Before you go off making your site run faster, you need to establish a baseline first for your site’s speed.To do this, you need to use some tools. Here are some of the top free ones which will give you plenty of actionable tips to help you configure your site and make it speedy:
Google’s free tool will allow you to check out your website’s real performance for both desktop and mobile devices. You simply need to enter your website URL, click on the blue ‘Analyze’ button, and wait for Google’s suggestions on how your site could be improved.
As you can see onthe screenshot, there are two tabs: Mobile and Desktop. Each tab will have its own set of suggestions on how you can improve your site’s performance on either platform.
You get a score for Page Speed and Optimization. Ideally, you want a perfect score. And it’s not impossible. You just follow the suggestions Google gives you, soyou get a perfect mark!
PageSpeed Insight’s give you both the good and the bad. When you scroll down the page, you’ll see a section for Optimization Suggestionsand another section for Optimizations Already Present. Here’s what it looks like:
What you want to do is go through the Optimization Suggestionssection, click on ‘Show how to fix’ and do the necessary changes.
If you want to know the good stuff, click on ‘Show details’ in the Optimizations Already Presentsection. It’s always good to see when you’re doing something right with your website. It motivates you to go and do the things that need to be done.
Pingdom is another popular tool that you can use to check up on what you need to do to improve your website’s loading times. Many users love this tool because it shows you a lot more information than Google’s PageSpeed Insight does.
All you have to do is type in your website’s URL, select the location you want to test from (currently, you can choose from 4 different locations), then hit the ‘Start Test’ button.
You’ll then be presented with the results. First up is a Summary section which gives your site a ‘Performance Grade.’It also shows your site’s load time, page size, number of requests, and more (see screenshot below). Further down, you’ll have a list of things to improve on in the section ‘Performance Insights.’
If you want to see which of your website files are contributing to your site’s load, then you can check the ‘Content size by content type.’
What’s really cool about Pingdom’s tool is that they include a waterfall analysis of your site. This type of analysis will help you easily look up which factors affect your site’s performance.
To use GTMetrix, you simply need to enter the URL you want to analyzeandyou’ll have your site’s performance report in under a minute. GTMetrix is free to use, andyou can glean lots of information on how you can improve your site’s speed.
The only drawback is you can’t use a test server region closest to your location. Instead, the default region used will be Vancouver, Canada.
Here’s what the report looks like:
As you can see, you’ll get a summary of your ‘Performance scores’ and your ‘Page details.’ You can click on the different tabs to get an idea of the things you need to improve on.
For free users though you can only see data for PageSpeed, YSlow and Waterfall Analysis. If you want to view data in the Timings, Video and History tabs, then you need to either register an account or sign up for a premium plan.
Google is serious about wanting to make the Internet a better place for everyone. If you want your brand or business to succeed, then you’ll need to ensure your site loads fast too. Otherwise, you’ll be losing potential clients and customers to your competitors.