Often confused with site speed, page speed tells you how long it takes to load the content on a given webpage. While it may not seem like a particularly useful measurement by itself, your page speed can affect various areas of your website and overall business.
For example, page speed can influence your search engine results page rankings, as Google tends to rank faster-loading sites and pages higher than slower ones. Perhaps more importantly though, page speed can affect your conversion rates. In fact, research shows that conversion rates decrease by almost 5% with each extra second of load time between 0 and 5 seconds.
So, yeah, it’s important to monitor your page speed. Fortunately, there are some free tools out there to help you figure it out, such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights. However, this doesn’t just give you one “page speed test score” – the results include 6 different metrics. Let’s briefly look at each of these, and get you one step closer to understanding your website’s page speed.
1. First Contentful Paint (FCP)
Your FCP is how long it takes to paint the first piece of content when a user navigates to your page. It’s ranked according to 3 different colour categories:
- Green: 0-2 seconds, score of 75-100
- Orange: 2-4 seconds, score of 50-74
- Red: 4+ seconds, score of 0-49
2. Speed Index
Speed index is a measure of how long it takes to populate the contents of your webpage. In order to determine this, PageSpeed Insights uses a visual progression of video frames to help it break down the total loading time. This is also scored using the same colour categories:
- Green: 0-4.3 seconds, score of 75-100
- Orange: 4.4-5.8 seconds, score of 50-74
- Red: 5.8+ seconds, score of 0-49
3. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Basically, LCP tells you how long it takes to paint the largest text or image on a page. Note that this can be quite different from mobile to desktop, so make sure to run both types of tests.
The colour categories for LCP scores are as follows:
- Green: 0-2.5 seconds
- Orange: 2.5-4 seconds
- Red: 4+ seconds
4. Time to Interactive (TTI)
Your website’s TTI shows you how long it takes for your page to become fully interactive. This means that event handlers are registered, it displays useful content, and it is responsive to user interactions within 50 milliseconds.
The colour categories for TTI are:
- Green: 0-3.8 seconds
- Orange: 3.9-7.3 seconds
- Red: 7.3+ seconds
5. Total Blocking Time (TBT)
Basically, your TBT is the time between your FCP and TTI. It measures how long a page is blocked from user interactivity.
Your TBT is scored like this:
- Green: 0-300 milliseconds
- Orange: 300-600 milliseconds
- Red: 600+ milliseconds
6. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
CLS measures the movement of the visible elements on your screen, like when the text or images move on a page. This often happens if a website uses third-party ads or if resources are loaded asynchronously.
The colours and scores for CLS look like this:
- Green: 0-0.1 seconds
- Orange: 0.1-0.25 seconds
- Red: 0.25+ seconds
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