WordPress platform has provided an easy to use environment for creating beautiful websites, without having any coding knowledge. Unfortunately, this means that people who are not tech-savvy will be building websites, which can lead to high website loading time or unnecessary plugins and scripts running and slowing the website.
By current standards, any website that is loading more than four seconds will be penalized by the search engines with a low search ranking, so having your website up to speed is very important. The slow-loading website will cost you visitors, page-views, and conversions, so what you need to do is analyze your website’s speed in regular intervals, and if any problems are found be sure to remove them.
Houston we have a problem?
In order to check your website and find problems you can use a slew of free website testing, speed and performance analyzing tools, and many of them are free. They will offer comprehensive analysis results, though some may be more relevant from a certain point of view, so be sure to use multiple tools.
Pingdom Website Speed Test – offers full page test. It will display page size, loading time, server requests, speed % relative to other tested websites, and a final performance score, with a plethora of other information that can help you find a weak spot in your website. Results are well presented, with a number of improvement recommendation, which makes it one of webmaster favorite tools.
Google PageSpeed Insights – is another free tool that will give your website an average performance score, page stats, and optimization suggestions, as well as common performance best practices. More importantly, it will test your website twice – once as a desktop and another time as a mobile device. Getting recommendations from Google is a very good choice as they represent the industry standard. Note that you should not try to maximize the overall score, but improver the low scores to better your website, while your website does not need more than an ideal score of 85/100.
YSlow – the tool that will provide recommendations for improving website delivery by comparing the website to Yahoo’s guidelines for high-performance websites. It is an open-source tool, and results are displayed as a checklist. While it may seem so, it does not only check your website loading speed but rather, it made an analysis of how well your website has been optimized for delivery. The “easy” way to get this kind of test for your website is to use GTMetrix and select the YSlow results.
GTMetrix – while originally being developed for the managed hosting customers of a hosting provider, it can be considered as a three-in-one test, as it will take your website through Pingdom, Google, and YSlow test, and display results in several tabs on a dashboard.
Implementing the recommended optimisation and improvements
Take your time to analyze the results, and choose the strategy that will improve your website most significantly, having in mind that your target goal is the visitor experience, and not the high score on a website speed test tool.