pingdom and google page speed to your rescue


Staff member
Google Page Speed and Pingdom are about to become your two best friends for helping you figure out what causes a website to load slow.

Fast load times are an important factor of everyone’s website. If a site loads slow, then people may X out of the site faster then Emeril shouting BAM as he peppers a turkey. Just imagine yourself loading your favorite website – it’s taking forever, you’ve got high speed Internet but it feels like you’re on 56k dial up. That’s not good for anyone, is it?

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What happens next? You decide that checking your favorite site isn’t that important anymore and you move to another website. Another visitor lost for the slow loading website.
Now imagine yourself as the webmaster. You login to Google Analytics and see that your bounce rate is high, page views are low, time on site is low, and you’re just shaking your head wondering why no one likes your website.

Well it’s not that people don’t like your website, but maybe your website is super slow and causes browsers to stall or just takes forever to load.

How do we fix the snaily load time?

There’s a lot of ways to fix a slow loading website, but you can’t fix the problem until you figure out what the problem is.

Google Page Speed and Pingdom
  1. Google Page Speed – this website speed tool will analyze your website and provide you with a page speed score of 0-100. It’s just like taking one of those annoying scan-tron tests at school – the closer you are to 100%, the better your score is. Upon completion of the test, Google Page Speed will provide results that display suggestions for fixing a slow website. The suggestions will be in degrees of importance, from high priority to low priority. Your job now is to follow those suggestions as much as possible. You may need to contact your server admin or web host support system, but do your best to get these tasks complete. Google Page Speed makes great suggestions.
  2. Pingdom – this online webpage speed tool will provide you with a list of the files it has downloaded while loading your slow website. This is useful in locating the URL of a file that may be causing slow load times on your website. For example, maybe you uploaded an image that was a much larger file then you thought. Pingdom will help you identify things you can minimize. Now you can pinpoint that file and replace the file with that of a smaller size, thus lowering the size and reducing the load time. Let’s say there’s an ad on your site that’s very slow, but you didn’t realize it before because you don’t view your homepage as much as other people do. Pingdom will help you narrow that down as well! Now you can see what’s taking forever to load and fix it! Thank Pingdom for helping you locate possible speed issues. It won’t fix them for you, but it will help you identify slow issues.
Hopefully Google Page Speed and Pingdom can assist you in fixing a slow loading website. No one likes a slow loading website, and slow loading websites can’t make money if people leave! Do your best to attain a fast loading website and you should see a gradual increase in income, traffic from search engines, and an increased viewership.
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Well-Known Member
I would add to this, that you also need to be careful as to what steps you take to increase your page load times, as some of them can have counter intuitive effects if you are not careful.

One such problem I ran into was with a Wordpress site of mine that I was running some caching and security plugins on. I had initially thought everything was running just fine, until I set up Google Webmaster Tools on the sites, and within a few days, I started noticing the preview images that Google Webmaster Tools was generating for my sites looked like total gibberish. After previewing how my site looked to GWT, I ultimately discovered there were some bugs/issues with these plugins that were causing my site to look like a mess to Google's spiders.

Another issue I've seen is when folks are using CloudFlare on their sites (a popular CDN service) and enable some of the advanced settings, such as DDos attack protection. In certain configurations, this actually causes a generic Cloudflare page to load first, with a message telling you to wait a moment while they confirm you are a real visitor first and not a bot. This is really obnoxious and you could very easily lose real visitors who see something like this and assume it's an error page and hit the back button, or possibly get sick of these delays and warnings and simply ditch your site for some other sites.