Test Your Website Load Time – Google Does!

by Sherry Riter in Blog tips  ,Blogger,Website Tools,Wordpress

On Friday, April 09, 2010 at 11:00 AM, Google started using site speed as a new signal in the search ranking algorithms. Site speed is how long it takes for a website to load when requested by a user.

According to Google:

“Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs.

So if you haven’t tested your website’s load time, you should do it soon! There are several testing sites, but I really like Pingdom Tools and all the analysis it offers is totally FREE.

I know the first thing that just popped into your head…“What is a good load time?” The answer varies depending on where you get the information, but it is a number somewhere between two and five seconds. Obviously, the less time to load, the better it is for the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of your site. When the page loads, the page speed needs to fly and that will make the Google spiders very happy!

How To Use Pingdom Tools

It may look complicated to use the Pingdom Tools website to test the load time of your website, but it is really a piece of cake to use.

  • Start at the top and choose the FULL PAGE TEST tab.
  • In the empty white box, enter your website URL.
  • Drop down a bit and choose the site you want to test from by clicking SETTINGS and the little round circle next to a location. It will put a dot in the circle. By the way, that circle/dot thing is called a RADIO BUTTON.
  • Now click the TEST NOW button.

After the test, all the information will appear below in the dark box as well as further down the page.

Test Your Website Load Time 1

Different locations will give you different times, so check them all. To get the most out of the tool, you need to analyze the information.

Pingdom For Website Load Time 2

To analyze the Pingdom Tools load time test reports, use the three tabs at the top and the four tabs under the black box results as shown below. These tabs will provide extensive detail about your site. When you find that a score is lower or errors occur, the report will pinpoint exactly where the problem is so that you can fix it on your website.

Pingdom For Website Load Time 3

It is a best practice to test website speeds often. If the speed is consistently slow, correct the errors and/or change the website design in order to create a high performance web site to enhance your SEO (Search Engine Optimazation) and the user experience. Remember, the “user” is your loyal reader! Don’t make them wait and wait for your site to load!

As you can tell, my website is under two seconds, so I’m rather happy about it. I found some pictures that should have the sizes reduced and a few other things I will work on, but all in all, the site is healthy.

The geek in me finds this part of blogging fascinating and you say it like FAS-CI-NAAAAA-TING! Can you hear my country drawl?

Does anyone have any questions? How fast is your website load time? Do you have any errors? I’m listening!!!

 

 

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Skip_D September 9, 2012 at 8:19 am

Very interesting… the geek in me agrees that it’s faaaaaaa-sci-na-ting! ;) Who’d'a thunk it? Gonna have to check that out – thanks for the info!

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The Redhead Riter September 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm

:P I do love this kind of stuff, Skip, and I’m glad you have some geek in you too!

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Lesley Peterson September 9, 2012 at 8:39 am

Useful tips! I know I will not wait too long for pages to load. Rewarding someone for clicking by stalling them is just plain rude. Form must follow function, not the other way around. Great post!

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The Redhead Riter September 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Thank you, Lesley! I don’t think people have slow loading pages on purpose. Since so many people with very little knowledge get on the internet and start websites, they really just don’t know what to do to make their websites better. Many people don’t have the money to hire a designer to help them either. I also think that many people are simply ignorant of the fact that a slow loading web page is verrrrry undesirable! In this case, ignorance is DEFINITELY not bliss! :D Thanks for taking the time to comment!!!

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Joan September 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Redhead Riter, you wrote, “Obviously, the less time to load, the better it is for the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of your site. When the page loads, the page speed needs to fly and that will make the Google spiders very happy!”

I don’t have to test my two websites, http://www.abadmarriageisfattening.com and http://www.richbeyondmywildestdreams.com, for how fast it takes them to load. I know that it takes them two seconds to open up. How do I know this? You designed and built both of my websites for me, so I know that you already tested that the pages for both my websites loaded quickly, because you wanted to keep the Google spiders very happy!

But here’s the thing: not only did you keep the Google spiders very happy, you kept me very happy too! I would like to take this opportunity to say that I think you are THE BEST WEB DESIGNER ON THE INTERNET (and you have the best prices too)!

I love both of my websites that you designed for me and people are always complimenting me on how much they like my websites and how original they both are. So, I just want to say, “Thank you, for building me two fantastic websites that I love and that the Google spiders love too! And a BIG THANK YOU also for the extreme patience you had in teaching me everything I needed to learn about blogging, (and there was plenty, as you already know, that I needed to learn)!” :)

What a lot of people don’t know, that aside from being a world class blogger and designing your own website yourself, you are a phenomenal web designer and your patience for teaching people the ins-and-outs of blogging and social media is unsurpassed! I would highly recommend you to anyone who is looking for a web designer to build their blog and/or a teacher to learn blogging and social media from. You are simply the best! :)

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The Redhead Riter September 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm

:D Thank you, Joan! I really am happy that you love your websites! Thanks for giving me a big shout out on my blog and on Twitter! {{{hugssssss}}}

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Joan September 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Redhead Riter, I’ve been thinking about starting a third blog and having you design and build it! LOL Only kidding! I can see you rolling your eyes because I can’t even keep up with the two blogs I already have! But I promise that I will start posting new posts on my websites VERY SOON! :)

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The Redhead Riter September 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I AM ROLLING MY EYES! HOLY MOLY!!!! LOL

Okay, I’m also laughing my head off!

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Joan September 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Laugh away, Redhead Riter! I’m truly serious about posting again! :)

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The Redhead Riter September 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

You better be serious because you have two very nice looking websites ;)

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Nick September 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm

A useful tip. But I’ve become very impatient with load times – about 8 sec is now my max wait, then I’m outta there. So many annoying ads and graphics these days.

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The Redhead Riter September 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Nick,

There ARE so many pop up ads now when I visit sites. I know that it is great for business to have things right IN THE FACE of the consumer, but it is still aggravating. A load time of 8 seconds is really a long time! Maybe you should send them the link to test their site with a little note. LOL

Thanks for your comment!

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Thomas B January 3, 2013 at 8:55 am

Nice blog post and Pingdom tools are one of many great products out there. Can’t over-egg enough the importance of speed testing – not only from an SEO perspective but from a user experience.

Nice alternative is StatusCake.com’s tool which allows you to simply enter the URL and then chose the location you want the website to be tested from. Quick, easy-to-use and free! :) https://www.statuscake.com/tools/

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Sherry Riter January 3, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Thank you and thanks for the additional source to check blog speed!

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Ankit January 15, 2013 at 11:46 am

Pingdom Tools is just awesome. It really helped me to solve my issues. Thanks for this useful information.

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Sherry Riter January 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm

I’m glad you found it helpful!

Reply

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