A Guide on how to measure and improve the performance of any website using free tools.
I was trying out some performance-measuring tools on a website and it showed terrible performance metrics despite the website feeling quick. Here, I will try to write what I learned.
To get the most accurate result we must first test the performance in incognito-mode. Web browser apply caching to save resources such as images and fonts between website visits which may give us a wrong impression of our website performance. Incognito mode will call your website as if you are visiting it for the first time. Here are some of the tools that I used
Lighthouse from Chrome’s devtools
If you right-click and select
inspect-element you will open a sidemenu, from which you can switch to the “lighthouse” tab and run some performance test. The tests will try to measure the web vitals of your website.
There is also the performance tab. In both cases you can also get recommendation on what to do to improve performance.
How to improve performance
The usual suspect when it comes to slow website is large images. Compress your images before using them in your website and consider using a modern extension file such as
.webp instead of
jpeg. Here is a nice open-source image-compression tool called squoosh
If your site has many images consider lazy-loading them so that they don’t all get downloaded on initial startup.