Back in December I took a look at the importance of having a fast-loading website and although Google has set the record straight about some of the more outlandish fears people have had, speed is certainly a factor now in Google’s considerations.
But like so many of the aspects of your website which Google looks at in assessing your importance, this is just a reflection of what’s important to your visitors. We so often forget that. If your web pages don’t appear instantly, visitors won’t necessarily hang around waiting for you. Especially if you’re trying to sell them something.
An excellent new tool for assessing the speed-related factors of your website is GTmetrix. This combines the Yahoo! YSlow and Google Page Speed tools and puts them in a very nice interface. Give it a go. I’m not sure there’s a “good” or “bad” score, although the sites I run, which I’m fairly happy with, seem to score around 70%-80%. More important, however, are the recommendations. Make a list of the ones where you don’t score an “A” (in both YSlow and Page Speed tabs), and see what your website designer and web hosting service has to say.