Google has officially announced that they have started counting the site speed as a ranking factor, and has already started for US searches. Google is supposed to measure page speed based on the speed at which a page responds to Google bot and the load time as measured by the Google tool bar. According to Google only fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal and it doesn’t carry much weight as the relevance of the page. This means that going forward, the website speed enhancement must be mandatory in all the Search Engine Optimization strategies and plans.
Here I would like to list 5 of the major tools that are useful for checking and analyzing the speed of websites. I am sure that I have missed other important tools in this list and hope these tools would be enough to evaluate and enhance the speed of your websites.
1) Page Speed
Page speed is an open source Firefox Add-on, which is useful in evaluating the overall performance of the website. After evaluation of the website, it also takes care to provide suggestions for improvement. This tool performs several tests on the web server configuration of the site and front-end code. By using Page Speed you would be able to make you website faster, increased user engagement, reduced bandwidth and hosting costs etc. Page Speed is also a user friendly tool which is easy to install and run. Even the Site performance option of Google’s Webmaster Tool shows results based on this tool.
WebPageTest provides you a detailed report on your page load performance and also provide a comparison against an optimization checklist. PageTest is an online tool and lets you test web pages that are directly accessible as an URL from the Internet. A desktop version of this tool is available for testing a page inside of a firewall or something more complicated than a web page.
BrowserMob is a website monitoring tool which is available at a reasonable affordable and customizable price. This tool helps in the monitoring of your website with real browsers and helps to catch important errors that other service providers miss.
IntroSpectrum is a web based performance monitoring tool which simulates users using actual web browsers. The free version of this tool helps in evaluating a single page and show how images, scripts, and other content affect the customer experience. In the paid version you would be able to schedule test runs, 24/7 performance alerts, customized optimization reports, multi page transaction monitoring and amazing customer support.
5) Yahoo! YSlow
Yahoo! YSlow is an amazing Firefox/Firebug Add-on which helps to analyze web pages and suggests ways to improve their performance. This tools works mainly on a set of rules for high performance web pages and offers suggestions for improving the page’s performance. This tool summarizes the page’s components, displays statistics about the web page, provides tools for performance analysis, including Smush.it and JSLint.
There are still many more tools available for improving the performance and speed of the website, which I have not mentioned here. You can get the list of more tools by just conducting some simple searches in the search engine.