How fast should your website be? What´s maximum load time?
Are there right answers to these questions?
Well, technically No.
The honest and only answer should be that your website should be fast enough for your visitors. Period.
There is no specific page load time standard you should work towards.
Instead, you should ask in reverse, what amount of page load times will my visitors accept and what will make them not close the tab?
This can easily be monitored through your bounce rate in Google analytics.
I’m guessing that may not be the answer you were looking for but it’s the one that your website visitors will appreciate most.
And so does Google.
What Your Page Speed Should Be
Google ranks websites based on their user experience (UX) and very slow websites are a bad user experience.
Google regards very slow websites as those that take 10 seconds and more to load.
Every second does count.
Slower page response time results in an increase in page abandonment which can negatively affect your search rankings.
As a website owner, you shouldn’t get too hang up on the numbers, whether its 1 second or 19 seconds.
If it were up to Google their aim would be for the speed of a blink, but we all know this is unrealistic and unachievable.
Ultimately your website speed should be as fast as you can make it…without compromising on user experience.
Common Factors That Affect Our Site’s Speed.
We all agree that speed is important, and it is.
So what can we do to improve?
Here are some common factors that influence your website speed:
- Amount of content on the page
- Your Hosting provider: (Dedicated of Shared)
- Your Browser
- The device
- Internet connectivity: (For example, internet connectivity time for mobile sites is 19 seconds over 3G connections)
If you’re experiencing slow speeds most likely it could be caused by any of these.
The good news is, there are ways to improve.
As I was doing my research for this article I came across this fantastic Infographic that summarizes all that I have mentioned above.
Before I share the infographic I would like to share five free tools you can use to help speed up your website.
I am not a big fan of Google PageSpeed Insights, at all.
The reason is because it simply doesn’t matter.
Google PageSpeed does not actually measure the speed of your website.
Achieving the 100/100 metric is pretty much impossible.
Please don’t waste your time trying to implement all the suggestions you might loose your sanity. I know of a website developer who had a client that was demanding that they meet this metric, total agony.
But the tool is not entirely bad, it’s useful in alerting you on problem areas on your website that you can address.
I would recommend you focus on speed and don’t worry about chasing a grade.
The Chrome Developer Tools (DevTools for short), are a set of web authoring and debugging tools built into Google Chrome.
You can use this tool to inspect the page load speed of your web pages.
The Timeline panel gives you a complete overview of where time is spent when loading and using your web app or page.
To access the DevTools, open a web page or web app in Google Chrome. Either:
- Select the Chrome menu.
at the top-right of your browser window, then select Tools > Developer Tools.
- Right-click on any page element and select Inspect Element.
If you’re using WordPress caching plugins will help boost your page speeds significantly.
With over 1Million + Downloads WP Super Cache is the most popular caching plugin the perfect choice for your WordPress site.
It works well with almost all WordPress themes, plugins, and any third-party services you may be using.
A caching plugin generates cached version of pages without taking too much of your server resources.
If you’re on shared hosting like Bluehost, I would highly recommend that you install a caching plugin for your WordPress site.
Images often account for most of the downloaded bytes on a page.
As a result, optimizing images can often yield some of the largest byte savings and performance improvements.
Kraken.io is a free online tool that you can use to optimize your website’s images.
Kraken also offers a WordPress plugin that you can use to optimize every single image you upload onto your dashboard.
Kraken aims to improve the speed of your website by reducing the size of your images with little or no impact on quality.
There are two main ways to do this. One is lossless image optimization, the other is lossy compression.
The difference between the two is no quality loss and almost no quality loss.
Google Analytics will give you by far the most comprehensive report being influenced by your site’s loading speed
It gathers data from actual users on actual machines under actual load, on actual internet connections.
None of the above-mentioned tools gets anywhere close to that level of analysis.
This data is reflected in bounces, time on site, page visits etc.
Here’s a screenshot of what this looks like:
Google analytics is an excellent start when it comes to site speed reports.
Now that we’ve covered the tools that you can use to improve your speeds let’s delve further and understand how speed affects our website.
This infographic promises to do exactly that:
Over To You
Bottom line, people like fast sites.
“Site Speed” is also a ranking factor for your website.
So to answer the question how fast should a website be?
Well you know the obvious answer, fast enough for you visitors and one that they can appreciate.
It also helps to continuously monitor your bounce rate in Google analytics.