The new year is a good time to review your website and find out what is affecting site speed and performance. Fast websites mean happier web visitors, who want to engage with your content and learn what services/products you offer.
Many factors that affect website performance are dependent on your web hosting provider and their setup, which you have limited options for changing, unless you move to a new hosting provider.
But there are still items you have control over and can modify to improve the speed of your website, including image optimization, minifying resources, and enabling compression.
Once you’ve taken the steps on your site to improve website performance, the next step is to check the results of your efforts to confirm your optimizations produced a good outcome.
Or find out if you have more work to do.
Where do you start checking website performance?
Here are three free online tools I recommend for analyzing your site. Each tool provides suggestions for improving speed and performance; GTMetrix goes a step further and offers WordPress-specific optimization tips.
- PageSpeed Tools
Created by Google Developers, PageSpeed Tools offers a set of tools to help you analyze and optimize your site. With Page Speed Insights, you can get your PageSpeed score and suggestions on how to make your site faster.
You can easily analyze your website with the PageSpeed Insights browser extension for Chrome. Page Speed Insights performs a number of tests on the front-end and configuration of your site, reviewing your site for multi-device performance. The PageSpeed extension runs in Chrome Developer Tools.
A free tool for webmasters and web developers, Pingdom provides a performance overview of your site, including a performance grade, tips, and a history of your website performance tests.
Additionally, Pingdom offers you the ability to test the speed of your site from multiple locations. Pingdom also offers a premium service, starting at just under $15/month, to monitor and test the performance of your site.
Once your site is analyzed, you’ll see a detailed list of issues for each criteria your site doesn’t pass with a 100% score, along with an explanation of what each criteria means. For example, “Make fewer HTTP requests” offers the further explanation, HTTP requests through combined files and CSS sprites.
What tools do you use to check performance and speed on your website?