Website Speed Measuring Tools
If you want to ensure that visitors to your website have a good experience, the first thing you will want to do is improve the speed at which your website loads. This is especially important now that more people are browsing websites via their mobile phone – most will abandon a website if it takes more than 6 – 10 seconds to load according to this infographic.
So how can you find out how quickly your website is loading?
There are lots of free tools out there to choose from, but in this post, we are going to look at the tools that offer the most complete data to help you not only check your website speed, but also to help improve it.
Website Speed Measuring Tools: Pingdom
Pingdom offers a free website speed test that you can use to see how quickly your website is loading at any given time. You can configure the tool to test from Amsterdam, New York, or Dallas using the ‘Settings' dropdown option.
Configuring the location is helpful for businesses targeting audiences are in a specific region. If you don’t choose a location, the default testing location is automatically set to Amsterdam.
When you click ‘Test Now,' the first thing you will see is a summary of your website’s performance.
Along with the summary of your load time, you can also see how individual elements of your website are impacting load time by looking at the waterfall chart. As you are optimizing your website, you can use this tool to find the images, plugins, and other elements that are causing the most lag when visitors land on your website.
Additional tabs in your free website speed test give you more information. Under ‘Performance Grade,' you can find recommendations to help you optimize your website.
Under ‘Page Analysis,' you’ll see a summary of your page load details that breaks down elements types by load time and size.
If you test your website often, you’ll also find a historical analysis of your website’s load time.
You can also sign up for their ‘Premium Packages' starting at $9.95 per month to constantly monitor your website speed and up / downtime.
Website Speed Measuring Tools: WebPagetest
WebPagetest is another free tool you can use to analyze your website’s load time. This tool offers a lot more options as far as choosing location, browser, and advanced (optional) testing details.
When you click ‘Start Test,' you will see a summary of your first visit load time along with repeat visit load times.
Below this, you can click on the Waterfall View to see the individual elements on your website that affect load time.
Beneath your first time and repeat visit waterfalls, you will find the content breakdown showing element types with their request time and size.
When you click on the ‘Content Breakdown' link, you’ll get additional details in table and waterfall view.
In addition to the standard website speed test, you can also run a ‘Visual Comparison' test between two or more URLs.
This will show you how your website stacks up against competitors in terms of load time. If you’re only interested in site speed comparisons, you can also try to see which site loads faster.
You can also use the ‘Mobile Test' to see how your website loads on particular mobile devices.
This will take you to their partner site to show your website’s speed on the platform you selected.
Since WebPagetest is an open source project, there are no premium membership options for continued monitoring. You can visit the ‘Test History' tab to see the tests you have run in the past too.
Website Speed Measuring Tools: GTmetrix
GTmetrix allows you to get recommendations from their network and YSlow on how to optimize your website’s speed. Simply enter your domain to begin.
First, you will get your overall speed grade by GTmetrix and YSlow along with a summary.
You will then have four tabs to choose from., starting with ‘GTmetrix' and ‘YSlow’s recommended ways to optimize your website.
Under the ‘Timeline' tab, you’ll find the waterfall view of individual elements on your website and their load times.
You can also sign up for a free account that will allow you to view historical analysis, setup monitored alerts, and test from multiple locations.
Website Speed Measuring Tools: Google Developer Page Speed Insights
It’s always been rumored that Google will lower your website’s ranking in general and mobile search if your site loads slowly. To support this theory, they provide a free page speed insights test for developers. Simply enter your URL and click Analyze.
Google's tool will then provide you with scores for a website’s load time on both mobile and desktop devices, along with suggestions on how to improve each.
You can click on the arrow for each suggestions to see further details, including the elements of your site that they apply to.
This isn’t the only tool that Google offers for site speed. You can also set up ‘Site Speed' monitoring in your ‘Google Analytics.' This will allow you to see your load time per day and correlate it with traffic boosts, more or less sales, and other analytics data.
By using the tools and recommendations provided by each option listed above, you should be able to achieve a lower overall load time on your website and give your visitors a positive user experience.
What are your best website optimization tips? Please share in the comments!