When scouring the Web looking for inspiration, I often find slow loading websites. I reach out to the owners of these websites to let them know that they should take steps to reduce the page loading time because a slow loading website hurts their business. Most times, the owners were not aware of the loading time issues of their website. They were also not aware that having a slow loading website is driving visitors away. This is especially true for mobile visitors.

There are several tools I use to gauge the overall speed of a website. Two of the most used tools are GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights. To show what I mean, I recently ran both tools on the Travel Alberta website.

On GTMetrix, the website received an overall score of E (a fast website should receive a B+ or an A). The homepage took 6 seconds to load, is 4MB in size, and made over 120 requests to the web server. On Google PageSpeed Insights, the web page received a slow for mobile and a medium for the desktop. These scores indicate a website that needs help in reducing the loading speed.

A slow loading website hurts your business

PageSpeed Tab

GTMetrix displays the speed results in a series of tabs. On the PageSpeed tab, I notice five areas that received low scores.

A slow loading website hurts your business

YSlow Tab

The YSlow tab has seven areas for improvement.

A slow loading website hurts your business

Waterfall Tab

On the Waterfall tab, I look for web server requests that show a long waiting period between the request and the serving of the element.

A slow loading website hurts your business

PageSpeed Insights Download

Each item that received a low score needs a different approach. Sometimes, the fix includes editing web page code. Other times, the backend web server needs tweaking. Some files need editing and compressing (such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS). Other files involve reducing their size (especially images).

A slow loading website hurts your business

There are tools available to complete each task. The Google PageSpeed Insights test results compress and optimize some of these files for you. All you do is download the Zip file, expand it, and upload the files to your web server.

With the tools available to test a website, there is no reason for a business to have a slow loading website. Try running GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights on your website and take steps to correct the issues found. Your business will benefit from an increase in conversions, higher search rankings, and a lower bounce rate.

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