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Site Speed


Why Is Website Speed Important?

It’s no secret that site speed is important for SEO. Not only is it a key metric used by Google for ranking websites, but it is also essential for delivering an optimal user experience right from the moment visitors land on your site.

A sluggish website with poor performance can significantly impact user experience and accessibility. Furthermore, it can have a detrimental effect on a business's growth and, ultimately, it's revenue.

Impact on Users
A fast-loading website is vital for providing a positive user experience. Research conducted by Google has demonstrated that the slower a website is, the more likely users are to leave without engaging with any content or taking any actions. 

Impact on Search Engines
Google, in particular, has been increasingly focused on user experience, with recent announcements regarding how they assess websites based on speed and performance metrics. 


Moreover, a slow-loading website can negatively affect your website's search engine rankings, crawl budget, and crawl rate. Site speed and response time directly impact how frequently and quickly search engine bots crawl your site. Search engines consider several factors when evaluating site speed, including loading and rendering times, as these metrics provide a clear indication of the user experience.

Key Metrics to Consider:

The primary metrics used by Google to evaluate site speed include:

  1. First Contentful Paint (FCP): This measures the time it takes for the browser to render the first element of content on the page.

  2. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): LCP focuses on the render time of the largest element visible in the viewport.

  3. First Input Delay (FID): FID assesses load responsiveness and quantifies the user experience when trying to interact with an unresponsive page.

  4. Time to Interactive (TTI): TTI measures when a page becomes rendered and can respond to user requests.

  5. Total Blocking Time (TBT): TBT quantifies the non-interactivity of a page before it becomes usable.

  6. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): CLS evaluates the visual stability of a page by measuring how often users encounter unexpected layout shifts.

Each of these metrics carries different weightings, which collectively contribute to the overall performance score.

Tips for Performance Optimisation

To enhance a webpage's speed and performance, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Implement caching.

  • Prioritise above-the-fold content.

  • Inline critical code.

  • Compress and minify HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and image files.

  • Optimise JavaScript resources, possibly bundling, splitting, or loading files asynchronously.

  • Address image and font optimisation to improve site speed.


Measuring Site Speed

There are two primary methods for measuring site speed:

  1. Synthetic Testing: This involves testing in a controlled lab environment to assess a website's performance.

  2. Real User Measurement (RUM): RUM captures data on what actual users experience when visiting a website. Various tools are available for measuring site speed, including web crawlers, Google Search Console's speed report, and free tools like Google Page Speed Insights, GTMetrix, Chrome's User Experience Report, Lighthouse, and WebPageTest. These tools typically allow you to test individual URLs one at a time.

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