Last week Google released a new web page speed analysis tool called Page Speed. Page speed is one of the primary factors that weighs into visitor satisfaction. If you were not aware Google and the other search engines actually measure this as part of their ranking algorithms. Search engines want to rank results based on the highest visitor satisfaction for a search phrase. If the site's landing page presents a poor visitor experience, meaning they don't actually find what they were looking for or the site was confusing or clunky, they are coming back to the search results or going to another search engine to find what they are looking for.
There are so many places you can address to increase your web site's performance. I have talked about many of these factors on this blog and in presentations over the past few years. Client-side tweaks can gain much more speed than most developers realize. Simply moving your scripts to the bottom of the page can make your page render seconds faster.
The Google Page Speed tool will analyze a target Url and provide a report, detailing actions you can take to increase its performance. It also gives you a score between 0 and 100, with 100 being a perfect score.
After it analyses a page it provides Details of actions that can be taken to increase a page's performance. These suggestions are grouped by priority; High to rules without suggestions. To the left you will see these suggestions listed again with links to a page to explain each action. For example it might suggest minimizing scripts, css and html (like this blog). Clicking the links will take you to a description of the action as well as an estimate of how it might affect your page.
The tool not only analyzes a desktop web site, it also allows you to analyze a page for the mobile experience. It applies a more mobile centric set of rules. The results work the same as the desktop details.
If you want to know more about making a really fast web site I can't stress the Steven Souders' books enough. He is currently at Google and most likely behind the page speed tool.