The speed of any website helps form the first impression for a visitor of that website and the business it represents. Developers and content creators strive hard to make a website aesthetically pleasing as well as functional by adding numerous features, content, and functionalities. However, if these features or the content are not adequately optimized it may adversely affect website speed.
How fast a website load is instrumental to anyone visiting the site. According to research, 47% of people don’t wait for more than two seconds for a web page to load.
It is a human tendency to consider a faster website more reliable and professional. Inversely, a slow website can be annoying for users. Most users bounce immediately and prefer visiting other, faster websites to meet their requirements. Turning around that negative impression can be very challenging.
Speed affects the SEO rankings of a website. Google made it very clear that they consider fast load speed as a positive ranking factor. Want more people to find your website in search results? Then, make sure that it’s faster than everyone that you’re competing with.
Periodically, you should test your radio station website to see how well it’s performing. There are a number of amazing speed testing tools out there but we will have a look at four free tools here.
We’ve covered these in a previous podcast, but before going ahead with the tools, let’s first understand the things that impact the loading time of a site.
- The quality of your hosting
- The codebase & scripts you are using behind the scenes
- The tools and plugins that you use on your site
- The fonts that you use on your site
- The images on your site
- The overall page size (code, images, etc.)
There are other factors that will impact the loading time of your site as well.
Here are the tools that you should bookmark and test your website on occasion to see how well it’s performing. (Links to these in the show notes.)
Google PageSpeed Insights
You need to take the recommendation by this tool very seriously because this is the same data Google is using to rank your site with others you might be competing with.
Check the loading time of your site using this tool and implement the changes suggested by the tool. Google Page Speed Insight will check the page speed for the desktop as well as the mobile version of your site. Try to score above 90 in this tool out of 100. Google has recently announced that speedcore vitals will be a bigger part of the ranking algorithm. However, Google also clarified that website owners should not compromise with content quality or relevancy to make web pages faster. Great content is still the main scoring factor.
GTmetrix is one of the most popular website speed testing tools used by general users as well as developers to check the performance of a website. This tool offers you a detailed analysis of your site, the bottlenecks impacting your site so that you can improve on those parameters to improve the overall loading times. GTmetrix will analyze your site against the industry standard to let you know about the performance as well. It will give you step-by-step details about the things that you need to improve.
Pingdom Tools is another most widely used website speed testing tool. You will come across a wide recommendation of this tool while discussing the loading time of a site. The tool is quick and simple to use and it will check the speed of your site depending on the location of the server you select. You have a number of server location options. You can select depending on the region you get the maximum traffic from. You will have a detailed analysis of your page and you can work on the suggested areas to improve the loading time of your site.
Fast or Slow
Fast or Slow is a relative newcomer to the scene from the makers of the popular WordPress security plugin, Wordfence. Rather than giving you the ability to choose which location to test your website from, it polls 13 different server locations around the world on every test. You can see your performance by geographic location, with an easy indication of where your site is slower and where it is fast. Going deeper, Fast or Slow includes audits for specific things that can drastically affect your site performance. This includes coding, image sizes, caching efficiency, network round trip times, your site’s bootup time (time to render), and the size and complexity of your page structure. You may not care that you get a poor score from the server in South Africa, so, you can only pay attention to the locations that matter.
Keep in mind that the scoring on each of these tools varies for a number of reasons, so you may get a great score in one tool and not so good on another. That doesn’t mean one test service is better than another. The key is to apply the advice they provide to give a better experience to your visitors. Depending on your content and the functionality you require, you may not want to change anything on your site.
In most tests we’ve seen on active radio station homepages, large images played the biggest part in negative scoring. Simply optimizing your images to the smallest file size has shown significant increases in scoring.
If your images are optimized the best they can be and you’re still receiving low scores, then look at your overall page size. Can the homepage be less cluttered? Could you replace a multiple image slider with a single call to action?
When de-cluttering, weigh your options on what is really needed. Remember that a slow-loading website could be the reason visitors are not returning as often as you need them to. And that can affect your digital revenue.
If your homepage is optimized and de-cluttered and you are still receiving low scores, then it’s likely your code or the host server that’s the issue. That means it’s time to speak with your website developer or hosting provider to see what can be improved. We’ve seen optimized websites run slowly on a poor website host or a low-cost shared hosting plan.
And I should mention that you can perform the same tests in your competition as well.
Hopefully, you will bookmark these tools and test your radio station website often to see how it’s performing. Best wishes for high scores every time.
Need help with your radio station website? Reach out to us.