If your own website loads slowly, you will lose your visitors’ attention even before your website has had a chance to make an impression at all. Moreover, Google has factored page speed into its search rankings. So you see it’s important to keep a close eye on your website’s page loading speed.
Running a speed test on your website is very simple.
There are many services out there that run automated tests. Below are some useful resources that will help you analyze not only how fast your website loads, but also what is slowing it down. The recommendations show you which changes are necessary to pass the speed test, which is your visitors’ attention span.
This is the best tool for a quick and simultaneous speed test of multiple domains. You can enter up to 10 domains and the site will return a result that includes the page size, total load time, and average speed per KB. Apparently, MakeUseOf.com has been optimized for speedy loading.
This test only gives you an idea whether or not action must be taken. It doesn’t analyze which elements of your website slow down its loading speed. What it does reveal, however, is the overall size of your start page. Rule of thumb: the smaller it is ,the faster it will load.
However, as the example above reveals this isn’t always true, hence, a more thorough analysis is in order.
With Web Page Analyzer you can diagnose a URL or its (X)HTML code. The web page speed report provides a thorough diagnosis as well as clues on how to improve your website.
In the ‘Object Size Totals’ section the total loading time is broken up by objects, including HTML, images, scripts, and multimedia. These numbers clearly show what slows down your website.
Conclusions from the raw data are drawn in the ‘Analysis and Recommendations’ section at the bottom of the report. The list not only shows you where you need to improve and recommends action, it also congratulates you on what was already done right.
Once installed, you will find the Firebug / YSlow buttons in your statusbar. Within the Firebug analysis window, YSlow occupies its own tab. This complex tool will take a moment to digest as there is a ton of features packed into a dozen sub-tabs.
The main aspect is the grading of the website. There are over 20 points that are graded and contribute to the overall performance. For each point, suggestions are made on how to improve the given grade.
With the help of all these services you should now know exactly what slows down your website.
If you have meanwhile developed a deep interest in the topic, read this summary of a PhD thesis on Web Page Performance.
Also check out the following articles on MakeUseOf:
- 5 HTML Tips to Create a Fast Loading Free Website by Guy.
- How To Install Firebug on IE, Safari, Chrome & Opera by Jorge.
- Amateur’s Guide To Customizing Website Design With FireBug by Ann.
What tips do you have to share to improve slow loading websites?
Image credits: vierdrie