After brief survey we conducted,we noticed that majority of websites do not really pay attention to the page speed.Can you really blame the web owners? Certainly not.Is it more of a case of ignorance or just negligence?
I will be honest with you when I say it’s a bit of both.A lot of developers out there do not even know how test the page load time let alone improve on it.And the users suffer the consequences.How? Well,too much data and time is spent waiting for a page to load other than actually exploring the site.The purpose of this blog post is to ensure you understand what page speed is,how it works,how to test it,improve on it and when it is ignored.This is both for the developers who want to learn and for the web owners who have been tricked time and time again by companies that claim to do Search Engine Optimization while they themselves are not paying critical attention to the page speed(Because yes,page speed is part of basic optimization).
Lets begin with a overview of how the internet works.A user sends request to a server through the browser,the server receives the request,looks it up and send back the result to the user.Sounds pretty simple right?Actually it kind of is.Today I shall not go into requests and details of how data is sent and received,that’s a topic for another day.Plus this blog is meant to make things very very easy for you to understand.
So basically page speed is how fast the content of your site loads,how fast the request is sent,received and resent back.
Below is a photo how how well our main site Katana Web World tested just so you know where we are working from.
Now that we have understood what page speed is,a bit into why it is important.For starters,it’s the 21st century-who wants a page that loads slow?
Page speed actually helps drive traffic to your site.Because here is the deal,page speed adds to your user experience.Majority of users would definitely come back to a site that loaded fast(Provided other site components are good).
Testing your site’s performance is easy.There are so many third party tools that you can use out there,but am going to only mention two of our favorites here.And with solid reasons.
1. Google Page insights: Just type google page insights and go to the first result,page developers.Then type the complete url of your site and press analyze.Simple!The reason we love page insights is that it gives you the site performance both in mobile version and in desktop version.Again,it gives more than just the speed testing.Things like user experience and other basic google rules are considered in the analysis.And the best part,recommendations on how to fix all the site problems they identify.The only down side,it kind of gives “how google views your site” only.We all know that google is the largest search engine on earth,but it is not the only one.No offence Larry Page.
2. Gmetrix Page speed:Yet another one of our favorites.To go to gmetrix type gmetrix page speed.Like google page insights,it does give you the speed of your site and recommendations on which areas to work on.The difference is that it gives the page speed score as well as the Yslow score.Page speed is basically Google and Yslow yahoo.So at least you get different insights of two of the best search engines in the world.The above photo displays result from gmetrix
Kindly keep in mind that there are other page performance tools that can be used.If you need a list then simply say so in the comment box below.
Some of you,I know, have probably wondered if the page speed is really really that important.And most of you who are like us,are going to test major sites in the world like Facebook and Twitter to see how well they perfom.Let me be the ones to tell you that you will be pretty shocked(Now that I said that I bet everybody is going to check those two out).Yes page speed is important but a fine line has to be struck.This is because if you concentrate too much on page speed,then you loose out on the graphics,animations and all the cool stuff that makes a website really tingly.Especially if your site is one that needs to be heavily animated due to the niche,then you have to balance the page speed and animations.Unfortunately,that is not something that can be “taught”.It kind of comes with experience,knowing how to balance optimal page speed and animations or weight of the site.However do not loose hope,because if you love web development then you definitely will find that balance with time.For those who do not have that immense love for web development,then hire a professional developer,but be sure to test the speed.
A site like Facebook there really isnt much they can do for their site.The site is large and cocky as it sounds,they have users who can wait.So unless you think your site is that important,then stick around and know how to improve on your site perfomance on the next post.