Do you know how long it takes for your website to load?
Take the Google PageSpeed test. How long did it take? (Scroll down to Lab Data and look at the numbers for Speed Index.)
If it takes more than three seconds on a phone, your site could be in trouble.
Over half (53%) of people surveyed by Google say they would leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. And yet, it takes an average 22 seconds for a website’s landing page to fully load on a mobile phone.
That is a huge loss in traffic, especially considering that mobile users overtook desktop users five years ago.
If you don’t speed up your page loading time, your site could drop in search engine results and lose a lot of potential visitors faster than your social media boosting can bring in users. Luckily, you can choose from plenty of tools to help your website quickly load on both mobile and desktop platforms. Here are 13 options.
Solarwind’s Pingdom scans your website to check for performance issues that could be slowing down load time. You can see the uptime and interactions where you can improve. It’s a good starting point for those who want to make their websites load faster.
All you have to do is simply copy the URL of your website and paste it on their web speed test. Select where you want it tested, preferably the server nearest your geographical location, then start the test.
The report will show your website’s performance grade, page size, the number of requests made, and, most importantly, the load time. You also will get a detailed report on where to improve and on your website’s strongest points. Sadly, you only get a few cracks on it before you have to start paying.
2. Google PageSpeed
Google also has its own developer tools called PageSpeed. Like Pingdom, it takes your website’s URL and runs a few tests to analyze performance and give feedback to its developer.
The PageSpeed tool shows how long a user has to wait to see the primary content of the page, the time it takes for a page to be fully interactive, and the speed index, among other things. As mentioned, developers get to see specific feedback on where they can improve on both mobile and desktop platforms. The good thing about Google PageSpeed is that it’s free. However, there isn’t an option to get a copy of the reports.
3. URL Compression Test
I’m not talking about bit.ly or Tiny URL here. The URL Compression Test is a tool that sees whether your server is sending compressed data. It checks for compression using mod_gzip or mod_deflate, and any other server languages that can compress data.
With smaller, compressed files, your server has more space for more data. In addition, your server can transfer your data over the internet faster, thus helping load your website quicker on both mobile and desktop platforms – especially on devices with slow connections. Improving compression can prove to be essential in website load tests and page speed test tools.
4. Google Cache Checker
One way to find out if Google indexes your website is to run it through a Cache Checker. It will tell you if Google knows that your website exists, if it added your site into its index, and, ultimately, whether it included the site in the search results.
This important website testing tool can help you in improving your SEO, especially when you change a domain name or hosting. Knowing if your website has been indexed is crucial in a transfer. As web developers and SEO managers know, it takes 24 to 72 hours for your DNS to be updated. In that period, any user will be redirected to the most similar website cached in Google’s database. (And if your site isn’t in the cache, it won’t be served up in a time of disruption.)
Different browsers and different locations provide different results in terms of page loading speed. And that doesn’t even account for the internet speed of the area and device. That’s a lot of scenarios to test. Luckily, there’s a website that allows you to test a page’s speed in 25 locations simultaneously called Dotcom-Monitor (paid versions).
As with the other page speed checker tools, enter your website’s URL and tick all the parameters you would like it to check. The test itself may take a few minutes, but it will provide insights from load times around the world, which is especially helpful to know if your target audience is global.
YSlow is arguably the best page speed analysis tool in the market. It’s an open-source project that uses the rules for high performance websites set by Yahoo! It crawls the DOM (Document Object Model, an HTML applied programming interface) to find its components, retrieves information about each item, and uses it to grade each rule.
YSlow also offers a page summary with analytics, improvement suggestions, and more tools to analyze performance. It’s available for popular web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. It’s also available as an extension in Google Chrome.
7. Tiny PNG
Images – anything from their logo, people, and even infographics – are common on websites. However, images in high resolution are large files, which slow down your page and website load time. That’s why you need to optimize your images for web viewing.
Many image tools can reduce the file size of an image without losing too much quality. One example is Tiny PNG. According to its website, “it uses smart lossy compression techniques to reduce the file size.” This means it selectively and effectively decreases the colors to shrink the data needed. The effect isn’t noticeable to the normal eye, yet the compressed image will load more quickly, which will help attract potential visitors.
Another powerful website speed optimization tool you should maximize is GTmetrix. It provides a report on how fast your website loads, PageSpeed and YSlow scores, as well as other page details. It also allows you to compare your site to other websites’ performance, set up alerts, and even monitor your load time. What sets GTmetrix apart from the rest is that you can record a video to see where page-loading bottlenecks happen. GTmetrix offers free and paid versions.
A lighter car drags less weight and can go faster. The same thing can be said with websites. The less data, the faster it can load. That’s why web developers go to the extent of optimizing even the smallest of details such as the icon.
IcoMoon generates icons for websites. It may seem trivial, but it’s a powerful tool that lets you design pixel-precise designs. In addition, designers can create custom and optimized fonts. Having lighter icons and fonts will definitely help speed up your website’s loading time.
10. Chrome DevTools
One of the most-used tools to identify problems and test solutions on a live website is Chrome DevTools. It’s available for Google Chrome browsers and can be easily accessed by pressing F12 on the keyboard.
A tab pops up wherein you can see CSS codes and HTML elements that you can freely edit. Moreover, you can check resources, scripts, and more to see where an error or bug could be. You can even simulate mobile devices to test responsiveness and device-specific ports.
11. Yellow Lab Tools
12. Google Speed Scorecard
Yes, it’s another website loading speed test run by Google, but there’s one big difference. Google Speed Scorecard lets you see how large an impact your website’s speed can have on your revenue. By completing the fields on the evaluator, you can immediately see how much your revenue will increase depending on the loading time.
13. Google Lighthouse
Google’s Lighthouse is also an automated tool used to see the performance of a website. Lighthouse, however, is run in Google Chrome’s DevTools. This makes it easier and faster to check a website’s performance numbers, test for improvements, and make changes since it can be seen in one tab.
Rev up your speed
Google’s mobile-first indexing has marketing and tech team members scrambling to update their codes and designs. If you don’t do it as soon as possible, well, you already know the impact of not conforming to Google’s mobile-first indexing – loss of visitors, loss of profit, and drops in search rankings.
You should take the time to test your website speed, identify opportunities to improve it, and then make those changes. And these 13 tools can help you and your team get the job done.
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Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute