The benefits of improving your site's load times for positioning
Load time is an essential factor to consider in your site’s performance. High-performing websites offer a good browsing experience to your visitors and help you reach your goals more effectively.
The more technological advances, the more possibilities are created for the Web, such as high-quality images, animations, external applications, and more. All this makes your visitors’ browsing experience a positive one, but it could also have an impact on the loading time of your site. Nowadays there are excellent services for creating an optimized website.
One truth we need to be very clear about is that you could lose up to thousands of visitors to your website simply because it doesn’t load fast enough. A couple of seconds more loading time can make a big difference, making you lose users intolerant to slow loading, which is becoming more and more, and so consequently you end up losing potential customers.
This is something you simply can’t afford these days. If people leave, tired of waiting for your website to open, all the work you’ve put into it ends up being useless.
But it’s not the end of the world. This is a problem that can be solved, and in this article, we will show you how to check and also improve the loading speed of your website.
The best tools to test the loading of web pages
Page Speed Insight from Google
Available in Google Search Console, the Page Speed Insight tool is a very interesting tool. It measures the loading time by analyzing the website content and even suggests detailed improvements to increase the loading speed of a page. Among the elements that the tool analyzes are, among other things, the weight of images, the size of HTML resources, browser cache, and redirects. It performs these analyses for desktop and mobile pages.
This tool is even more interesting because it is a Google tool. This allows you to see how the search engine may affect your site’s ranking on its search results pages.
The YSlow tool was created by the Yahoo search engine. It also analyzes website content and suggests ways to improve it. The difference is that it is based on Yahoo’s algorithm and is primarily intended for Firefox browser users.
As for the WebPageTest tool, it offers the same services as the previous tools but offers more free functions that are paid for in other tools. For example, WebPageTest offers the measurement of the time required for the first-page load and then page refresh.
Available in the WordPress extension, the GTMetrix tool combines several features of Google Page Speed Insight and YSlow to generate its analysis and recommendations. This is probably the most used web page load time tool by website owners. In fact, it is highly appreciated for its ease of use and the diversity of its functionalities.
Pingdom is also a very popular tool among WordPress website administrators. When you start analyzing your WordPress website through Pingdom, it generates a performance score, a total load time, the total page size, and the number of requests generated when the page is opened. This tool is very interesting for a quick and easy analysis of page load time. It is simple to understand due to a limited number of functionalities, but comprehensive enough if these indicators are the only ones you are interested in.
Tips to improve the speed of a website
Next, we will see what factors you should take into account when optimizing the loading speed of your website to adapt to users’ and Google’s needs.
Choose a good hosting
Creating an optimized website will not be very useful if the hosting is not up to date in terms of stability and timeliness.
For about 5 euros per month, you can have good quality hosting that meets the needs of your website and does not abandon you. Only good hosting will give you the guarantees you need.
Choose a light and optimized insole
Did you know that 77% of best-selling WordPress themes have problems with the desktop loading speed and up to 96% on mobile devices? Unbelievable, but true.
All this, in the end, ends up penalizing the loading speed of your website, regardless of whether the template is aesthetically just what you were looking for.
Many do not take advantage of WordPress native features and, to function properly, require the use of external programs, shortcodes, and plugins that could end up cluttering the code of your website.
Why is it so important to improve the loading speed of a website?
The loading speed of a website is critical to the user experience, and if it’s important to the user, it’s even more important to Google. But how important is it? Surely a lot, so much so that every millisecond counts.
Think about it: today our patience when we want to access a website is reduced to the minimum, especially if we use a mobile device. What happens if we consider that a website takes too long to load? The answer is very simple: we close the page and look for another option.
Can you imagine the number of visits, money, and conversions you could lose for a few seconds of extra loading time? Well, to give you an idea, 47% of users expect a website to take 2 seconds or less to load, while 40% do not hesitate to abandon a website with a loading time of more than 3 seconds.
In addition to this, loading speed is, at the same time, an increasingly important factor for positioning a website, especially with the massive use of the Internet from mobile devices, which has already led Google to prioritize mobile versions in research results.