remove themes you don’t use.
- Delete plugins you don’t use.
- Delete SPAM comments.
- Use cache.
- Reduce PHP and MySQL inquiries.
Turn off ‘drafts’:
How many times you started writing some article and gave up but forgot that post stays saved in a „drafts“ folder? That could slow your page down. To turn off saving drafts, use the next code line. You should input it in ‘wp-config.php’ file.
define (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, FALSE);
Services you can use to check page load speed:
1. Page Speed Insights
2. Google Analytics Plugin by Yoast
3. Pingdom Website Speed Test
5. Load Impact
6. First Site Guide
7. Webmaster Ninja speed test and monitoring
How do you optimize your website speed?
Website speed is the most critical factor for any modern website. If your pages are slow to load, visitors and customers will lose their faith in your content and stop coming back as often. This means less traffic and less business for you.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do on the backend of a website to tune performance and make your pages load quicker in a browser. Read on to discover these tips and how to implement them on a new or existing web project.
1. Optimize your hosting architecture
In the age of cloud computing, it’s foolish to host your web server locally or to waste time managing your own data center. Large cloud providers offer dynamic platforms that scale up as your traffic increases. You should monitor key metrics like your memory allocation, CPU usage, and network bandwidth to understand where slowdowns are occurring and how to improve them.
Consider reviewing your web hosting speed with proper testing before you choose a web host for your project. If your current hosting provider is delivering poor performance and load speeds, it’s not too late to switch hosts and avoid losing customers. Also, don’t forget to invest in a robust website speed monitoring solution, so you can track your website’s uptime performance and be alerted to any outages or issues. The only thing worse than a slow website is a broken one.
2. Add a CDN to accelerate traffic
Website speed is very often tied to geographical factors. For example, if your data is hosted in a data center on the east coast of the United States, then American and Canadian visitors will see faster page loads then international customers in Europe, Asia, Africa, or Australia.
A content delivery network (CDN) is the best way to improve your website’s performance internationally. Think of it as a dynamic highway that runs between your website’s data and your customers’ local networks. It manages to achieve great results by caching versions of your website in different global locations and optimizing network paths between them. So when someone living in Australia goes to load your homepage, that user’s traffic doesn’t need to travel all the way across the Pacific Ocean. Instead, the request will be automatically routed to the nearest copy of your data, which can be accessed much quicker.
A CDN can be a large financial investment, but it’s worthwhile in the long run, especially if your website is tied to your company or small business.
Website code files, no matter what language they are written in, are typically quite small. But even though they may only take up a few megabytes on your web server, any waste of space can be detrimental to your site’s performance.
Shrinking code files is especially important for the most popular pages on your website. Your main URL, also known as the landing page (check our recent guide here), will typically receive the highest level of web traffic and needs to be optimized for speed.
4. Reduce images and resources
When a visitor navigates to your website, their browser sends a request to your web server based on the URL they have entered. The server is responsible for responding with a package of HyperText Markup Language (HTML) content.
HTML is purely text-based, but it can include references to images, audio files, and other multimedia resources. This type of content will help to make your website stand out, but it can also have the effect of slowing it down. Browsers are forced to load multimedia files individually and they are often the heaviest part of an HTML package.
A high-quality photograph is typically several megabytes in size, and if your web pages contain dozens of image files, the loading of those items will cause serious delays for end users. It’s best to reduce multimedia usage as much as possible and to always store those resources on your local environment rather than relying on external sources.
5. Offload HTTP requests
Gone are the days of simple HTML pages with basic text, formatting, and images. To compete for visitors in the online world, your website needs to be dynamic, which means it has to allow for interaction by the user and to change on the fly.
6. Leverage a website builder
If you are new to web development or are uncomfortable with writing your own code, another option is using a website builder. Website builders typically offer an easy-to-use interface that let you design a web page’s layout with drag-and-drop tools.
For example, you’ll be able to add text boxes with different fonts and sizes right onto a blank canvas. Then you can import images and choose how they should be arranged on your site. Website builders offer a strict, limited set of features, and that’s quite beneficial when it comes to network performance.
Because these tools are designed with optimized coding practices, your finished product will automatically be as efficient as possible, and as a result, visitors will experience faster loading times.
Obviously, there’s much more to increase your WordPress site speed, but you have to start somewhere. Just reading this blog post won’t increase your WordPress websites. You have to take action! The tips we listed here will certainly point you in the right direction, and hopefully, get you to take action. Also, sometimes the situation is not that bad. Sometimes, just by acting on two or three of these tactics may resolve the issue, and put you in the top 20% of loading websites.
Site speed is a ranking factor, so it should be monitored all the time, and improved constantly. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, or as something, you do once and never again. The list we published here can help you in the following months so that if you are too busy now, check of a couple, and then come back in 6 months and check of a couple more. That way your websites will always improve, and site speed won’t give you a headache.
Founder and CEO of WhoAPI Inc. Goran Duskic is an internet entrepreneur since 2006. He co-founded and sold several online ventures, including a web hosting company.
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