Testing Website Speed the Right Way

A slow-loading website can lead to several difficulties down the road. An ecommerce site may not perform well to the rigors of customers who anticipate a smooth ordering process. Do you own a blog that receives a considerable number of visitors? A slow loading page can lower the visitor count down and possibly lock entire pages down under high demand. Struggling with slow speeds can come from a variety of sources. There are also a few useful tricks to keep a site smooth and fast.

Diagnosing response times from visitors

How a visitor accesses a site can affect site loading speed. On the sever end, this is related to uploading versus downloading time. The initial loading page is often the face of the site. There are a few ways to measure this and remedy problems with initial loading times:

• Ping test

A ping test will confirm a connection to another server or computer that holds the information to the website. A ping test is very simple to use and will determine the wait and receive times between the server in milliseconds. Sometimes, a ping test is also referred to as a website speed analysis. These tests can be done in browsers and are often free on websites like Pingdom.com and Webpagetest.org.

• User accessibility testing

The site will need to be checked for cross-browser performance on every type of common web browser. This can be compared on a ping test for each browser to determine if the site needs optimization for specific browsers.

• Measuring code quality

Measuring code quality is a final and intricate step to determine if the code is optimized. For example, outdated flash code could be replaced with HTML5 script for faster performance.

Measuring and improving load rates

Visitors will often navigate through several pages. Many of these pages will contain code or functions that enable content from other main pages simultaneously in the site. As a result, it can affect the response time for both the entire site and the individual page.

Here are the proper ways to reduce those overall load times:

• Consistent resource locations

Keeping files in a consistent location will reduce the lag time between loading.

• Reduce redirects

Redirects add an extra request on a site by moving the visitor from one page to another. For example, a food blog may contain a redirect to another page within a niche site. Reduce these redirects by enabling the content as an embed within the page. Redirects can be a problem with web applications as well. Amazon has some AWS application monitoring tools that you can use to track this. They aren’t super easy to set up, but it’s possible.

• Reduce latency by reducing clutter

Latency time in a network is the time combined for each request to the server. Compressing image sizes and website code will reduce the latency.