Speed matters to website owners. A few seconds can be the difference between a very successful website and a wasted digital space. To determine the speed of your website, you can perform a simple speed test in a matter of seconds. The speed test results can provide you with insight into how well your website is performing as well as what you can do to improve loading times.
How to speed test your website:
Speed tests are incredibly simple to run. Simply visit a web page speed testing page like Pingdom or GTmetrix, and enter the web page you would like to see the result for, as well as the location you would like to test from. Remember that the further away from the test site your website location is, the slower the results. However, testing your web page from the country where the majority of your traffic originates is recommended.
Once you have selected your preferred settings, click to begin the test. You may have to wait a moment depending on the length of the queue. Once your speed test is complete, you will be presented with a wealth of information. The statistics and accompanying data may not be entirely intuitive. Below you will see an explanation for a Pingdom web page speed test results, however, the information presented is fairly consistent across most speed test tools.
Interpreting results: Basic information
A series of informative boxes will appear on your screen after completing your website speed test. Below you can see that we’ve broken down each category to help you understand your website speed along with what you can do to make improvements to your website loading time.
As the most easily understood metric in on the page, your website is categorized depending on the length of time it took for your page to respond. Just as in grade school, an A is a preferred result.
Your page size is important because it tells you how much information has to travel to the requests. Smaller page sizes will travel faster.
The website load time is exactly how long it took your web page to load up. Anything over three seconds is frowned upon by both website traffic and search engines.
The requests section is the number of communications between the server and the website visitor’s computer. Each request prompts the sending of a file containing text, images, or other multimedia on the page. The fewer requests there are, the faster your web page loading time is.
Additional technical information
The second section of your speed test results contains information that is a little more technical than the first section. See the sections below to fully understand your speed test results.
Improve page performance
If your website did not score well in the speed test results, you should be very interested in this section. Pingdom provides a list of problem spots or bottlenecks that may be slowing your web page down. Each website tested returns a variety of problem spots. However, it may be worth researching your specific website issues.
This section is reserved for HTTP Response Codes if any happen to appear while your web page is loading. If codes appear other than the green ‘all clear’ codes, a quick internet search can help you identify the source and how to rectify the error.
Content and request sizes
The next four sections are split into boxes to help you understand the content and request sizes by type and by domain. Each line will show you a type of content or request and exactly how many requests were involved. If you feel that a certain section is too large, you may want to look into your website code to see why.
The file request section acts as a road map to your website load time. Each loading level is detailed and color coded. You can see what was occupying the loading time based on the color key in the top right-hand corner. You can sort the file requests by load order, wait time, status codes, blocked times, and other important categories. You can also adjust the order the file requests appear in or filter for the request you are searching for.
Now that your web page speed test is complete, you can prioritize the areas that may need adjusting. However, if your web page loading speed is under three seconds, you most likely don’t need to make any adjustments.
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