Would you enjoy browsing a website that takes ages to load? Probably not! Generally, most of us would switch to an alternative website that offers similar products and services and loads quickly.
According to a leading study, website visitors hate waiting for pages to load. The study shows that even a second’s delay in loading a page leads to a whopping drop of almost 16% in customer satisfaction (now there’s something to give you sleep nights!). Even Google has set standard parameters of website performance, and the recommended page load time is under 2 seconds.
To put it simply, having a visually appealing website isn’t enough. Adding a lightning-fast loading speed and optimum performance to your site will keep visitors happy and ultimately lead to higher conversion rates.
But for you to know if your website is indeed loading slowly, you’d need some kind of mechanism to measure it, right? So how would you do that? The answer is – by using performance testing tools that give you important metrics to analyze the performance of your website.
Throughout this post, we will explore why website performance tests are crucial for every website, and we will also examine a few easy tools that can be used to aid your efforts.
What is the purpose of website performance tests?
If you think the whole purpose of website performance tests is customer satisfaction alone, you are dead wrong. There are various kinds of performance tests that can be performed on a website, and each has a different purpose.
Here are some important performance tests you should know about:
- Overall performance test – It is a general all-inclusive performance test that checks for speed, scalability, and responsiveness of the website.
- Load test – This test is performed to find out how the website behaves under a particular load.
- Stress test – Stress test is performed to find out how a website functions under extreme load conditions. The tests generally encompass checking for problems like memory leaks, synchronization, and other website issues.
- Capacity test – Capacity test is performed to find out how many users the website can support at any given time.
- Endurance test – This test is performed to find out if the website can handle the expected loads for an extended period of time.
In order to make sure a website performs optimally and doesn’t crash under varying loads, some website performance tests should be carried out.
During the web development process, testing is an important step, and testing before launch can benefit your business in several ways. We’ll explore a few in the following section.
What can website testing do for your business?
The functionality of a website can include features such as navigation bars or search features that allow customers to easily locate the information, products, and services they need. While accommodating different functions for users is a necessity for a business, functional flaws and errors can hinder you from achieving your business goals.
Website testing is an important phase in the development process that can ensure that your website functions flawlessly and helps you achieve your business goals. Here are some benefits of website testing for your business.
Minimize bugs and errors in your website
If the user encounters errors while accessing your website, it can create a negative impression of your business leading to loss of customers and business. Website testing checks your webpages for errors and ensures the website delivers a seamless and satisfying user experience.
Makes your website more user-friendly
The Internet is a gold mine of information and a user has several options to choose from. A user-friendly website can be defined as a portal that delivers as per customers expectation with easy accessibility. A user-friendly website that does not require the visitor to go through multiple steps to find the required information will always attract traffic. Website testing involves creating visitor profiles and evaluating websites on the user-friendliness aspect. User-friendly websites help users find the information they need quickly and easily.
Gains user trust in your business
When your website functions optimally, it creates a positive image of your brand with your customers. The positive user experience gained by the customer while accessing your website translates into user trust that draws in more customers.
Bring visitors back more often
It’s a known fact that we like to experience good things more than once. Website testing helps in delivering a superior user experience that encourages the visitor to come back to your website more often in search of information, product, and services you offer.
Ensures compatibility with different platforms
Today, users access websites from a variety of devices and they expect the same user experience while doing so. Website testing involves checking website functionalities in different hardware and software environments, and ensuring the website performs flawlessly on various platforms. This ensures the visitor doesn’t face any problem when accessing your website from different platforms and enjoys a consistent experience.
Improves search engine ranking
Every SEO strategy aims to improve search engine rankings. In determining your website’s search engine ranking, search engine bots analyze your site’s functionality and performance.
If you want your business to grow, you need to ensure that your website performs optimally at all times to increase customer satisfaction, since that will ultimately result in an increase in revenue.
Now that you know the importance of website testing for your business, the next question that comes to your mind is how to go about it. To make things easy for you, we’ve listed the best website speed and performance tools that can help you find errors and tweak performance issues to make your website a potent marketing tool for your business.
Top 5 Website Speed and Performance Testing Tools
GTMetrix is an excellent investigative tool to start an SEO audit of your website. It gives you a comprehensive look at the technical health of your website. In just a few minutes, GTMetrix can provide you with important details like load time and the data size of the page. You can use the tool to determine whether your website is properly scaling images, caching, and miniaturizing scripts. Additionally, GTMetrix assists with speed optimization by showing you how different elements of a web page are loaded and how long they take to load.
- Quickly assess the technical health of your website
- Help identify areas that can be improved for performance
- Provides you a detailed report of different website elements and their performance
- Give you a separate score from each tool that makes performance analysis easy
2. Google PageSpeed Insights
Google PageSpeed Insights is another powerful tool for development and website management teams. It provides insights on how to improve a website’s accessibility, performance, and user experience. Google PageSpeed Insights helps optimize code for search engines and shows clients how everything is going for their website.
- Provides optimized assets including JSS, images, and CSS
- Gives an analysis report that is straight to the point
- Offers valuable feedback on the performance of different website elements.
Pingdom is a feature-rich and powerful cloud-based website monitoring service. The website monitoring tool packs a variety of tools like transaction monitoring, alerting, site availability, real-user monitoring, and much more. It provides businesses with uptime metrics, fast alerts, and a thorough root cause analysis, which makes it easier to decipher the performance of a website and identify its problems.
- Provides uptime monitoring of critical components like DNS, email, networks, APIs, CDNs, and more
- Offers page speed monitoring and page rankings.
- Synthetic transaction monitoring for all kinds of transactions
- Provides metrics that enable a deeper and wider understanding of user’s digital experience
UpTrends is another cloud-based website monitoring solution that allows you to monitor websites of all sizes, as well as the performance of APIs and networks. The monitoring tool allows administrators to keep track of website performance and uptime in real-time. It features a dashboard that allows you to monitor live performance indicators of crucial web elements and run a root-cause analysis for any problem that occurs.
- Sends you detailed alerts in case of check fails
- Offers various types of monitoring services including remote monitoring, multi-device monitoring, multiple server monitoring, network device monitoring, and much more.
- Offer policy-based automation to control monitoring of different web elements and implement resolutions automatically.
Sematext is an innovative monitoring solution for your entire web technology stack. It features application performance monitoring, infrastructure monitoring, synthetic monitoring, and real-user monitoring solution pack in one easy-to-use tool. It offers various deployment options including web-based, cloud, and SaaS. Sematext lets you monitor various types of environments by using anomaly detection, alerts, and connecting them to mobile push notifications, PagerDuty, and Slack apps.
- Provides single observation pane to view operational and performance data
- Offers detailed log management and analytics
- By using the SaaS solution, you can monitor all web infrastructure elements such as JVM and Node.JS apps, as well as containerized environments like Kubernetes and Docker.
Wrapping it up
With more than a million websites vying for customer’s attention, simply having a website doesn’t cut it anymore. The high-speed world of the Internet and the ubiquitous devices allow customers to do more on the web with each passing day.
Your website is the face of your company. Every time it runs slow or doesn’t perform optimally, it creates a negative impact on your business. The limitless access to the digital world has made the customers more demanding, and you need to ensure your website looks and performs flawlessly to stay competitive otherwise your customers have plenty of alternatives to choose from. Website speed and performance testing tools allow you to test websites and ensure they are up and ready to meet the business challenges that wait ahead on the digital frontier.