How to check website speed

Published: Artem Prysyazhnuk 2022-10-17 all articles | Glossary | FAQ

Every website owner or webmaster in the world, if it’s important for him to have a successful website, asked himself a question like “how to check my website speed” or such. And, of course, to answer this question about site loading speed and its performance as well, its owner needs a guide which tools to use and how to do it properly. Because it is not an easy task overall, though almost basic. But neglecting this task’s complexity as well as website loading speed itself might be fatal for website promotion. Because all search and advertising systems almost always rely on this when determining website’s reliability and stability.

So when a website owner asks “how to properly check my site speed”, it is important to understand which tools should be used, And also it is important to understand each and every metric that will be shown during diagnostics. Because it will be useful when a website owner will be reading through diagnostics reports and statistics. Therefore a webmaster or website owner will be able to quickly tell what are the causes of problems with website loading speed and performance. And we will share a lot of useful information regarding all of the aforementioned matters in our article below.

Importance of proper website speed check

According to various studies, which have been conducted repeatedly, the optimal loading time for web pages should be less than 3 seconds. This is true both for desktop browser versions of websites as well as for versions for mobile devices. Moreover, a study conducted by Google showed that the chance of users leaving the website with such loading time is no more than 35%. At the same time with a web page loading time of 3 to 5 seconds, this metric rises straight to 90%.

And the logic behind such behavior of Internet users becomes quite understandable. If a user lands on a slow loading website, they simply won't wait for it to load. The user is likely to simply go to competitor websites that load quickly. So it is very important to use a reliable website speed checker, capable of testing loading speed for desktop and mobile device users. 

website speed check

The latter is vital as well because as of 2019, Google's queue indexing has shifted to the Mobile First priority sequence. Since that time, Google systems began to give priority to those sites that have a high-quality mobile version with fast loading. And this is taking into account the fact that the early systems of Google gave priority to those websites where the speed of loading ad units was high. And Google Ads, as a rule, removes websites with low speed from queries.

All things considered, it is important to check your website speed constantly. Because if your website speed is slow, it will lose its audience, users will leave, and new visitors will not visit it. In addition, your website will lose positions in search engines. And advertising campaigns will be suspended. Thus, you will lose time and, most importantly, lose money. So website owners should use good tools like Host Tracker website speed test free to monitor a website and its server performance. 

How to find good website speed analyzer

As it was already mentioned, the best way to determine website loading speed or simply pagespeed, it is important to use tools suitable for precise website speed analysis. Because only properly chosen and configured tools will be able to measure everything from loading start delay to loading time and various bottlenecks like slowly loading content. Though not every tool can handle such a task. So it is important to find yourself a reliable toolkit to deal with such a task with the most precise result. 

All mentioned above is possible only when you use a toolkit which can provide full-scale monitoring service. It should allow a webmaster to conduct a repeated url speed test and show real results with all possible details which will be required for diagnostics. In short, without a lot of details, such a toolkit should check website loading speed and show statistics including, but not limited to:

  • Overall web page load time.

  • Slowest loading content and elements on a web page.

  • Separate timing for loading elements on a web page.

  • Separate statistics for various content types.

  • Overall count for content and elements failed to load.

  • Analysis of various services and APIs integrated on a website.

For example, one of such convenient tools is HostTracker with its manual and automated powerful tools. In short, its toolkit allows webmasters to easily check website and web page loading speeds and look at the most detailed results with all required metrics. Its statistics feature automatically collects all of the aforementioned details and shows them in a convenient and easily understandable way. On top of it, this aforementioned service works with wordpress based websites so it would not be a problem for anyone to check website loading speed and its details.

Considering all the above, every webmaster should have a tool at hand to measure all the details of web page loading. And this tool should be able to collect each and every possible metric as a result of a pagespeed check. Moreover, it should determine various bottlenecks like failed loading attempts and slowly loading files and elements. And without such tools a webmaster would not be able to provide proper maintenance to a website or deal with various occuring troubles. Therefore a website might not be promoted as it should or even will be excluded from various search and advertising queues due to its slow loading time or overall instability.

How to check website speed properly

how to check website speed

Before monitoring website loading speed and its performance, it is important to understand which metrics will have vital importance. Of course, Google already stated which ones are the most important for its services. So for every webmaster it is useful to follow Google’s rules and guides to maintain the best website loading speed. Therefore it is important to understand why those metrics are important even for a one-time website speed test and website mobile speed test.

First things first, the most important metric for website performance, uptime aside, is page speed test. Of course, we are talking about the importance of ways to measure site speed using overall web page loading timing, without any deep details. In short, this performance metric shows not only how fast your website is loading, but also allows a webmaster and website owner to estimate the approximate number of users who may become regular visitors to a website in the future. On top of it, this metric is one of the vital things for algorithms in search and advertising queues’ rankings.

Another important thing that is hand in hand with testing speed of website is database performance testing. Because if a website’s database loads slowly, then a website will load slowly, too. This is due to the fact that all active content loads onto a website straight from its own database. So it is very important to monitor its performance to ensure that everything loads fast and smoothly. It should be accessed at fast speeds, it should respond quickly and it should have no bottlenecks to slow its performance down.

The last, but not the least important metric, server-side issues aside, is content loading speeds. Those speeds depend on content elements’ sizes, so it is important to check those from time to time and optimize all of the available content. On top of it, it will be important in case of finding server response speed problems and such. Also it is worth mentioning that such tests are vital if there are a lot of active elements or sections with heavy content on a monitored website. Or it will surely slow down a website’s loading speed and make things a lot worse for users and for a webmaster.

Taking into account all of the above, as it was already mentioned, every webmaster should have a reliable toolkit at hand, capable of checking all those metrics one way or another. For example, HostTracker is one such tool which is capable of dealing with full-scale diagnostics without breaking a sweat. With its capabilities every webmaster can easily check web page speed and get all possible metrics’ data in a report within the statistics. And this data will allow a webmaster to quickly get a grasp on any situation with slow website loading.

For example, it can check speed website and a system will show a graph, with a load on the user's device, overall loading time, a screenshot of a loaded desktop web page and even a GIF image with view of a page statuses at various times. Also, this site speed tool will show such things as statistics for hosting based element loading and content loading statistics starting from slowest loading ones. Moreover, it will show an additional analysis detailed by content types as well as statistics for integrated services on a website.

All the metrics mentioned above can be provided by the Host Tracker system after a single manual check, available for free even without registration. At the same time, after registering on the service, both during the trial period and after subscribing, users will have the opportunity to conduct such loading speed testing automatically. It will be performed at user-defined intervals. And the results of testing of a web pages' loading speed will be collected in the statistics section of a service web interface. This will allow every registered webmaster to easily detect problems and bottlenecks in website performance and loading speed.

How test your website speed properly

test your website speed

It is important to understand which part of the website loading speed report means what. Of course, it is vital to start all the explanations from the most overall part - from testing website speed results. Actually, if we set a Host Tracker report as an example, it will be easy to understand it. First, there are two most important website loading metrics - web page loading time before JS was activated and overall loading time. It is an important thing which helps to measure website speed precisely. Up to 2.5 seconds before JS elements kick in is fine, as well as 3 seconds overall is optimal, but the lower the better.

Considering a screenshot and GIF shown in statistics, it is important to understand that the latter actually shows the flow of website elements’ loading. So if it loads smoothly, a webmaster will see a good image of a web page without anomalies. And if there are issues with some elements and those are loading slower than the others. It is worth digging into optimization. And then there will be separate statistics for various web page elements so a webmaster will be able to understand where the bottleneck is.

Below this, if we are still sticking to a Host Tracker routine as an example, there will be another important thing related to a web page - its content loading statistics checker, sorted by size of various elements. From biggest to smallest, with all timings including time of loading start. It will be a convenient thing that will make it easier to determine which files are loading slower and require optimization or conversion.

And the last, yet not the least part of the statistics includes network related issues. It is not the basic thing, but it is vital. Because it shows all web services related and integrated into the body of a web page. Including, but not limited to, various active elements, APIs and subsystems from partners. Like Facebook comment widget and such. It will show how many requests were sent to those services by website and how many of them failed or were not responded to.

How to improve website loading speed

how to improve website loading speed

Taking into account that a website’s loading speed is already under proper monitoring, it will be a good thing to learn some website speed optimization tips. It is a must for every novice website owner or a webmaster, because it helps to greatly improve website speed in a lot of cases.

First of all, the website loading speed is negatively affected by a large number of requests due to a large number of active elements on the pages. Accordingly, to reduce the number of requests, and improve loading a webmaster needs to reduce their number. First of all, it is important to use caching. Then it is good to remove unnecessary page code and extra JavaScript files. It is also useful for optimization to remove unwanted images and elements or combine them into one big CSS sprite.

Cleaning up the code is very important for download speed. If the JS or CSS code is too long and contains a lot of unnecessary elements, such as spaces or comments, it is necessary to optimize it. For example, you can shorten the names of functions or simply run the website code through the optimizers or plugins to improve website speed. 

Separately, it is worth noting that JS files are best placed at the end of pages so that they load after the content. And CSS files, on the contrary, should be before the content, that is, at the beginning of the pages.

It's also worth noting that the farther your hosting provider's server is from users’ computers, the slower a website will load. Content Delivery Networks or CDN can help to improve site speed by virtually shortening this distance. When a person visits a website, the CDN downloads web files from the server closest to the user.

Large files on a website, as well as a large number of small files, usually greatly slow down its data loading. This problem can be easily solved and a webmaster will be able to improve pagespeed greatly. Two tips to solve those issues are simple. First is to combine close images or interconnected CSS files. Second is to use proper file compression method and format, for example, images in JPG format. The same thing goes for various files - a webmaster needs to compress all large files using the GZIP method. Those two solutions will allow a webmaster to reduce the size of various web elements by up to 60-70%.

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About author

Artem Prysyazhnuk
CEO and founder of HostTracker LTD. He's a passionate entrepreneur with a strong technical background in F#. Artem has been working in the software development industry for over 20 years.