One of the most critical aspects of a website is its load speed time. This is what search engines check and becomes an important part of ranking your WordPress site up there. So apart from mobile friendliness, you need to work on the speed of your website.
Therefore your website’s speed and performance is now more important today than ever before. Site visitor expectations have grown and their patience has decreased. This means that if your website loads too slowly, users could quickly move on to another site rather than waiting. Also even if your visitors users do not run necessarily away, a slow loading site will leave them not only disappointed, but frustrated, and likely to abandon your site later even in the midst of an only shopping spree.
Here comes another ringer, Google!. The biggest search engine Google has clearly indicated that your sites speed positively or negatively affect a site’s ranking in the search results.
in order therefore to keep both your users and Google happy and visiting, it is important that you pay attention immediate the load speed of your website.
So today we are going to give you a quick guide on what speed checking entails and a list of sites/tools to use to check the site speeds.
Most speed analyzers check for the following key metrics:
- Page title
- Screenshot of your site
- Time taken to load the site
- Performance grade
- Page size
- Number of requests being sent.
So you will test the following:
1. Test your load times
This is the most significant of the tests to determine your WordPress site performance – the test of how fast your site is.
Here you can utilize the following tools to increase load speed
How to test using Pingdom: Enter the URL of the site in your browser’s address bar, and see the generated metrics for yourself. Here you will get metrics for
- Load Time
- Performance grade (this is the same as the Google PageSpeed Insights score)
This Pingdom tool also suggests how to Improve page performance and load speed of your site in the following ways:
- How to compress components with gzip
- How to reduce HTTP requests
- Add Expires headers
- How to avoid URL redirects
- Use cookie-free domains
- Avoid empty src or href: This behavior could possibly corrupt user data, waste server computing cycles generating a page that will never be viewed, and in the worst case, cripple your servers by sending a large amount of unexpected traffic.
This GTmetrix tool is like Pingdom and will give the following results:
- Load time
- PageSpeed score
- YSlow score which is nother name for PageSpeed Insights
This seems like the tool with the most advanced WordPress load speed test metrics on this list in terms of the depth of functionality and data it provides.
Its advanced settings option will give the following and more
- Simulate a slow connection (e.g. to mimic a user on 3G)
- Change how many tests to run
- Choose which browser and device type to use
Google Mobile Speed Test
This Google’s Page speed insights tool’s PageSpeed Insights analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster such as how to
- Ensure text remains visible during webfont load
- Reduce the impact of third-party code
- Minimize main-thread work
- Minimize Critical Requests Depth
- Keep request counts low and transfer sizes small, i.e:
Also remember that because of how websites work, the real and standard definition what “load time” means is actually a little complicated and frankly varied. Imagine terms like
- First contentful paint
- DOM content loaded
- Onload time
- Fully loaded time
For the basic definition, the differences are essentially whether a page is considered loaded when:
- All the content is visible to the human visitor, even if there’s still some background activity going on behind-the-scenes.
- Everything is 100% loaded and there’s no more background activity.
Pingdom uses onload time, while GTmetrix uses fully loaded time. This explains why your Pingdom load times may read little faster. Well again the difference here is not at all that important and that you don’t really need to fully understand the differences. The key issue however is that you should make sure that you’re being consistent when you compare times.
How to Use WordPress Speed Test Tools to Improve Your Website
Now that you have tested your website and got important insights the next thing you should probably want to do is work on tools to boost your website performance. Below are a few ways to speed up your WordPress website.
- Install a WordPress Caching Plugin
Caching plugin ussualy improves your WordPress site’s performance significantly. What it does is to generate static files from your dynamic WordPress website. These static files generated will ensure that your web hosting server can serve that static file instead of processing a comparatively heavier dynamic WordPress PHP scripts. This process of serving static files to your visitors, reduces the overall the bandwidth consumption, resulting in boosting your website speed. Read How to install, manage and uninstall or delete a WordPress Plugin
To find the right plugin for your needs, you can check out our blog here:
- Deploy a Content Delivery Network CDN
Have you ever heard that different geographical locations in the world may experience different loading times on your website? A content delivery network (CDN) removes this hurdle and balances everything out, therefore it is important.
A CDN is composed of a network of multiple servers distributed throughout various locations around the globe. Thus whenever a user visits your website, the CDN identifies their geographical location and serves the static files through a server that is closest to them. Look out for our blog recommending the best CDN’s that will help you improve your page speed significantly.
- Optimize Images for Speed
A website is often as good as its images, thus images often account for most of the downloadable bytes on a web page. If you optimizing your images for speed, you can significantly improve the page load times of your site.
Here is a how you can optimize the images on your site.
Compress images: We highly recommend that you optimize your images for the web before uploading the heavy image files directly from your phone or camera. To make things even easier, , you can also install use an image compression plugin on your site.
Lazy loading: lazy loading, ensures that you can load images only when they’re visible to your visitors, which helps you improve page load time significantly. Therefore if you are using too many images on a web page then it is time to have lazy loading tool.
To do this you can utilize a number of plugins for WordPress websites, such as WP Super Minify and Better WordPress Minify, which will automatically minify your code for you. Here is our guide of how to achieve this:
If you combining all these individual files into a single file, you can make your site load faster and this is one of our recommended best ways to reduce HTTP requests and speed up your website.
Another way to reduce HTTP requests by only loading CSS files that are absolutely necessary for each individual page. You can utilize free plugins including this Asset Cleanup.
Now go ahead and analyze the speed of your and make the critical changes that you have learned above.
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