Site speed is really important. Your site could be really nice to look at but if it is slow to load it isn’t going to be effective. We think one of the most startling figures from a hosting tribunal article on the matter is that 74% of people will abandon a web page if it doesn’t load in 5 seconds on mobile! With around 70% of website traffic coming from mobile nowadays we think this is an incredible figure and important to note.
Google reports that an “average perceived load time” (other stuff could be loading in the background) for a website in the UK on a mid-range phone with a 3G connection is around 9 secs! Whilst 4G is the norm in the UK, this figure is still a good guideline. Bloatware or lots of apps open on a phone or poor signal can degrade the speed of a connection to a website as well.
Google’s interest in site speed is based on providing a good customer experience when someone searches for something on Google. They want people to find their results useful and as we know people don’t like waiting for a web page to load. So if your site is slow to load it is probably affecting where you rank in search results as well (Google are most interested in site speed on mobile).
Luckily you don’t have to get a stopwatch out to check this. There are lots of ways to test your site speed but we think the best is Google’s Lighthouse. Google’s Lighthouse test differs a lot from other tests as it recreates loading your website on a mid-range phone on a 3G connection. You can access it a couple of ways. Our favourite way is via chrome. On a desktop/laptop right click anyway on a web page and click inspect.
This should bring up something that looks like on the right hand side:
From here all you need to do is is find the audit tab at the top and that should bring up:
Apply the settings as above. The only audit we are really interested in is performance but it is worthwhile checking the others. Generally scores will be very high in these areas apart from Progressive Web App which hasn’t been widely adopted at all yet. Your scores will all be out of 100.
To give a bit of perspective of a typical score here is how the homepage of the BBC’s website did:
Anything below this and you probably have serious issues. It never harms just to double check it on your phone. Site speed can be a little quicker or slower than what the test actually produces and probably is depended a little by location as well. In modern web development, website speed should be an important consideration.
Share-ability refers to how well your your website looks when shared on social media. The best way to test this is through Facebook itself. You need to be logged in to Facebook to do the test which is available at:
This tells you exactly what open graph and meta data you are sharing with the world and should give you a preview of how your web page will look shared on Facebook.
If this is the first time you have seen or heard of this. It is worthwhile testing each page on your website to see what is coming up. This is often someone’s first encounter with your website and we really think that first impressions count. Pages that haven’t got Open Graph or Meta attributes explicitly labelled probably aren’t utilising social media to its full.
Websites nowadays should be described as desktop friendly rather than mobile. Around 70% of your website traffic will be from mobile users so it is important that your website looks good on mobile. The best test, we feel for this is part of Google’s search console software. The test is a simple pass or fail.
You can get further details if you are logged into your search console account if your website is hooked up.
Our report focuses on SEO, Site Speed, Share-Ability, Mobile Friendliness and GDPR and gives you helpful hints about what maybe affecting your website’s performance. It doesn’t matter if your website is a WordPress site or not but we hope to give people a little bit of perspective into how their site is performing and whether or not it is up to scratch or not.
Detangled Web is part of Detangled Media LTD, a limited company registered in Northern Ireland with the Company Number 650146.
Our Vat Number is GB331350249. We love to support local businesses, we hope you do as well!
Copyright © Detangled Media LTD 2019