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Website speed: learn to test and make your page faster ⚡

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Website speed: learn to test and make your page faster ⚡

It is a fact that the average internet speed in Latin America is far from being good. But, nevertheless, many websites manage to make this situation worse, since usa phone number list free  they are developed without due attention to loading speed and end up becoming a real test of patience for the user.Imagine the following situation: you went to a fast food, famous for delivering orders in up to 5 minutes, but 15 minutes have passed since you placed the order and nothing. How long would it take you to give up? What if the fast food next door guaranteed a similar order in just 3 minutesOn the internet the situation is similar, but the story changes in seconds, because when you want certain content, you enter a website and it takes more than 10 seconds to load, before you perceive it, you are already on Google again looking for another option, Since every second of waiting seems like an eternity!We live in the era of immediacy, where time is already worth more than money. And that era, combined with the dynamism of the internet, makes our audience more demanding every day. The content on your website can be great, but if the loading speed is not good, will people pay to see it?

Does speed influence website results?
Back in 2010 Google announced that page load time was one of more than 200 ranking factors. That means that the time your website takes to load in relation to your competitors is one of the influencing points of the organic positioning of websites on the results page. According to research by Backlinko , slower websites are penalizedIn addition to being one of the organic ranking factors of Google, the speed of the website also influences the user experience and your results, according to the data to follow:Every extra second of page load leads to an 11% drop in page views and a 16% drop in customer satisfaction, according to the Aberdeen Group ;According to research by Kissmetrics , 40% of visitors abandon pages that take more than 3 seconds to load and every 1 second longer in website load time reduces conversions by 7%;
88% of users who had a bad experience when entering a website due to the loading speed are less likely to buy from it and more than a third of those users will share their bad experience with friends, revealed an investigation by Econsultancy .85% of mobile device users expect the page to load at least as fast as the desktop, according to Web Performance Today .Now that we know that website speed interferes with visitor engagement, conversion rate, and also your organic rankings, let’s see how to measure your load to start optimizing!What is the ideal charging time?
According to Pingdom , which has a tool to measure the speed of websites, the average loading time of sites is 5 seconds. In the Google Site Performance for Webmasters video , Maile Ohye states that 2 seconds is the limit for good performanceProbably the best known of the list, PageSpeed ​​Insights is a tool in which, by entering the link of a page, it is possible to analyze the content and generate suggestions for the desktop and mobile versions of it.

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Along with each improvement suggestion, the tool also shows how to apply it. Each suggestion is  gulf email list classified as a priority indicator”You must correct”: highlighted in red, they are notices of improvements that, if applied, will generate more impact on the loading time of the page;Consider correcting”: highlighted in yellow, these are notices of improvements that do not influence much on the speed of the page and should not be prioritized;
“Approved in …”: highlighted in green, are the positive points of the page.
Despite being excellent at identifying and prioritizing problems, the tool does not detail what the page load time is and also does not record the number of page requests for loading, which are important data for diagnosis.Very popular among marketers, GTmetrix is considered one of the best and most complete tools for evaluating the load time of a page and identifying areas for improvement due to the ease of use and variety of data it presents.The step by step to use the tool is very similar to that of Pagespeed Insights. Just enter it, include the link of the page you want to analyze and generate the report. However, it is advisable to create an account (even if it is free) before starting the analysis, since this allows you to alter the region where the test will be executed, what will be the browser and device, what type of network, in addition to others. configuration possibilities and more information in the final report. The closer the test is to the public registry that enters the website (such as location, type of device and browser), the better.

After including the link to the page and starting the report, the tool does a full analysis and presents various data on the next screen. At the top it presents a summary with two scores in Performance Scores , one based on Pagespeed Insights and another on YSlow, a project that analyzes page speed based on Yahoo’s high-performance site rules. The scores presented are generally different, as the tools use different criteria to evaluate the pageIn the same way as in Pagespeed Insights, the colors of the scores determine the urgency of the scores but, nevertheless, here we also have a comparison with the average of websites analyzed by the tool in the last 30 days, where a The arrow next to the score represents whether the page is above or below average, as shown in the example to follow.Still at the top of the report, next to the performance evaluation, the tool also presents the total time to load the page, what is the size of the page and how many requests are generated to load. In the same way as the performance scores, here we also have arrows for up and down, indicating if it is above or below average.At the bottom of the screen, several reports separated by guides are presented. Through them it is possible to identify the points that need to be corrected so that the loading time of the page is reduced.

PageSpeed: based on Pagespeed Insights, in this guide you will find a complete report with all the points evaluated by the tool, ordered by priority. Here we can also see the grade that is awarded for each criterion according to the page analyzed, what is the type of configuration (if it is on the server, in the content or a javascript, for example) and, finally, what is the priority of that improvement.
Yslow: similar to the report presented in the PageSpeed ​​guide and also organized by priority, it is however based on the criteria defined by Yslow.
Waterfall: cascading report that visually presents the entire sequence of requests made to load the page. Each line represents a request, with its status (if it is ok, if it is redirecting or even if it is an error), what is its weight and also the time it takes to load.
Timings: presentation of a timeline of the page load, with the time that each of the stages took to load: redirect, connect, backend, TTFB (time to first byte), first pain, DOM interactive, DOM content loaded and Onload .Video: to have the report on video, it is necessary to activate it and do the page analysis again. The video report is nothing more than the visualization of the page loading in practice, with the timed time and mapped timings.
History: finally, we have graphs that accompany the page’s performance history in relation to some of the data presented: timings, page size, requests, and PageSpeed ​​and Yslow notes.

Another excellent functionality that GTmetrix has is to compare your results with competitors’ pages. As it is a tool for worldwide use, it may not be very interesting to use its measurements as a parameter for our page and, even depending on the niche, those metrics may not make sense. With the website comparison functionality, it is possible to compare with the leaders in your segment and have more reliable parameters to followe solution using plugins, and in some cases the same plugin can solve more than one problem. Choose the plugin that most impacts the necessary solutions and avoid several different plugins, because that can affect the performance of the websiteIt is very important to remember that, before making any alteration, you need to make a backup of the website to avoid possible problems. WordPress websites can do that through plugins like UpdraftPlus and BackWPupbrowser cache
Whenever someone enters a website, all its content is temporarily downloaded on the device until the user leaves the page. Through the cache we can tell browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox, to keep those files savedIf the person enters the same website again, using the same device and the same browser, the page will take less time to load, since the files are already cached. In the event that nothing is stored in the cache or the time spent in the cache has expired (it is possible to define that), a request is made for the files in question to the website server.There are also ways to enable the cache directly in the HTML of the website, however they are considered obsolete and not recommended techniques.

If your website is on WordPress, there are several plugins available that perform this function. The most used is W3 Total Cache , which is even recommended by hosting companies. Another excellent alternative (less popular) is WP Fastest Cache , which also has other resources and, compared to W3 and other plugins, presented better performanceReduce the number of redirects
When loading a page, it is sometimes necessary to redirect the browser from one URL to another. This redirection can be done to indicate the new location of a content, track clicks and impressions or correct different types of access (such as when redirecting from www.example.com. To example.com. Or from http to https) .Regardless of the reasons, redirects add latency to round-trip time, increasing page load time. The best way to minimize that is to restrict the use of redirects to just the cases where it is necessary and to find other solutions where it is notIt is also important to be careful to enter the exact version of an external request so as not to generate that type of redirect as soon as it is loading. When adding a Facebook script, for example, it is important to already insert it with the correct link, without redirects.To manage internal redirects on WordPress sites, plugins such as Yoast SEO and SEO Redirection can be used .Minify CSS, Javascript and HTMLWhen developing a website, the programmer works with an organization of data that includes line breaks, spaces, and comments that do not influence the content. However, as much as it may not seem like it, this information ends up weighing on the files and influencing the loading time.To solve this, it is possible to minify (make lighter) those files, removing all unnecessary information. Generally this action provides a 20-30% reduction in file size which, depending on the total size, can make a lot of difference.But this work does not need (and should not) be done manually. There are several free tools that can help. On the Minifycode website it is possible to minify HTML, Javascript and CSS, as well as the possibility of leaving the code “nice” again, including all the necessary information. Despite this functionality, it is important to keep a backup with all the original files.

If the site is in WordPress, this is simpler, since there are several plugins available that do this work and many of them are free. The most used are Autoptimize , Better WordPress Minify and W3 Total Cache Don’t use render-blocking JavascripWhen entering a certain page, your HTML is loaded from top to bottom, making the requests in that order. With the CSS and Javascript files present at the beginning, they are processed before the content of the page, which ends up increasing the loading time.Some test tools indicate to send the Javascript and CSS towards the end of the page, before </body> , using inline CSS for the most important styles, which directly affect the visual of the page, so that the content does not load “ugly ”, Only in HTML. However, inline CSS and Javascript also take time to load, and using inline styles ends up hurting organization. Already sending only the Javascript towards the end does not influence the content, so it is advisable to only send the Javascript towards the end of the HTML.If the website is in WordPress, the Speed ​​Booster Pack plugin has the functionality of sending the scripts to the footer, solving this problem.

 

First of all, it is important to see if the website already uses it. In addition to the diagnostic tools that were presented, you can take the test here . Some hosting services already do this automatically.On WordPress sites it is possible to enable gzip using plugins such as W3 Total Cache and WP Performance Score Booster .Try to enable Keep Alive
Keep Alive allows the server to use a single connection to transfer multiple files, which reduces latency and also reduces CPU consumption, which impacts page load time.
Generally, websites have this resource disabled, since most hosting companies provide this as something optional, since it significantly increases the use of server memory. Thus, before enabling the feature, it is important to contact the website hosting provider and assess whether this is possible.In the case that the website is in WordPress, it is possible to install a .htacess editing plugin , such as the WP Htacess Editor .Use a Content Distribution Network
Content Delivery Networks (CDN) work together to regionalize data storage. They host the content on servers distributed throughout the world, allowing its distribution quickly and efficiently, regardless of where the access was madeThere are several CDN options, with free and paid versions and easy to integrate into WordPress sites. The main ones are:MaxCDN : one of the most used, has a free 30-day trial and support for implementation in WordPress;Amazon CloudFront : it has a plugin for integration with WordPress and a free version with a data limit, which can be an excellent alternative to start;
Azion Technologies – Solution used by many e-commerce sites, EAD sites, and financial market and media companies. It has WordPress support and plans that vary according to the traffic used;
Microsoft Azure CDN : integrates with other Azure services and also has WordPress integration. It makes available 30 days for tests, after that period the value fluctuates according to the use of data.
Optimize images
One of the factors that most affects the loading of pages is the lack of care in the use of images. In this case, the size of the files, the quantity and even the format influence the speed of the website.
Attention to the size of the images should already begin in Photoshop or another editing tool, in the event that the image is edited. These tools have the “Export for Web” function, which allows you to save the already optimized file. In addition, there are several free websites and applications that do this work.
For WordPress sites, there is the excellent Smush Image Compression and Optimization plugin , which automatically removes additional data and compresses all image files sent to the website.
Each different image that is inserted in the page generates a new request, so it is important that, before filling a certain page with images to make it more attractive, you check if all the images are really necessary and remove those that are not. This is valid for the pages that are already active on the website, making a current diagnosis and removing unnecessary imagesA widely used technique to reduce the number of requests, mainly icons, is the use of CSS Sprites, which combines several images into one and via CSS it is indicated which part of the image should appear in a certain place.

 

An excellent example of use is Facebook : when entering the website via desktop, the icons presented in the menu on the left are worked using CSS Sprites.Configure AMP and Instant Articles
The mobile internet connection is not as good as the fixed internet and using the cell phone the user is even more demanding in relation to the loading time of the websites. To improve website loading time on mobile devices, Google (along with other companies) launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), while Facebook has Instant ArticlesIn the same vein as AMPs, Instant Articles allow users to enter content hosted on Facebook itself and not on the source website, which makes page loading up to 10 times faster. In the case of websites that depend on advertisers, it is also possible to configure them so that ads are displayed during the article. You will find more information and how to configure them on the official website .As we saw, it is useless to have a beautiful website, which received praise for its innovative design, but does not prioritize loading time and ends up below the competition when it comes to results.Therefore, optimizing the loading speed of the website is a crucial factor for your Digital Marketing strategy , since it directly influences your organic ranking in Google and other search engines, improves the user experience and increases your conversion rate.Remember that not all the optimizations mentioned here will influence the loading time and it may be that some have already been applied to your website. Ideally, use the test tools for a website diagnosis and prioritization of actions.Now it is time to put everything into practice and comment here on your experience. And if you have already optimized your website and you know tips or tools different from what was presented here, do not stop sharing it in the comments.This post was originally written by Ewerton Silva, you can find her post in Portuguese here she has adaptations and modifications by the author for the Latin American market.

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