That speed is becoming an important factor for your website / platform is generally known. Studies by parties such as Amazon indicate that the difference of 1 second can mean a huge difference in conversion / turnover.
Is it fair then to make the point; speed = performance = conversion / turnover?
Speed = Performance?
Is speed only performance? Well for the most part, the other way around though it is not the case. Performance of a website is not only speed but also how you do it in other fields such as how well you can be found, whether the traffic to your website is targeted traffic or not and so much more.
But in this item I do not want to deviate too much from the scope of speed and then it is good to assume that speed = performance.
Performance = Turnover / conversion?
But is performance then equal to turnover?
Because I still make the comparison with speed, it is also good to go into it a bit more deeply;
Speed in a general sense is a factor, but understanding how fast your website is has different ways to actually measure and understand it.
There are a lot of speed tests on the web that all claim to give you the best insight into how fast your website loads and possibly how it performs.
To name a few;
- Pingdom Full Page Test (https://tools.pingdom.com/)
- GTMetrix (https://gtmetrix.com/)
- Webpagetest (https://www.webpagetest.org/)
Google Pagespeed Insights (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?hl=nl )
- Dareboost (https://www.dareboost.com/en)
and so on.
Realistically, not all of these tools are an equally good measurement of your performance. It all has to do with how exactly you measure in the tools involved. In that area, the above tools are still quite diverse.
Which tools to use?
According to Google, you have to choose 1 yourself and stick to it. And no, I did not think of that in regard to writing this item; https://www.seroundtable.com/google-says-pick-one-speed-testing-tool-26034.html
But is that sound advice?
I believe that you should look at more than just the output of one or more tools.
You should mainly look at the so-called perceived speed (observable speed) of your website.
It is nice if tools say that your website functions well, but in my opinion it is mainly about how your potential customer experiences your website.
If only the test results are good, but the observable speed is not, you will see that your conversion / turnover may not even benefit from it. Much earlier you will notice that if the observable speed is good and test results are not, that you can post more turnover / conversion.
So first focus on the observable speed and ensure that your potential customer can move through your website as quickly as possible. That will only benefit your conversion.
This does not detract from the fact that it is also good to know what a set of two tools you think of your website.
If I look at the above, I would be happy to recommend the following two tools, in my humble opinion;
Why no Google Pagespeed Insights?
You’ll probably wonder why I do not take Google Pagespeed Insights as a tool we recommend. Because it is from Google so it must be good, right!
Understand me well, a lot of Google is good, but to say that everything from Google is just too far away. I do that because this tool covers a much too limited scope for what it claims to be. If you necessarily want to take it with you, there is nothing wrong with that, but do not stress if you do not do it ‘well’.
What kind of options are there to improve speed?
There are quite a few factors that can contribute to how the speed of your website comes forward.
Everything starts with your host and then it actually starts at what type of hard drive. Does your website run on a normal hard drive or on a solid state drive? The read / write speed between them varies considerably. Going from there, if I only go to the hardware your website is running on, the available memory, the speed of the memory, the processor speed, the network connection of the hardware (100mbit / 1000mbit).
But outside of the hardware it is also important how your webserver has been setup in terms of options software-wise. You should think of techniques such as Memcached, Varnish, Redis which can strengthen your web server using different forms of cache.
To give you a picture of what this means for different techniques;
Redis is a caching technology that allows web applications to quickly store data and recall it from memory. Redis is just like Memcached a distributed cache, but has more underlying options.
Memcached is a caching technology that allows web applications to quickly store and recall data from memory, often much faster than working with a traditional database.
Varnish is a reverse HTTP proxy, also known as an HTTP accelerator. It stores files or fragments of files in the memory, so that your site works faster and the server is less loaded.
Please note; Not every host will be able to offer all these techniques, so that too can be a reason for going to host A or host B.
Apart from the hosting and the preconditions of your hosting environment, it is important that you look carefully at how your website deals with the necessary assets (think of JS and CSS files), because these can be blocking on your pageload. Here a caching plugin can mean the necessary by means of, for example, minifying (reducing) and concate (concatenation) of the assets.
If we look at performance in the broadest sense outside speed, then you must also include your findability, your target group and all aspects that indicate whether you are doing the ‘good’. These components also have an impact on turnover / conversion in addition to speed.
Pffff … that’s a lot of information!
Unfortunately, I can not change that aspect of it, especially if I want to be transparent about what is possible. It is simply a huge amount of information and even then I am trying to provide it as practically as possible for you (because it is technically a whole lot more information).
I look at what is most suitable for what you actually want from for each situation. It is also the case that I always want to make this translation with you personally because you have the best view in your head that fits exactly with your service / product and of course I want to know exactly that to make it as optimised as possible.