Yesterday Google announced Page Speed Online, which provides a quick and easy way to accurately measure the speed of your website directly from the web. Previously available only as a browser add-on, Google Labs launch allows you to analyze your site from anywhere and receive instant feedback on making it faster. Chances are, your website could perform better—all of ours could.  There are a lot of tools online that only measure server response time, giving an inaccurate picture of your site’s speed. For example, blazing fast servers might return your HTML in a fraction of a second, but visitors to your site will still be waiting for images to download or javascript to be executed. In contrast, Page Speed Online uses a webkit-based renderer to time all components of your site for a more complete picture of its performance.

Page Speed Online is simple to use.  Just enter a URL and get instant suggestions for performance improvements on your site.  Page Speed Online gives you a score out of 100 and breaks down suggestions by their priority.  Google caches the results, making it faster to use than comparative tools like WebPageTest which offers more features.  With Page Speed Online you can also get mobile-specific recommendations.  For instance, since mobile device CPUs are less powerful than desktop CPUs, suggestions that reduce CPU consumption will be featured more prominently.

Performance matters. We all know that.  Everyone can relate to the frustration of waiting on a site that takes forever to load.  Website owners in particular should care about performance.  The correlation between the speed of your website and revenue has been shown over and over again.  Improving your site’s performance is the easiest way to increase pageviews, conversions and sales.  For example, Yahoo found that a 400ms improvement to the speed of their site increased their pageviews by 9%.  Firefox shaved 2.2 seconds off their average page load time and increased download conversions by 15.4%.  Shopzilla reduced their loading time from 7 seconds to 2 and increased their pageviews by 25% and revenue by 7-12%.