You could be losing thousands of potential sales and conversions.
The answer is simple. Your website is too slow.
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Let’s look at the facts:
- According to Google, the probability of people leaving your site increases by 32% if your load speeds are between 1-3 seconds.
- According to thinkwithgoogle, the benchmarks for fast site loading is 0-1 seconds.
It’s clear that speed matters
We love speed and we just can’t get enough of it. When we search for something, We’re looking for answers and we expect to find them as quickly as possible.
A fast website means better user experiences. It means happy customers and more sign-ups to your mailing list. It means more page views and more people sharing your content. It means more trust in you and your company.
Bottom line: a fast website equals more conversions, which brings you more profit. Furthermore, your visitors aren’t the only ones with a lust for speed…
Google is a sucker for fast websites
Google actively seeks out fast loading websites and ranks them high on their search pages. They are looking to provide their users with exceptional user experience. And why wouldn’t they be? Google wants its users to find what they’re looking for, FAST.
The quicker your website, the higher you rank on Google.
You’re already wondering how your website measures up, aren’t you?
What makes a website slow?
Before we dig deep into the nitty-gritty, let’s have a look at the two main factors that affect your overall website load speed.
- The server speed delivered by your webhosting service.
- Your web design, cleanliness of code, cache, plugins and visual media.
If this is confusing, think of it like a car.
- In this context, the web hosting service is the car engine. We measure it’s speed by how long – in milliseconds – it takes for it to respond to a request.
- Your site’s code is like the car’s bodywork, wheels and styling. How fast your images and content takes to appear on your user’s screen depends on your code.
Now, you can install the most aerodynamic kit and the fastest, grippiest tyres for your car, but if the engine is slow, all that fancy stuff you just slapped on will do exactly nothing to improve its speed.
It’s the same with your website.
Sure, you can trim your code, optimise your images and compress your pages. But if your web host and server speed – your engine – is slow, then no amount of code optimization can speed up your site.
Simply put, your web hosting holds the single biggest responsibility for the performance of your website.
Why Bitcatcha Server Speed Checker
The thing about most site loading speed test services is that they test your site load speed as a whole, which makes it hard for you to determine which part of your site is causing the bottleneck.
They don’t tell you exactly what’s slowing your site down, whether if it’s your site optimization and web design or your web hosting. This obviously made us very upset, but instead of sulking in the corner like we usually do, we decided to eat a cheeseburger.
That cheeseburger (through a series of twists and turns) led to us creating a speed checker that specifically tests web hosting speed, so we can determine which part of the website lies the aforementioned bottleneck.
So – quite simply – Bitcatcha’s speed checker shows you how fast your engine – your web host – is performing.
How server speed checker works?
When you use our server speed checker, things are super simple for you. All you have to do is enter your web address and press ‘go’. We’ll do the magic and present you with the results.
On our end, things get a little more interesting.
We’ve set up servers in 10 different locations worldwide (New York, Los Angeles, London, Singapore, Sao Paolo, Bangalore, Sydney, Japan, Canada, & Germany) which act as nodes.
Our nodes are meticulously tested to make sure they are stable enough so we can provide you with accurate results. Each node is tested at least 100x using the same URL to measure how stable the nodes are. If the node doesn’t meet our strict requirements, we’ll find another server for that node which satisfies our needs.
When you enter your URL into the server speed checker, the tool does 4 things:
- It checks the URL for a valid domain.
- It checks the DNS of the URL which tells our tool where your server is located.
- It takes a screenshot of your website so you can visually verify if we’re testing the right site.
- Our 10 nodes will synchronously ping your site, measuring how long it takes for your server to respond to these requests from around the world. This emulates 10 different people from all around the world accessing your website at the same time.
Each one of our nodes will ping your website’s server 3 times, using the fastest result out of the 3 as the amount of time it took for your server to respond to the node’s request.
We take the fastest out of the 3 results instead of the average because web traffic has to be routed through an ISP. The way the ISP sends data from your server back to our nodes can be erratic, and it takes a few tries for them to find the most efficient data delivery route.
The tool then takes the values derived from all 10 nodes and averages them out. The averaged score is the final result and is assigned a rating from A+ (the fastest) to E (utterly horrendous).
All these are done and presented within seconds of you using the tool!
How we rank the Server Speed Results
For the best user experience, the ideal Bitcatcha speed rating for your server speed result should be B+ and above. At minimum, it should be C+. Here’s how the servers are ranked:
- Anything below 180 ms is ranked A+
- 181 ms -210 ms is ranked A
- 211 ms – 220 ms is ranked B+
- 221 ms – 240 ms is ranked B
- 241 ms – 280 ms is ranked C+
- 281 ms – 360 ms is ranked C
- 361 ms – 520 ms is ranked D+
- 521 ms – 840 ms is ranked D
- 841 ms – 1,480 ms is ranked E+
- Anything above 1,480 ms is ranked E
Do keep in mind that traffic gets routed through ISPs and due to that, it is not possible for us to give you 100% accurate data unless you’ve got a dedicated bandwidth.
Having said that, the results from our server speed checker tool does provide you with a very good reference on how fast your web hosting service is.
Getting accurate results
Remember what we wrote up there regarding ISPs figuring out the most efficient data delivery route? The first few times you use the server speed checker, you may get erratic results due to this very reason.
For more accurate results, test your server speed a minimum of 3 times, until you start seeing consistent results. As a matter of fact, why don’t you try your website on the Bitcatcha speed checker right now?
If you’re consistently getting results lower than B+, it’s high time for a change. It means your web host is your bottleneck. Your site’s engine is too slow.
It’s causing your site to lose conversions and driving your Google search rank down. You don’t have to panic though, we’ve got your back. Check out this list of resources for a faster, more reliable service.
Hacks to improve your speed
First, if your website is sluggish, try some of these actionable hacks that you can use right now to give it a little speed a little boost.
1. Move the server closer to the audience
Contact your webhost and ask them to move your site to a server that’s a little closer to your audience. Your customers will be able to access it much quicker that way.
2. Use dedicated hosting, cloud or VPS
One of the reasons why your webhosting speed might be slow could be because you are sharing it with a whole bunch of other folk. With dedicated hosting or VPS, your website would be hosted on its very own server. The bandwidth and resources are used exclusively by your site. You’ll also get a lot more control over the server settings which you can manipulate to allow faster loading. Do check out our list of top web hosting. They are all optimised for speed.
3. Use a content delivery network
A content delivery network (CDN) uses servers dotted all around the world. Your website information will be stored on each of them, so it will serve users based on their geographical location.
That means if someone visits your website from Australia, your CDN will serve them content from the closest possible server. With a content delivery system, it doesn’t matter where in the world your site is accessed from, it will always be fast.
4. Enable keep alive
Ask your web host to turn the “keep alive” setting on. By doing this, you’ll keep the connection to your site open and let everything flow through a single connection (when the setting is off, the connection is open and closed every time a new user accesses your site).
Now, test your website speed here. If your test results are still subpar, (anything less than a B+ ranking) then you’ll know it’s time you change your webhosting.
If you’re consistently getting good results (B+ to A+) and you website is still slow, it means that your web design or coding is the bottleneck, and fixing THAT will should ncrease your conversions
Remember, slow speeds are conversion repellants! Use the server speed checker tool to test your site’s speed, make the necessary fixes. Surely, your conversions will start to increase, and so will your profits!
Bottom Line: Keep optimising
So, we know that there are 2 main factors that affect website speeds:
- The code, cache, plugins, visual media, etc
- Web hosting speed
Most website test tools test your website speed as a whole, which means it’s impossible for you to determine which part of your site is the bottle.
Bitcatcha’s Server Speed Checker was created specifically to test for server speed, so you can accurately diagnose which part of your website is causing the bottleneck.
When you use our server speed checker, our nodes from 10 different locations around the world will ping your website, simulating 10 different people accessing your site at the same time. We measure how long your web hosting takes to respond to these pings, and present you with the averaged final results which tell you how well your web hosting is doing.
For optimum accuracy, run a few tests until you start to see consistent results. If you’re consistently getting speeds slower than B+, you might want to consider switching web hosting providers.
Speed is important. Make sure your web host is keeping up.
If you’re at a loss to which web hosting to go for, we’ve compiled a list for you that’ll come in handy regardless of whether you’re a blogger, online seller or a consultant.
We’re upgrading the server speed checker tool to a subscription-based model, so if you’re keen on being the first to be updated when the upgraded tool is launched, do pre-register here!
Do drop us a message if you encounter any questions regarding our speed checker, and if the functionality of it brings value to you, do share it with your friends!