Why Website Speed Test Matters?

How do I check if my website is slow, and how to improve website loading speed…

A Slow Website…

As a small company, Youtuber, blogger, for any reason, you have posted your first website and are excited! Who wouldn’t be? It’s an amazing thing to have a website! But when you open up your phone to show your friends, your website takes really long to load... You might feel embarrassed because, after 20 seconds of uncomfortably staring at your phone with your friends, your website eventually loads. But none of your images are loading yet… Sometimes it’s a bad connection, but how about when it’s not? You may decide to blame your wifi as anyone would, but in reality, it could be because of your website’s poor optimization and slow speed.

When you have a website with a lot of big files, that is more than your phone/computer has to load. If you have a lot of pictures, words, even a small amount. All these things have an impact on your website’s loading time. To check if your website has poor speed, Google has created a speed test to check your loading times. With this information, you can start to optimize your large pictures, poor styling, chain requests, and other issues that can create a lag.

In fact, having a slow website in the year 2020 is a very poor choice because it will draw away a lot of users from your website as well as impact your online ranking hence, why you need a fast loading website to have a steady stream of viewers and a consistent audience.

How to know if your website is slow?

Most people unintentionally make their website slow without realizing it. Having a slow website is normal and is very common for people who have just created their first website. Using a resource such as Google’s website speed test, you can check if your website is a victim of slow loading. Slow loading is very unappealing to customers if you own a business. Most people, if a webpage doesn’t load in around 5 seconds, will go back and try to find a website that works.

This is known as a website bounce rate. The average statistic is if your website takes more than 5 seconds, the chance of someone leaving your webpage increases to nearly 90%.

People who use websites that “auto-generate code” to make your website more appealing always have a very mediocre loading time. For example, having a WordPress or other Content Management Systems (CMS) take longer to render and process than a static HTML and CSS website. So when you are a medium-sized company, it would make more sense to hire someone to develop a custom website for your product. Regardless if it's a CMS or not, your website can still be optimized. For example, there are many plugins in WordPress that allow sites to be optimized.

Hence using a WordPress developer to build your website should not be ruled out.

Hosting helps in Performance.

Most web host providers high bitrates and processors that support large websites. Good and well-managed hosting services provide options available to optimize your website without you having to do anything when you want to opt for a CMS website.

I have a bad score. What does that mean?

If you run the speed test and your website scored bad, here are some things to look out for. The number one reason that your website could be slow is unoptimized images. Having .jpeg will load your website faster than a PNG because of how small the image size they are. Having your images be less than 500kb will greatly increase your website’s loading speed. “Unoptimized images can cost you money in the form of bandwidth overage.” Another reason that a website could be slow is if you’re using old/unsupported content, such as flash files. Using HTML5 is the best replacement for content such as flash.

Another issue could be if your code is unclean. You can confuse yourself and rewrite lines of codes which will take up space and increase loading. Using a lot of Inline CSS will also be a bad/lazy way to code a website. In fact, you want to try to use one single compressed external CSS stylesheet as well as JavaSript. This will allow you to share multiple classes between elements in HTML.

Suppose you are a medium business and want to put too many iframes as well as external videos and ads on your website. Especially if you're looking to generate some sort of revenue, you should be cautious not to use many external embeds.

Having too many ads on your webpage can increase load time. And the last thing you can check is your web host provider. Having multiple pages to load shouldn’t be an issue, but when your host provider limits your bandwidth to your website, you might want to look into switching to another hosting provider.

How to fix your slow website

To fix some of these issues, you can use resources such as HTML Compressor, or even Image Optimizer. These two tools allow you to significantly reduce your website load time. What they both do is take your image/code and figure out ways to reduce the file size using advanced compression uniques. After running both of these tools, upload your changes to your webpage, then check Google’s speed test again. If you are using WordPress, you want to be cautious of how many plugins you use and what they do. Having plugin bloat can slow down your website’s performance by creating extra files that your users have to load.

You can also look at your website’s HTTPS requests and see which files specifically make your website slower. Your goal is to aim for a higher percentage of speed on your website. After optimizing your webpage, you want to aim for 90%-100%. If your website, even after all the optimization techniques, is still below that percentage, try to fix your styling on your website; even creating more web pages works too. Going from one huge web page to multiple medium-sized ones will help distribute your loading times. Once you get your website optimized, use google’s load speed test checker and keep double-checking. Every time you create new web pages and your website starts to slow up, but you can’t figure it out, run the speed test, and it will tell you what aspect of your website sucks.

Example of optimizing your website

Let’s look at a live example now. If I use my website speed test according to google, my website gets a whopping 98%. This is because my website has been optimized!

All the images I used are have been compressed. This is another key factor in having a faster website.

Another example of optimizing

Typically on a website, you never want to use an animated background or videos. Hence, solid colors will load quickly, then if you want to add a video. Create a frame where you want the video playing, then play it there. Optimizing web pages is all about process improvement and will be something you will revisit and improve.

Takeaway on Website Speed Test

Ensuring that your website is fast will help your business in many ways. Besides creating a great user experience it will also play a factor when it comes to SEO and website ranking. The worst-case scenario is that a slow slow website will generate a loss of viewers and customers to your website.

If you are unfamiliar with what you should do, it's best to touch base with a web design agency or SEO experts.

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