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.
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.
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.
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!!!