How Fast is Your Website? Some Tools to Get Answers

Turtle on Computer

Site speed is very important to users.  So much so that studies have shown that 40% of users will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.  For many business owners, it’s very difficult to determine whether your website is loading quickly.  First of all, how do we determine how long it takes our website to load?  Once we know the time, how does our load time stack up against other websites?  And finally, if our site is loading slowly, what can we do about it?

Don’t worry about answering any of these questions on your own.  There are plenty of tools out there to give you the answers.  Here are three of our favorites at JG Visual.

Pingdom Full Page Test

Pingdom

The Pingdom Full Page Test will give you an enormous amount of detail on what areas are causing slowdowns, but the information you’ll be most concerned about will show at the top of the test.

Stats to Look At

  • Faster Than XX% – In yellow at the top you’ll see that your website is faster than XX% of all the tested websites.  As you might expect, the higher the percentage here the better.
  • Performance Grade – This will give you a score from 0 – 100 for your website’s performance based on Google’s Page Speed metrics.  Obviously, scores in the 80s or 90s are strong.  Anything below probably means your website needs some work.
  • Load Time – This is the number of seconds or milliseconds that it takes your website to load.  You want this number to be as low as possible.  It should definitely be under three seconds and ideally it’s less than one second.

GTmetrix

GTmetrix

GTmetrix provides similar information to that of Pingdom’s Full Page Test, but it also gives grades based on Yahoo’s YSlow.

Stats to Look At

  • Page Speed Grade – The percentage and grade shown here are created based on Google’s Page Speed algorithms.  As you can see from the list below the “Page Speed” tab, they are looking at a large number of factors that basically sum up how well your website implements each performance recommendation.  You want your grade here to be either an A or a B.
  • YSlow Grade – The percentage and grade shown here come from Yahoo’s YSlow tool.  This tool also looks at a number of factors and determines how well your website implements Yahoo’s recommendations.  Just like Google’s Page Speed, you want your grade to be either an A or a B.

Yottaa

Yottaa

Yottaa was recently featured in Mashable for their ability to quickly and effortlessly increase your website’s speed.  Aside from their paid website speed services, Yottaa also offers a free website test to determine your site’s speed.  The best part about Yottaa’s test is that they show you multiple comparisons to other websites they’ve tested.

Stats to Look at

  • Performance of this page is… – Yottaa does the work of telling you how you stack up against other websites with a simple to understand word.  They use words like “average”, “good” and “yottaarific”.
  • Yottaa Score is better than… – Just like Pingdom’s “faster than” percentage, this tells you where you rank compared to other tested websites.  Being in the top 80% or 90% means your website is loading quickly.

My Website is Slow.  What Now?

So, you checked out these websites and the results were less than desirable.  Your site was faster than 20% of the sites tested on Pingdom and your Yottaa score was a 31.  What now?  Well, unfortunately, most of the work necessary to speed up your website requires the knowledge of a website programmer.  If you have a web development company you’ve worked with before, get in touch and tell them about the results you’ve seen on these websites.  Even if they don’t have a ton of experience with speed optimization, the websites above provide plenty more details on the best ways to boost your speed.

Oh, and if you’re one of those people who scored straight A’s, 99% and excellent on every test, then relax.  Your website is a streamlined, well-oiled machine.

Your Thoughts

What do you think?  How patient are you when you visit a website?  Have you had issues with your own website loading slowly or seen the benefits of speeding up a site?  We’d love to hear your thoughts below.