Web page speed optimization has become one of the most important components of the website optimization process. Google incorporates web page load time as one of the factors for organic rankings. Web Analysts should also include page speed KPIs in analytics reports and review the changes atleast twice a month.
Page speed is the time it takes to load a web page. Google recently introduced a Google web master plugin called page speed, which essentially provides you a score for your website page speed. There are several other tools that are available to perform detail load time analysis on your website.
First, let’s talk about how to measure your website page speed metric and establish a benchmark for future comparison.
Google Page Speed – Google Page Speed evaluates the load time performance of a web page. With page speed, you can identify the slow loading pages and make necessary changes to it to improve website performance. Page Speed is available in two formats –
a. Page Speed browser plugin – This plugin is available for both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browser. The installation is similar to installing any browser plugin.
You will need to install Firebug to run the Page Speed browser plugin. Once both Firebug and Page Speed plugins are installed you can run Page Speed using the following steps in Firefox –
1. Open your website in Firefox.
2. Click the bug icon on the bottom right hand footer of Firefox.
3. Click “Page Speed” on the Firebug navigation menu and then click “Analyze Performance”
Page Speed will analyze the performance of your website and provide the Page Speed score (80 in this case) including the summary of optimizations needed.
We will go in details on each of these optimization suggestions later in this post.
b. Page Speed Online – Google recently launched a nifty web app called Page Speed Online, which is a highly usable and actionable application. There is no need to download anything. Open the web app in your browser and analyze your website or mobile site performance.
The web app will spit out the optimizations based on the priority level(high, medium and low) You can view the details for each optimization by clicking the links.
Keep a log of the changes in the Page Speed score and report this as a part of your web analytics reports.
Google Web Master tools also offer a “Site Performance” report. The report provides a six month trend of the page load time in seconds.
WebPageTest.org – Web Page Test is a great free web app for those who want to perform advance analysis.
The web app offers multiple reports, including the Page Speed checklist report, waterfall report, detailed optimization checklist report, and content breakdown report.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Subscribe to the RSS feed so you don’t miss out the Part II of the Page Speed Analytics post. In Part II, we will discuss different load time optimization techniques including minifications of CSS code, parallelizing downloads, asynchronous tagging and more.
Please share your thoughts, insights and comments below. Thank you!