If you’re a blogger you probably know that Google and the other major search engines now take page load times into consideration when ranking web pages in their search results.
In a nutshell, that means all other things being equal, your blog’s pages will rank lower in the search results for a given search query than other similar pages that load faster than yours.
And a drop in the search results doesn’t have to be huge in order to make a major difference.
For example, dropping from the first position into second or third position might sound sort of inconsequential, but the fact is most people click on the first result on the page and often don’t return to click on another link.
This is why it’s so important to check the page load times for your blog and do whatever you can to decrease them and make your pages load as quickly as possible.
Luckily, there are plenty of free online tools for checking your blog’s load time. Here’s a short list of my favorites:
Google is the big dog in search engines, and since they are now taking page speed into consideration when ranking pages in their search results it maskes sense that they would provide a tool for helping webmasters and bloggers make their pages load faster.
PageSpeed Insights will test the load speeds of your blog’s pages for both desktop/laptop computers and mobile devices and then explain exactly what you need to do to make them load as quickly as possible.
I recommend that you take the speed test results from PageSpeed Insights with a grain of salt because the tools mentioned below appear to be more accurate, but the recommendations it provides for making your blog’s pages load faster are quite valuable.
2 – Pingdom Website Speed Test
Pingdom’s test is very similar to Google’s. They test the page at the URL you provide and then give several speed factors of your page a letter grade from A to F. They also give you plenty of load time data for individual files that are used by the page being tested.
Pingdom is my preferred “second opinion” speed test tool after Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
KeyCDN is a “Content Delivery Network” (CDN) so it should come as no surprise that the primary reason for their providing a website speed test is to demonstrate how your blog can benefit from using a CDN service (hopefully theirs from their point of view).
That being said, KeyCDN’s speed test is very useful for getting a feel for how quickly your blog loads in various parts of the world.
KeyCDN’s tool lets you check your blog’s load times from 14 different locations that range all the way from New York to Asia, and even Australia.
4 – GTmetrix Speed Test and Performance Reports
GTmetrix is another great “second opinion” (or even third opinion) page speed tool. After it runs its speed tests on your blog you’ll be presented with several tabs of very useful information about the various speed factors for the page and recommendations for mitigating any issues.
Note: GTmetrix is a very busy tool. Your request will be placed into a queue and you’ll have to wait until it’s “your turn” to have your page tested. I had to wait about 3 minutes the last time I ran their test on one of my blogs.
5 – Uptrends Website Speed Test
Like KeyCDN, this tool from Uptrends allows you to test your blog’s page load speeds from several places around the globe – 39 of them in fact!
While you probably don’t need to run a test from all of those locations, Uptrends does make it easier to see how quickly your blog loads for the visitors from the region of the world where the largest number of its visitors reside.
6 – Think With Google Mobile Page Speed Test
This tool is unique in that it only checks the mobile version of a web page to see how quickly it loads over a typical 3G cellular data connection. This one can be a real eye opener if most of your blog’s visitors are using mobile devices.
Bottom line: Now that your blog’s page load times are affecting it’s search engine rankings, it’s very important to ensure they’re loading as quickly in your visitors’ browsers as possible.
The tools mentioned above can help you identify the factors that are slowing your blog down so you can take steps to speed it up. That’ll make the search engines AND your visitors a lot happier!
Bonus tip: This post explains how to make your WordPress blog mobile friendly (and why you should do it).
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