Website speed is very important both for site visitors and search engines: if it is too low, it may reduce the loyalty of the visitors towards the site as well as worsen site rankings on the search engine results page.
In order to always be in control of site speed and web page performance, you have to check it regularly. What are the main ways to check website speed? Let's figure it out together.
There is no need to find special proof of the fact that it is site speed that largely determines the visitors' attitude towards the site. If visitors have to wait too long until a web page finally loads, they will hardly like the site; sometimes irritated visitors leave the site without waiting for the page to load completely.
Search engines are usually in agreement with users in such cases: though web crawlers are more “patient” than ordinary Internet users, they might also consider a site “non-responsive” if it takes too much time to load. Of course, such sites user several points in extremely tough competitive struggle for a place in the top ten search results.
The check of website speed allows to figure out whether your site loads quickly or slowly in the user's web browser or while being indexed by web crawlers. Web page performance can be checked with the help of various online tools as well as several browser plug-ins. Let us take a closer look at some of these tools.
One of the most popular tools used for checking web page performance is PageSpeed Insights provided by Google (http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/). It order to check site speed with the help of this tool, you have to type the page URL into the corresponding bar and click the Analyze button. Web page performance will be evaluated on a 100-point scale: 100 points refer to the highest website speed, whereas 0 points refer to the lowest website speed. A score of 85 or above indicates good performance.
The tool allows to measure the performance of a page for desktop devices and mobile devices, which is very convenient (especially when you have to deal with responsive web design). PageSpeed Insights also provides useful suggestions for improving relative performance of your site. The suggestions are rated with priority indicators according to their importance.
Another popular tool for checking page performance is GTmetrix (http://gtmetrix.com/). GTmetrix provides a set of features and options for optimizing site speed, and performance analysis is one of them (if you want to optimize something it is only logical to analyze its current state and single out weak points first).
In order to analyze performance of a web page with the help of GTmetrix, you have to type the URL of the page in question into a special field (entitled Analyze Performance of) and click the GO! button. The tool will evaluate page performance on a relative scale (the highest value is 100%, the lowest value is 0%), grade it and provide recommendations for improving the performance. Each recommendation is assigned a certain priority that allows to single out primary and secondary tasks concerning the optimization of your website speed.
The analysis provided by GTmetrix will also contain page load time (in seconds), total page size, total number of requests and some other information. All these data will help you to considerably improve the performance of your website if used properly. It is not enough to figure out the drawbacks; you should be able to eliminate them (or find a professional who can to this for you).
No matter what tools you use for checking site performance, you must do it regularly, otherwise you might not notice possible problems until it is too late and almost impossible to restore former reputation and rankings on the search engine results page. Besides, low website speed may be the evidence of viruses that have infected your site. Regular page performance check will help to detect viruses which is extremely important for site security.
To sum everything up, we should say that web hosting service plays a very important role in ensuring good web page performance: if it is “too weak”, no internal measures for optimization the speed of your site will improve its performance. Therefore a company website that contributes to company's reputation must use only reliable web hosting service.