Page speed is frequently considered to be the same as site speed, but according to Sarah Ellis who works for The Search Equation, there is a notable difference between the two.
What is Site Speed?
Site speed measures how quickly your website responds to requests. For example, how quickly a contact form might be sent, or a calculation made. Kind of, when you do this how long does it take for the site to do that!
What is Page Speed?
Page speed is a measurement solely how long it takes for the page to fully load and initially hit the first byte.
How Slow Page Loading Times Affect Your Customers
Research shows that slow pages have a bigger bounce rate. Basically, people get bored waiting and in a modern world, we all know that patience is no longer a viable virtue. People want the info and they want it now.
How Slow Page Loading Times Affect Your Site’s Indexing
While Google does not give away all its secrets with regards to the complex algorithms they use to decide what websites get the top spots on their results pages, it has implied that page speed and site speed are certainly important factors. SEO research seems to be indicating that how long it takes to git that first byte. This would make sense because a slow page speed means their bots take longer to access your content. As each site has an allocated ‘time budget’ a slow load means certain areas of your site might not get indexed at all.
To Evaluate Your Website Page Speed Go to Google PageSpeed Insights Page
This useful tool from Google helps developers reduce page speed loading times by analyzing it and then giving tips on how to reduce those times based on the results.
Some of the Quickest Ways to Increase your Page Speed Load Times
Enable Gzip Compression on Your Server
Reduce or Remove Redirects
Redirects add to waiting times. The direct route is always going to be faster – plane, train or webpage. Simple!
Leverage Browser Caching
Improve server response time
Slow servers (underpowered) and slow databases can really slow up your page and site speed. Ensure you have a decent server with enough memory and good DB routing to stop bottlenecking and so improve server response time. Using a Content distribution network (CDN) can also help.
PNG images are best for graphics with less than sixteen colours. JPEGs are best for photographs. Never use an image larger than it needs to be. Sprites can be used to reduce loading times. All images should be compressed using software like Photoshop or one of the free online image compressors. There are plugins available to compress images automatically but they can be ‘off’ when it comes to quality.