Most internet users expect a website page to be fully loaded in less than 2 seconds! And web standards also tell us that, after 3 seconds of waiting, almost 40% of them have left the site! Finally, the ultimate threshold of patience for your visitors is limited to 6-7 seconds …
Thus the speed of loading a page is an important point for a satisfactory user experience: we certainly can not set up great features that nobody will see because of an endless page loading … And even if the capabilities hosting servers are constantly improving, visitors are less and less patient. Admit it, it annoys you to wait for a page to load on your screen …!
This is why I was led to search for efficient tools for measuring the loading time of web pages. After having tested some of them, I share with you my 2 favorite finds as well as some advice on their use.
Tool 1: The Gomez web performance test
This tool will require you to fill out a small form in order to launch the test – name, contact info, etc … Also choose a location (city and country) from which the test will be done. Launch it by clicking on “submit” – the report will then appear in a few seconds, ready to use:
The system of gauges combined with simple and clear explanations allows you to see immediately if your site offers a satisfactory loading time. Indeed the 5 points given by this tool are easily understandable and can even be inserted in a website audit! It of course also allows you to know what is the distribution of the loading time by file type, which is useful in case of too long loading time in order to be able to remedy it.
Take your own test: www.gomez.com/website-performance-test
Tool 2: Loads.in
A little gem in my opinion! All you have to do is open the site, enter the URL of your choice and click on the “Start” button!
5 small thumbnails will then appear showing how the site appears on the screen at different loading time intervals. A cleverly designed tool with a cool design, what more could you ask for? I particularly appreciate being able to make comparisons between different server locations and / or browsers, since the tool keeps a history of your previous tests.
Note: by default the 1st test is always performed from Ashburn USA with Safari 4. Thereafter you can restart the test as many times as you want by changing these parameters (server location and browser).
Test your site now: loads.in
It is not necessarily useful to test each page of your site: limit yourself to the home page and to the pages which can cause problems for example. those with lots of pictures or video. The 2 tools presented here are complementary and allow you to know if the loading time of your site is acceptable, in particular according to the geographical location of your target audience, to make the necessary corrections to improve this precise point.
Finally a correct loading speed will be a quality criterion in the eyes of the search engines and will therefore potentially contribute to the good ranking of the site in the results pages of the latter…!
So … don’t keep your visitors waiting, you have no excuses!