A fast loading website is the first step to a successful online presence, one of the easiest ways to reduce load time is by optimizing your website. Optimizing your website not only makes your web pages load faster, but also reduces your bandwidth consumption.
Everyone knows how annoying it can be having to deal with websites that take forever to load. As per some recent researches, almost 70% of the Internet users do not return to sites that take longer than four seconds to load (source: Study Shows: People Don’t Trust Badly Designed Websites).
There are several free (online) tools available at your disposal to optimize your website(s). In this article, you will find convenient and user-friendly tools for making your web turn into a ‘race-monster’.
Before we start optimizing our website, it’s a good idea to first check what the actual load time of our website is. There are some free online tools to do this. I only want to mention that the results can differ a lot, using these various online tools
Free Online Tools to Check Your Website Load Time
Page Speed, the Web Performance Tool
Page Speed is an open-source project started at Google to help developers optimize their web pages by applying web performance best practices. Page Speed started as an open-source Firefox/Firebug add-on and is now deployed in third-party products such as Google Webmaster Tools.
Page Speed is a family of tools for optimizing the performance of web pages.
- The Page Speed Firefox/Firebug add-on allows you to evaluate the performance of your web pages and to get suggestions on how to improve them.
- The Page Speed extension runs performance tests based on a set of best practices known to reduce page load time.
Site-Perf.com is a website performance analyzing tool. This online tool emulates natural browser behavior downloading your page with all the images, CSS, JS and other files. But it goes a step further by letting you decide the test server location and Max threads per host value. Very good and very accurate!
iWebTool Speed Test
iWebTool Speed Test is a simple tool to test your website’s loading time and compare with other websites. great tool for benchmarking. It allows you to enter up to 10 websites, and the results display the size of the website, the total loading time and the average speed per KB.
Webslug Loading Time Test
Webslug measures load time as the user sees it. The time it takes for a page to load fully from when the request was made. The main benefit of Webslug is that it doesn’t require any download or any program to be installed. Just enter your website’s address and it’s all done in your browser.
Webslug is just a way of identifying potential problems with your website’s performance. How to improve it is an exercise we’ll leave to you. With that being said a general rule is that about 80% of improvements can be made on the front end.
Uptrends Web Page test tool
The full HTML page test tool will analyze the page and download all the objects, displaying the corresponding load times, the object sizes, and which objects are missing, including content from third party suppliers such as advertisements.
With the full HTML page test tool you will be able to analyze in detail which object slows down your web page, and how to optimize your website. The load time of all objects is visualized with time bars.
Free Online Tools to Optimize Your Website
Smush.it (optimize your images/graphics)
smush.it! makes optimization of your images a breeze. Smush.it! is a tool that is available as a Firefox extension, a bookmarklet, or as a simple web-based application (hosted by Yahoo!). Smush.it uses optimization techniques specific to image format to remove unnecessary bytes from image files.
It is a “lossless” tool, which means it optimizes the images without changing their look or visual quality. After Smush.it runs on a web page it reports how many bytes would be saved by optimizing the page’s images and provides a downloadable zip file with the minimized image files.
It takes in most types of image formats, and automatically converts GIFs to PNGs (because they’re virtually the same, only that PNGS weigh a whole lot less).
More about Smush.it and other tools to optimize your images can be found in an earlier Article here on the gonzoblog.nl: Website Optimalization for Images
Dynamic Drive’s Image Optimizer (gifs, jpgs, and pngs)
The Online Image Optimizer from Dynamic Drive is a online tool for compressing your images further. You can either provide the link to the image you wish to optimize, or upload it from your local machine.
Besides optimization, you can select what output you’d like the optimized image to be (the default is the same file type as the input). The limitation of Online Image Optimizer is that it only accepts images less than 300 KB.
CSS Formatter and Optimizer
CleanCSS is a powerful CSS optimizer and formatter. Basically, it takes your CSS code and makes it cleaner and more concise.
Clean Css helps you get smaller CSS file sizes and better written code. The way the optimizer works actually lets you decide how much compression you want. From super compressed (virtually unreadable and editable by a human being) to visually pleasing. I prefer the standard setting because it gives you a little of both.
Just about every website uses CSS in some way or another and each call to a CSS file takes time to download. CSS Optimizer can shrink the size of your CSS files, even by a little bit, you’ll save a lot of time on page loading.
Online CSS Optimizer is a web tool for reducing the file size of cascading style sheets. In order to save more space optimized files would be messy even so you may output it as a file. Non-valid or hacked (for certain browsers) CSS files may result in error.
If you are using WordPress, Minify is also integrated in 2 great Plugins that you can use:
Going through these websites for a few hours and really analyzing your website will help you improve the overall user experience with your website. If you know, and use, other online tools that do the trick for you, please share them with us in the comment-section.