Test Website Performance to Improve Loading Speed of Web Pages

Written by Pavan Kumar on September 27, 2009


Website speed is one of the deciding factors for the popularity of website. Speed of website counts for both SEO purposes as well as regular readers. Its necessary for your site to perform well even on any low bandwidth internet connection. As a webmaster, it is obvious that you have a high speed broadband internet connection, but your site should perform great even on those 56k dial up guys.

Test Website speed: Measure performance by checking website speed

There are many ways to test the speed of a website,

Absolute way to check website speed (comparing against fast servers)

This is when your server performance wrt speed is determined. Here your website speed performance is determined based on how much time it takes to transfer the specific amount of data. In simple terms, the speed is measured as seconds per KB. Let me tell you this way of measuring website speed is definitely inaccurate. You need to see the exact load time and not per KB transfer time.

If you have x seconds per KB transfer rate and your pages are 0.5MB in average, your load time is 512x seconds, but your competitor on a poor server with 2x transfer rate and pages averaging at 100KB will perform faster at 200x seconds.

You may use iwebtool website speed test tool here to test this way.

There is another reason to say these are inaccurate – they just measure the transfer rate and not website loading time you should also remember that your web pages comprise of not just html codes, but it is many times made up with php, javascript which requires some time for execution. Another agent which slows your sites are ads which you place on your sites – they depend on third party server to deliver ads and they consume much time which might not be measured with such tools.

Practically testing Website speed performance (Relative speed testing)

After knowing the faults with above testing method, let’s learn how exactly should it be done for measuring website speed. There are two methods I could figure out at the moment.

1. YSlow – Website Speed Testing

Yslow is a Firefox addon which works in integration with Firebug – a popular tool for web developers. website speed measurement with YSlowIf you keep it on while loading a webpage, it calculates the time taken to load the page and the page size and displays the same in your Firefox status bar. This is the most easy way which even works when you are offline developing site on local server.

2. Online website speed test tool

Stopwatch is a tool which helps you measure the website loading time in your bandwidth. The speed measured with this tool is relative to your internet speed available at the moment when you perform test. If you measure internet speed and test two sites’ speed, you will know which is relatively faster. And that relative speed in performance should be same on every internet connection.

Another great advice on tweaking website for faster performance is by reducing and optimizing website images.

Conclusion: The transfer rates of any site/server should be the very good, but at the same time the size of web pages should be less to make your website perform the best.

Also read: Monitor website performance (downtimes), Block websites on browsers, World visitor maps for websites, Test browser compatibility of websites


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About The Author

    Pavan Kumar

    Pavan Kumar completed Engineering in Electronics and Communication in the year 2008. He is very enthusiastic and keen to work on different aspects of computer, internet and mobile related fields. The articles here reflect his creativity. This blog was started as a showcase of solutions for different problems and today it has got a good reputation in the blogosphere. Read More...

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