I received a call this morning, it was CFO. He asked why our web shop is so slow. I didn’t know the answer, I told him to call our internet manager. 5 minutes later I received a call from our Internet manager. He said that he doesn’t know why our website is so slow and if I could help him. He said he contacted to vendor who is managing the the website and is waiting for a call back. Once vendor resolved the issue it turned out that our website was the first site to be moved to another server, dedicated only for our web-shop, or so he was told. As it turns out, our website was experiencing slowdown for some time until it got worse.
After some talk I recommended following tools to our internet manager in addition to Essential website speed test tools. This is a perfect example why you should always test website speed and have overview on the server which is hosting your website.
Tools to test website speed
Loadimpact is a service that simulates traffic from realistic users from 10 different locations. You can install agents on your server to collect and analyse backend information such as CPU, RAM and Disk behaviour. Why this product matters is because you will know what to expext when the load to your website increases and how many users your server can handle. Loadimpact also has a free service, it’s limited with the amount of users and you can’t collect backend information on the server. But the information you will get is a starting point on your web server performance and how response time is increased when you put some users on. Really useful information
Blitz.io is also a load test service, you can simulate real users. You can find out how many users your website can handle and plan resources accordingly. You can also monitor performance and find regressions before your users do. Blitz.io was used for testing configuration optimized for WordPress which can handle 168 Million hits per day on a $1o VPS. They also have a free plan.
New relic is a great monitoring platform. You install agents on your server and you can monitor your server, applications, databases, users…. Information that NewRelic provides is really valuable as you get an insight to your web application, you will see which database queries are using the most resources, which external services are consuming the most resources, you can find errors related to Linux misconfiguration, you can find which plugin is causing problems to your website, which transactions are consuming the most resources and much much more. They also have a free plan. This is one of the services I can’t praise enough.
Free tool from Uptrends.com can check your your website and analyze load time and web page speed. It can show you domain groups which can pinpoint the speed problem with domain. This tool can come really handy if your server works fine, VPS providers has no problems yet you experience problem with your load time.
Free tool from Webhostinghero.com can test your web site from several locations and it can show you several important informations related to your website speed.
Free tool from webstack.com lists all the resources and their load time.
Which loads faster is a great free tool which you can use to compare load time of your website to your competitors website. Website load time is extremely important. If your website loads in more that 4 seconds, chances are visitors will move to another web shop, most likely your competitor. You will loose sales and you don’t want that. This tool will show you in real time how fast your website will load compared to your competitor – side by side. You will see visually which elements are loaded first and which are loaded last along with the web site of your competitor.
I also had a great experience with Monitis
By using services above you can ensure that your website will load fast and will be able to handle even more users than you have presently. But another factor most web admins don’t consider are optimized images. If images on your website are optimized you can save a lot of data from being loaded and thus improve web site speed. Less data will have to be loaded meaning that website will load faster.
If you wish to improve website speed you have to use webspeed tools. Tools listed above can help you, can save you sales and can help you optimize your hardware and software to deliver the best and fastest user experiance. But you have to use them. Some tools can be automated and they will inform you if there are issues to be fixed before your visitors experience slowdown.