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How a website speed test can prevent from losing visitors.

Gone are the days when people used to sit back with patience while a website used to take its own sweet time to load. Today nobody likes a slow website, and this is one major reason for increase in bounce rates on any website. There are many factors responsible for a site to load quickly, and a website speed test can easily identify factors that are spoiling the performance of the website.

Webmaster and web developers would like to certainly know whether a given page is slow and the reasons behind it. There are several free tools available to easily test website speed, and if you use or have used a couple of them you will notice that the results vary across different tools. Hence, it’s advisable to go with the trusted ones.

I’ve used many website speed test tools but finally settled on two tools Pingdom and GTMetrix. Following are the features of both these tools:

Also Read: What is web hosting, and how to choose a web hosting provider?

Pingdom: This is a powerful yet simple tool that can help you test your website speed and suggest areas of improvements. Following are the features of Pingdom.

  • Identify bottlenecks on a webpage: The tool creates a report on file sizes, load times, and other details about every single element of a web page. It gives suggestion on improvements of HTML, JavaScript and CSS files, images, etc.
  • Performance grade: When the website speed test is completed you will see a tab named performance grade in the report section. This tab captures recommendation on page speed performance for example if there are too many external requests on a given page the tool will flag it and request to minimize request size.
  • This tool saves the history of every test that you have done with it so that you can compare the changes that happen overtime.
  • Multiple location testing: You can test the website speed from multiple locations this will give you a good idea of how your website is loading in US vs UK, and take necessary steps.

GTMetrix: I love this tool it provides very detailed report on the website speed and load time. Following are some of the features that GTMetrix offers:

  • It analyzes your web pages with Google’s Page Speed and Yahoo’s YSlow rules
  • You get a complete summary of page load time, size, and number of requests that the page is sending
  • The tool shows the result of your website in comparison to average of all sites that GTMetrix has analyzed
  • You can also optimize your website for the mobile devices by analyzing your pages on actual android device via GTMetrix
  • It analyzes pages from 13 servers based in 7 different locations across the world.

One very important thing while you use these tools is that you need not to optimize everything that is suggested. Start with the ones that are highly critical, and then move on to the other suggestions. Most sites include code for services like ads, analytics or other widgets. These codes may fetch javascript or CSS from other sources. Of course, since you have no control over these resources, there’s nothing you can (or need to) do.

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