Page load time is really important factor for getting regular traffic on a blog or normal website. There are many ways to reduce the load time of website and you will find lot many suggestions on Internet to do that. How about getting suggestions from search engine market giants like Google and Yahoo because they are the future of the web.
To install either of them, the pre-requisites on your system are,
a) Mozilla Firefox
b) Firebug Add-on
It means you should have Firefox installed on your computer and that should have Firebug add-on installed. Reason behind having Firebug is that the tabs of YSlow and Page Speed appears on Firebug window only. You can start the Firebug or YSlow from the status bar of Firefox as well.
YSlow and Page Speed are Firefox tools provided by Yahoo and Google respectively to do the analysis of web pages on browser. First of all we will talk about YSlow which is a Firefox tool for Firebug add-on by Yahoo. YSlow is having options to suggest you techniques to improve the page loading speed for your page. It actually generate a grade for each and every web page to standardise the results. Here are different tabs on YSlow to do the analysis,
There is a Grade system in YSlow which starts from A and end on F. Out of which A is a grade for fully optimized site and F is for a site which really needs improvement. Based on the Grade, there will be some suggestions related to page loading time, HTTP request, Image or JS size improvements.
Here you will get the list of components in which you can do some improvement to enhance the load time. List will show you the CSS, Images, JS, Docs etc which are getting loaded at the time of page request. List will also show you the compressions which can be done on images, CSS and JS to minimize the response time for these elements.
Statistics is a summary of all the activity. Here you can see two different pie charts showing HTTP request and sizes without cache and with cache. Of course the HTTP request will get reduced in case of Cache but you can do some kind of analysis to cache more elements to reduce the HTTP request further. This is really important tab for doing such analysis.
There are some really good free tools provided by Yahoo in YSlow. Some of these tools are All JS, All CSS, Printable View etc but my favourite is All Smush.it which is for compressing the images to smaller sizes. By using Smush.it, you can reduce the size of images without loosing the quality. Once you will click on the tool, it will show you the size of images before and after compression. You can download the compressed images from YSlow Smush.it server.
Page Speed is the tool for same purpose but it is from Google. Page Speed is an open source tool to do the analysis for page loading and bandwidth consumption for each page. It will show you the areas where you can do some improvement to reduce the load time. Concerned areas may be related to cache expiry of components, GZip compression, DNS requests, HTTP requests etc. Here are the different tabs available on Page Speed,
1. Analyze Performance
This tab is for showing the suggestions to improve the page load time of web page. It will show you three different kind of suggestions depending on importance. One is Critical, Second is warning and the third is Information. You should remove the Critical tasks first which will reduce the time by a huge amount. Then you can choose to go for removing Warnings and Information.
2. Show Resources
Again this is similar to the components section of YSlow where you will get the list of components and their responses. It will show you the response status, size etc for each element on web page.
3. Export Results
You can export the result of analysis in JSON format which can be saved on notepad or WordPad.
Once you will click on Help link, it will redirect you to the help page available on Google Code. It will show you how to use page speed and how to do different optimizations suggested by Page Speed. You can also go thru the documentation on Cache management, Page rendering etc available on help page of Page Speed.
In previous posts, we had discussed about reducing page load time with other techniques but this one is direct from search giants and the suggestions are very much relevant and achievable. If you have any other technique to do the same then please let us know thru comments.