Speed test

What is it?

Measures the speed of the website on a specific device.

Specifically this test measures:

  • Interactive time – how long users must wait for a page to become usable, i.e. enough of the page has loaded that text can be read and links could be clicked on.
  • Load time – how long pages take to fully load, i.e. all of the parts of the page have loaded, except for resources which never finish (e.g. some video, web sockets, or polling resources).

This test also makes technical recommendations on how the speed of individual pages could be improved.

Why it matters

Speed is one of the most significant aspects of website user experience. Users are more likely to abandon websites the slower that they are, and the sensitivity to speed is extremely high; an Amazon study discovered that every 0.1s they added to their load time resulted in a 1% reduction in sales for that user.

Speed is now considered a ranking factor by Google, meaning that slower websites will, on average, rank lower than faster ones.

How to use it

Insites lists pages in a table, slowest pages first:

For each page, you can see:

  • Magnifying glass – this opens the Inspector, which shows you technical details about that page and how to make it faster.
  • Interactive time – how long that page took to become interactive, i.e. usable in some way.
  • Load time – how long that page took to fully load.
  • Size – the size of the page, or how large all of the files that it uses are in total (uncompressed)

How to fix it

To view a list of technical recommendations for optimizing the speed of a specific page, click on the magnifying glass next to a page to open the Inspector.

Recommendations may tell you to compress specific files, change how they are loaded, or otherwise to modify your code. All recommendations are technical in nature and will require a qualified developer to implement.

Setting speed targets

If you are a Manager for the website, you can customize what defines a slow page. Click on Settings and either Desktop speed settings or Mobile speed settings.

You can also set the bandwidth for the current device. This is the simulated speed of the internet connection the device would be using, e.g. a 3G connection for a mobile phone.

You will need to retest the website for any changes to take effect.