Today, we live in an age of speed and immediacy, the 21st century. In all of these circumstances, improving website speed is one of the most significant factors for us.
And not just for us, but also for Google and promoting our site in the organic results. If so, what exactly is the speed of our site?
And how can we perform a website speed test practically with the various tools on the market?
And most importantly: practical solutions for improving and upgrading the speed of our site. for work!
Improving Website Speed – What Is It? How is it measured?
First of all, for all of us to be an equal starting point – what is website speed anyway?
The official definition of the term is the time it takes for a browser to download and display all the content of the web page in the browser window displayed to the user.
How is the page load time actually measured?
The “stopwatch” begins when a user applies to access the site and ends when all the page content is displayed in the user’s browser. Here are the different steps that affect the loading time of the site:
- The user enters a URL, or clicks on a link to the site
- The browser is requesting a server over the Internet
- The DNS servers connect the request to the storage server
- The request goes to the site’s hosting server
- The storage server sends the response back to the user browser
- The browser starts receiving the requested page (referred to as the first byte time – TTFB)
- The browser analyzes, loads and processes the content of the page
- The entire requested page becomes available in the browser
Okay the definition we understood, but what I get to invest in site speed?
- Improving the ranking of organic results in site promotion (and funding) – Site speed, it turns out, is one of the most significant factors in determining our ranking score in organic results. Stable and good speed usually guarantees that Google will not one day decide to “throw” us a few pages back somewhere. Google has also publicly recommended (right here) improved site speeds, both on mobile and PC. And anyone who is familiar with Google’s policy is aware that it “keeps the cards close to the chest” many times when it comes to the ranking algorithm. If so, Google is giving us a tip – shall not we take it? Certainly.
- Preventing potential losses and declining revenues – As we have already noted, the 21st century is an age of immediacy. Most visitors are just not ready to wait. Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. This is not an imaginary scenario, but one backed up by real data – which indicates that the faster the site, the greater the chances of conversion!
And if we wanted to say in simple words why site speed is important – then cost versus benefit is crucial to the whole story. We strive to make our site more profitable, more successful and make as many conversions as possible.
And if the speed of the site is able to advance us in both organic and sponsored search, along with preventing losses and even raising revenue, on the contrary. It is definitely worth the cost when the benefit is so huge.
In short: Faster website -> Bigger revenue, fewer losses.
The various tools for checking website speed
After discussing the definitions and importance of site speed, it’s time to get to the heart of the matter – how do I actually perform a website speed test and test my site, its speed, and understand what needs to be improved on it? We are faced with several tools.
From tools for checking the speed of a company’s website like Google to various and varied private companies. Each tool has different advantages and disadvantages and aspects that it offers, so let’s go over their brief overview:
PageSpeed Insights – The perfect tool for testing site speed
PageSpeed Insights – This is a great tool for checking website speed and the optimizations recommended by Google.
It is one of the best and most successful tools, for testing website speed.
The tool is based on Google Lighthouse software, open-source software that analyzes our site “from A to Z”, and gives each site a score from 1-100, with two main scores: a score for mobile and a score for Desktop, and prefers to focus on opportunities – what can be fixed to improve site speed:
We will touch on the main points presented in the report in this case (note: this is a rather flawed site):
- Images in up-to-date formats – not all image formats are “created equal”. There are more economical and optimal formats in WebP, compared to PNG which is considered a “wasteful” format.
And more. The biggest advantage of the tool: each problem has an explanation in simple language and references to articles that expand on it.
PageSpeed Insights Measurement Values:
GTmetrix – one of the tools I like to test site speed with
GTmetrix – Another one of the most popular website speed-testing tools.
The tool allows access to the speed test from several different servers around the world, both through Lighthouse base tools and through others.
An orderly report is produced, along with a score that the site receives. for example:
Here, we are presented with all the problems, from the lowest level to the greatest problematic. There are explanations for the various problems
Important note: Pay attention to the number of referrals on your site, which are displayed as follows – this is one of the benefits of the plugin:
Note that by reducing the amount of different fonts on the site, the amount of unnecessary files, etc., it is possible to miraculously improve the speed of the site.
According to the various references, it is possible to know what is causing the problems (which image, which fonts) and solve the matter.
Pingdom – This is another tool for checking the website speed, from Pingdom.
It checks a variety of different parameters and gives a numerical score, next to a letter (A-F). In addition, it analyzes all kinds of different performance data and gives a score ranging from A to F.
This is also an example of a site that does not meet a particularly high standard
Additional Website Speed Testing Tools
- Checking Website Speed With Website Ranking In SEO Search Results I recommend the experte tool
- Checking worldwide load times A very useful tool – dotcom tools
- Comparing speed between different websites – Web Vitals Leaderboard
- PageSpeed Insights Website Speed Calculator
Improving website speed – practical solutions
So far, we have dealt with theory, problem analysis and presented it clearly. Now, it’s time to get to work and address the root of the issues at Improving Website Speed.
There are lots of different and varied ways to upgrade your site speed.
I present you with five practical solutions for Improving Website Speed:
1. Image optimization on the site
Let’s start with the problem: photos do indeed do the job much better, but they inevitably take much longer to load. Especially if you use the wrong / up-to-date formats or do not further optimize the images, which is simply a snap to the site.
The solution: Instead of using outdated formats such as JPG, PNG, etc., we would prefer to use formats such as WebP (AVIF etc).
Alongside this, we will use a WordPress image optimization plugin like ShortPixel or we will use an external image optimization tool such as TinyPng.
This is when the maximum file size is 100kb, and we always want to target it or close to it (and the less, the better).
Information on How To Optimize Images For WordPress You will find in the article I wrote
More than that – a waste of resources and a delay in loading the site.
2. Appropriate web hosting package
Choosing a storage package can be crucial in the speed of the site. For example, if most of our visitors are from Germany, we would prefer to host our site on a quality server located in the immediate area.
It is important to choose storage that is specially available (good uptime) and take care of good loading speed (server level). It is also important to make sure that our package does indeed meet the needs of our site.
If our site is particularly large, and the package is intended for small-medium sites – then it was clear that there was a decline in speed.
3. Using the Caching plugin
Caching plugins are one of the most useful plugins available in WordPress. The principle behind the cache mechanism: There is no point in reloading the entire page every time, only critical parts (which are updated frequently).
Everything Else? Saved in the browser memory.
In short: streamlining and reducing a variety of things. Feel free to search and read about the WP Rocket plugin online.
4. Use of CDN Services
CDN is basically a network of servers that are distributed in different areas and are maintained by companies like Cloudflare, Google Cloud, etc.
The idea behind the CDN is simple: the nearest server from the CDN stores our various images, files and details, in order to reduce their loading time.
Think that a powerful Cloudflare server will do this significantly better than our “primitive” server.
This is a significant tool for improving site speed.
5. Checking the plugins
This section is intended primarily for users of the WordPress Websites (or for all users of a plugin-based content system). Of course plugins are a wonderful thing, but they can “get out of hand” very quickly.
The more of them we have, the less likely they are to compromise our site.
So, as a rule of thumb for improving website speed: go through your list of supplements one by one and ask yourself – is this supplement important to me? Is ownership versus benefit more beneficial? Personally, we have found quite a few cases in clients whose plugin load has significantly hurt the speed of their site.
To summarize website speed improvement
In addition, it is worth attaching importance to additional tests: reducing and optimizing the amount of fonts used, accelerating the loading of maps, accelerating videos and videos in constant activity, reducing and optimizing the amount of icons used, optimizing background forms, optimizing the WooCommerce plugin on specific pages, finding and handling site errors (404, etc. ), Reduction of response time, and further testing.