Methods for measuring web page speed
So, now that we’ve covered both basic and advanced metrics related to page speed, you’ll need to know how to measure them. There are different techniques and tools out there that will track various metrics. Here we’ll cover a few of the options available to you as well as how they work.
Page timings Report
Effective reporting offers administrators a chance to review the average load times for individual pages. A page timings report can sort through a website and organize pages in different speed categories. Now, this kind of review only really delivers insight into which pages are loading slowly rather than why. However, such a starting point can save a great deal of time as you hone in on the problematic pages.
Tracking server time
At the end of the day web page speed largely relies on a site’s communication with a server. As such, it’s always helpful to take a closer look at the response times associated with this interaction.
A great deal of factors can affect how quickly a server responds to requests. The amount of traffic on a site and the resources on each page can both contribute to slower loading times. In addition, the particular choice of software and hosting solution can make substantial impacts.
When looking at your server, keep an eye out for potential performance bottlenecks. Watch for slow database queries, routing delays, and a lack of adequate memory. Remember that you’re aiming for a server response time of around 200 milliseconds. Anything longer can lead to a lesser user experience.
This technique, which is also known as split testing, is a randomized experimentation process. It simultaneously exposes two different versions of a variable, in this case a web page, to different segments of visitors. In doing so, the test determines which version has the greatest impact and most effectively improves metrics.
Using A/B testing, you avoid all of the guesswork connected to website optimization by enabling data-driven decision making. By comparing option A, the original page, to option B, the new version, the impact of changes on conversion metrics can be clearly determined. Keep in mind that those particular metrics will vary from one page to the next. As a result, when looking to set up an A/B test, take the specific objectives you have for the page into consideration.
This approach works by breaking down a web page into different segments and analyzing each individually. As opposed to reviewing the cumulative experience, this method allows analysts to focus only on the most essential elements. For instance, You can look at the performance of videos, buttons, and images in relation to web page speed.
By doing so, it becomes possible to gain valuable insights into the specific contributions of each individual element to loading and input times. The results can then be compared to identify the primary limiting factors when it comes to slow-loading pages.
Think of this as a similar process to breaking down the loading process into different stages. Redefining the scope of your analysis allows for comparisons that can lead to insights that are otherwise difficult to obtain. Segmentation enables page owners to perform more detailed review and identify challenges through comparison and a more detail-oriented focus.
As with most forms of analysis, tools exist to make advanced review possible without requiring excessive manual effort and time. A number of options exist and their use will provide much greater access to the kind of insights described here.
One of the most commonly used options is Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which incorporates data from the Chrome User Experience Report. This tool reports on a variety of impactful metrics related to the search engine’s ranking algorithm. This includes Core Web Vitals, which includes First Contentful Paint and First Input Delay as well as Cumulative Layout Shift, a metric that tracks a page’s stability.
In addition, PageSpeed Insights reports on Largest Contentful Paint and studies DOMContentLoaded to provide a comprehensive picture of a web page’s performance. Meanwhile, the diagnostics section helps drill down to the root cause of any issues.
Just keep in mind that PageSpeed Insights, like other analytics tools, can only help to measure and communicate the data. While this will clarify the situation, you will still need to define a course of action based on that information.