With websites being technical products you may be wondering how to go about testing their performance. Fortunately there are free independent tools out there that allow you to quickly test your website.
Here is a short video demonstrating some simple checks you can do yourself to test your website using pingdoms website speed test or Googles site speed test:
Websites referenced in this video:
Updating our website performance
It is worth adding that since we ran this test, we made some changes to our website including completely refreshing the whole home page. To show how useful these tests are in practice, here are the updated test results after the changes we made were put into place:
Google PageSpeed Test
Pingdom website speed test
Here is a test showing how the old home page performed on a pingdom test last year. Take particular note of the page size and number of requests:
With the new redesign in place, general optimisations resulted in a much improved page speed straight away:
Then, taking into account some of the results from the PageSpeed tests we were able to drop this further to achieve the outcome that our "website is faster than 97% of all tested websites".
To put this into context. let's compare these scores against some big sites you are likely to know about:
These tests were run at the time of writing this article.
Why this matters
- Increase visitor retention. Ideally your website should load within one second, if it takes much longer then you risk your visitors leaving before your page even loads.
- Usability & user experience. If a user spends time waiting for your site to load then this is time where they could be exploring your content.
- Accessibility. Many of the things you need to do to improve page speed also improve the general build quality of the site. A better build can mean that your site performs better on many of the W3C accessibility guidelines.
- Search engine performance. Google considers the page speed of your website compared to your competition in it's ranking mechanism (see video below).
Does your website load slowly?
If you have run these test and aren't happy with the results from your own website then please contact us, we may be able to help without you needing to replace your website. Or, if you are interesting in finding our more about what we do then explore our home page: Web development in Birmingham.