In this edition of Throwback Thursday, I'm jumping back to September 2010 and this Nugget on website page speed.
The "speed of your website" is the amount of time it takes for your site to download to the device you are using. A lot of factors play into the your page speed that have nothing to do with your site, things like:
* Internet connection via cable, fiber, wireless, or cell network
* The number of other people using the internet connection you are also using
* General traffic bottlenecks on the internet
* The speed of your computer
* Other programs that are running while the site is loading
All those factors aside, you should do whatever it takes to speed up your website. Home page sliders are a huge cause of website slowdowns, especially when you are forcing the user to download 3 or more 400KB images.
Speed Testing Tools
There are several free tools where you can test the speed of your website. In that #TBT Nugget, I mentioned the site http://websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/. That site still works, but it's not pretty to look at.
Another site you could use is the Pingdom speed test tool at http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/. That tool will give you a graphical representation of all the load times for every element of your page.
The GTmetrix site will give you a lot more information with their analysis tool here: http://gtmetrix.com/
The information you get from GTmetrix is more useful for website server administrators rather than programmers or developers. I've used the GTmetrix site to help fine tune several of my web servers within a few minutes.
Why Speed Is Important
Let's face it; we're all impatient. I remember when the "New York Minute" was considered a really fast measurement; now we measure things in 3 seconds, 6 seconds, and 15 seconds. If it takes longer than 15 seconds to find an answer, we're all liable to go somewhere else.
Human impatience aside, Google also uses speed as a ranking factor now.
Even if it takes a little extra work and money, you should ask your website designer and programmer to make suggestions for optimizing your site speed.