Here’s an interesting thing to consider: 57 percent of people will simply leave your site unless it is loading in less than 3 seconds.
While you might think that 3 seconds only negatively impact on eCommerce websites, the truth is that regardless of your business or niche and the content you share, the slower the loading time, the faster you will lose users, and (invested) money for that matter (especially if you have a web-based business). No one has time to wait, at least not more than 3 seconds.
A website, resilient to meet the needs of the users, will also bring better brand engagement and this is what every business wants.
Other things can draw away the users from your website as well, such as bad navigation, poor and unoriginal content and boring design, too many ads, and video and audio content that loads automatically, but if you’ve got this covered, yet are loosing users, it is probably a good time you test your website performance.
These are the tools one can use to see what needs to be done to improve website’s performance.
Google Page Speed will analyse the speed and performance of the web page, while giving you suggestions on how to make your website faster, increase performance and search engine rankings. The tool tests the speed twice, both for desktop and mobile, providing different suggestions. Above all the tool is free, very simple to use and it offers good suggestions.
One of the most used tools is Pingdom tools that perform testing on images, video capture, HTML, CSS, java script, iframes, and more. It will create a list of the things that load slower, elements that need to be improved, analysing every page. Registered users can test their website every minute, and will receive an immediate notification in case of problems.
WebPage Test is for experienced webmasters – it shows the server’s response. Apart from showing the statistics for each page where you can select desired location or different browsers, it also gives you more technical information on your site’s performance.
GTmetrix follows up the Google PageSpeed rules for web optimization. It will analyse all the elements of the link you enter and offer a list of suggestions (it grades the website depending on the loading time).
LoadImpact will send 50 concurrent users on your website to check how your site is performing. This is a good tool to check the capabilities of your website to see if it can function under much traffic, and to test the behaviour of the server.
Based on Yahoo’s rules for high speed performance, YSlow checks the performance of the website. YSlow is especially good because it uses information from Firebug’s Net Panel, if those are available of course. With it, you can see the history of your best website load and aspecst of the loading time of your page.
Page Scoring will test website speed within different aspects of page speed: domain lookups, redirection and connection time, and the loading time of individual assets.
Internet Marketing Ninjas will show you which part of your site is slowest and largest, while you can also see whether people who visit your site can read the content, and will images and scripts load faster or slower.
Show Slow is an open source tool that uses data and results from YSlow, Google Page Speed Insight and DynaTrace. For private results, you can download the tool. This tool probably provides the most information on how to improve website speed and in general how to fix issues.
Google Analytics also has site speed included in reports. In the Behaviour section, one can use the Page Timings to see how individual pages are performing, and how those pages can be improved.
Images can be a major problem for website’s performance, so, once you check your website, if, for instance, images are causing slow load, the key is to keep them as small as possible; there are more tools that can help with optimizing your images and improving your page times. Pixlr, Web Resizer, and Shrink Pictures are good options, while you can always use Photoshop or Paint to do the same. Compressing your images might be another solution, and apart from Photoshop, you can also do it with PageSpeed Insight tool (using Google Chrome extension). Or you can always combine the images using CSS Spritebox.
The most important thing related to speed performance and fast load is the platform you use to build your website on. We use Drupal, an elastic open source platform that, due to the implementation of Symfony, has been able to offer great improvements in page load speed, and in overall performance (requests per seconds, for instance).