As we know that website loading speed is very important for website business. There are dozens of metrics to consider when it comes to speed. For example, start the test of your site and see what the loading speed, speed index, and first content painful. But every single thing is technically measured differently things. All old concepts of speed index are changed but one thing is common at any time. And that is the speed index of the site. Speed Index helps to improve or increase many things.
So, let’s understand first what is the speed index.
- What is the Speed Index in the measuring tools?
- Why do we need the Speed Index for our site?
- How much does speed matter on your site?
- How to calculate the speed index?
What is the Speed Index in the measuring tools?
In simple words, the Speed Index is the measurement where you see how many milliseconds your site takes to load the visible parts.
Although developers have come to measure the user’s perceived experience of your site with specific formulas. The speed index metric was created and added in 2012 for the Webpage Test. It does measure in the numeric number and the lowest score is considered the best score for your website or blog. You will see index speeds have differed on the various platform.
But it has some limitations, this metric can provide a point of comparison with competitors which can be the best way to increase your site performance. It can also help in determining the effectiveness of optimization efforts. There are other metrics available that tell you the render and load time. And you will know exactly where your website lags.
You may see the term “Speed Index” used in other contexts. For example, Google Pagespeed or Google Lighthouse has a metric called “Perceptual Speed Index” which is a little different.
In the below, you will know how to measure and see the Speed Index in the tools.
Why do we need the Speed Index for our site?
Perception is certainly everything, but it is especially subjective. The developers have been creative about measuring subjective experiences. The speed index is not a timing metric, it is a scoring system that evaluates serval other speed metrics. The lower score of your website is the actual your website performing fast.
The speed index metrics give you a basic overview of your site performance. But that won’t give you totally helpful for diagnosing problems. That’s why other metrics are also popular among website owners.
There are two accurate methods for increasing or improving your site speed index score are:
- Optimizing the critical rendering path
- Optimizing content efficiency
Many websites and applications are used many tools.
How much does speed matter on your site?
Everyone wants the website to open quickly. And people know that is a strong relationship between website load time and bounce rate. Some developers know that loading content or progressive rendering sequentially rather than all at once. Because visitors keep waiting for the full page to load, that sounds like not too much important. But it is so important and it also affects your SEO. Below you will see some research and factors that why its important for your website:
The Telegraph saw an 11% down in page views for a 4-second delay in loading the page.
AliExpress improves its website load time by 36% and gains 10.5% of orders & 27% increase in conversion rates for new users.
Ancestory.com improves its render time and see gains of 7% in conversion rates.
How to calculate the speed index?
When you run a webpage test for your website then the tool takes a snapshot of your website and also takes snapshots of your content loading. The Total score is calculated on each captured frame completeness of the fold, and the score is calculated using this formula:
Interval Time * (1-visual completeness/100)
Time is shown in intervals of 500 milliseconds, and the total fold-loaded content has been calculated in percentage. Each frame is calculated when the content is fully visible, and then you have got the speed index when all scores are added. Know how its works by taking a look at the following example:
A normal website takes 3.5 seconds (3,500 milliseconds) to open or load all contents of the website. If you apply a simple formula to each of the 6 intervals, then you will get 500, 450, 350, 300, 200, 100, and 0. Add to all and you will get a speed index of 1900 milliseconds (1.9 seconds). Below you will see each time interval in milliseconds, and you will also see the calculations & formulas.
While you always want your website speed index score as possible to be low. Below 1,000 milliseconds (1 second) is excellent considered for your website. A low score is beneficial for your website. But in real life, most of the websites have higher scores which mean the website loads too slowly.
How to improve your site Progressive Rendering?
Progressive rendering is not single practice. It is a combination of techniques that you can choose from to tailor your site to your user’s needs. Below you will see some measures which help you to improve your website’s progressive rendering path:
1. Use lazyloading images
When you scroll down the content loads or is visible is called lazy loading. This technique saves your bandwidth and also improves your site load time. If you configure it incorrectly then the lazy loading can slow down the total performance of your website. Therefore, you should use the correct solution and always run the test performance both time before and after the configuration.
2. Add Placeholders for images
Placeholders do not increase your image loading time rather they help your website. This signals to users that an image is at this location. By which the user understands that there is an image on this location and also waits. If you have lots of images on your webpage then you should add placeholders for images. Placeholders can be a box with solid colors matching the dimensions of your image or a space. It occurs in very low-size images and it does not take time to load.
3. Involve the progressive images
We are talking about the progressive images which allow the site images to render increments starting with low resolution. After that users see the site images without any trouble. The process of setting up is a little different and it also depends on your image format.
How to improve your site and Optimize Content Efficiency?
If you think about optimizing content efficiency then it is like packing a suitcase. If you want to keep things random. But mostly it happens that you are not able to fit in or keep everything according to your own. Because of this, you have a lot of trouble. More than just taking the time to put things in the right places. Below are some ways for you to improve your content efficiency:
1. Eliminate unnecessary files
Make first, lists of your site’s assets. Because you can not do anything without this. One listens to it so it sounds like common sense, but it’s not common sense. So, we are repeating don’t include unnecessary things (files or resources). When you are alone then it may be difficult for you. But with the team, it is not difficult for you. Alone you need to understand and with a team, you need to convince others. Teamwork becomes easier.
Sometimes, plugins and tools which you use for attracting users slow down your website. And the result is users turning away from your website. For example, if you have a photo carousel on your site and it’s not necessary then remove it.
2. Compress your site data
Compressing is the best way to speed up your website. It is an easy and efficient way to reduce load time, save website space, and improve the website loading speed. The best way to compress your site data uses Gzip. It is a new compression algorithm method and it compresses your site data.
3. Use caching on your site
Use caching feature for your site as much as possible. It makes your site faster and more suitable for users. Always use caching tools according to your server. Implement cache busting and also use the CDN feature (Content Delivery Networks). These types of features make your site lighter and faster for users. And it also wins the trust of visitors so that visitors do not leave your website.
4. Optimize your site images
There are many optimizing tools are available in the market for your site images. Below are some examples of what you can do for image optimization:
- Use lossy compression or lossless to reduce the image size.
- Resize your pictures according to your site image display size on your server. And always use SRCSET sizing attributes.
- Always use the new generation image format for a better user experience.
- Try to avoid using png files and try always use JPEG/JPG files.
- Do not be afraid to experiment with image quality settings. Maybe it improves your site loading time and makes the site fast.
- If possible, pay for an automated image compression tool to keep your site images optimized at all times.
5. Optimize the fonts
Webfonts are the best way to represent your brand. It also gives a unique user experience. There are some points to optimizing your website fonts to be fast and adjustable to any screen:
- Try to use the minimum number of fonts.
- Only load the fonts that you need.
- Use font WOFF2, WOFF, EOT, and TTF format only.
- Remember to apply Gzip compression to compress the fonts.
- Always updates your fonts.
- Enable the cache tool for font compression.
Speed Index Limitations
The Speed Index Metric has some limitations that you should keep in your mind. If you are using a single-page app or dynamic website, the website does not require a refresh after loading. Auto-rotating carousels can make your score lower because once the page is open and completed they keep changing.
Web performance metrics can never show or analyzed in zero. However, the speed index depends on many things. And users have to spend or invest time to open a fast website. It takes patience and does experiments on your website and also make changes as much as possible to open a fast site.