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How do I Test Website Speed?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Testing the speed of a website is a task that just about any site owner will wish to engage in from time to time. The reason behind the testing is to get an idea of what visitors to the site actually experience. This includes assessing how quickly pages load to completion as well as identifying issues that visitors accessing by means of dial-up, DSL, and cable connections are likely to encounter. Fortunately, it is possible to test website speed with relative ease, even using remote products.

Any website owner who wishes to test website speed can choose to purchase a software package that makes it possible to assess the content of each page and provide data on factors such as web page loading times under a particular range of Internet speed. This means that the site owner can simulate what a visitor using a dial-up connection experiences in terms of text and images loading when arriving at the home page or any of the other pages found on the website. The same assessment can be made by simulating the responses when visitors are accessing using connections that are more robust. Some types of the software will also make it possible to simulate access through different data centers around the world, making it possible to have an idea of how well the pages load across the world as well as across town.

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While software packages to test website speed are available, site owners can also makes use of a wide range of free testing products that are found online. As is true with a number of free applications offered at one site or another, there is sometimes the need to register before a test can commence. Most require nothing more than the submission of a link to begin the analysis. The range and scope of features provided on many of these free testing platforms will vary, with some offering only the most basic of data while others include reports of the impact of different object sizes like JavaScript and images on the loading process. There are even some platforms that not only provide data for analysis, but also include suggestions for changes that could improve the efficiency of the loading, either in terms of changing some of the elements found on the pages or tweaking them in some manner so load times are reduced.

With any attempt to test website speed, the goal is to achieve the highest level of website optimization possible. This is especially important for websites operated by businesses, since the goal is to place as high in search engine results as possible, and also load quickly so that potential customers will not become discouraged and try to find a site they perceive as being more friendly and accessible. For this reason, using either free or fee-based software to test website speed is not only a good idea, but may be a smart move for any site that wants to attract the largest audience possible.

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