29 Jul Web Page Speed Testing
One factor that used to determine if your visitors stayed on your site or not is the time that it took for your page to load. Back in the days of Dial-up, it was very common to wait minutes for a page to fully load, but as the internet has become faster we have all become more impatient, spending less time waiting for a page to load. There have been some recent studies that show 3/4 of people will not go back to a website if it takes longer than 4 seconds or so to load completely.
How can you know if your site is loading fast enough? How can you change the load time on your site? Let me give you a little advice and a new tool that has been released from Google’s Webmaster team that can help you out. First, to get a rough estimate on the load time, type in your domain right now, and just start counting how many seconds it takes for the page to load completely.
If it’s just a few seconds then you are great! But if not, you might want to start looking at a few factors and see what you can do to help get a faster loading time. Second, you will want to see if there is a difference in load time depending on the internet browser you are using. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari (for mac) are probably going to be the most common browsers your visitors are going to be using. There may be a variance on the actual load time for each browser, so you will want to make it a goal that for each browser the load time is within a second or so of each other.
Now we need to start looking at where all of your content is being pulled from.
- Are the images that you have with your content being pulled from other websites? Or are they on the same server as your website?
- Is your code up to par with the W3 standards?
These are a few things to think about and consider, but don’t feel that you have to solve all of these problems yourself. Just today, in fact, on the Google Webmasters Blog they have announced a Web Page Tester where you can enter in your website, choose where you want it to load from (geographically) and they will give you a comparison on the load time at this point, and how fast load time would be if they helped speed up the process for you.
“At this time, Page Speed Service is being offered to a limited set of webmasters free of charge. Pricing will be competitive and details will be made available later.”
This would be your chance to see if they can help you out for free. I don’t know what the cost would be for them to do it later on, but I am all about taking advantage of this while you can!