4 Free Tools for Testing Website Speed & Performance
October 4th, 2016. Posted by Solvid.
Needless to say, the website speed is a critical component of the overall site performance. It’s vital to ensure that your site is easily accessible and fast to provide the best possible user-experience & customer satisfaction.
Website speed is also one of more than 200 factors that determine your ranking positions in Google. Hence, improving it would benefit all parties, your visitors and search engines.
Okay, now that you know that speed is an important factor, how would you know which parts of the site are underperforming?
In this post, we’re going to discuss the best tools (in our opinion) to test your website speed and identify possible issues that are causing delays.
But first, let’s take a look at what can these tools do for us:
Identify content type and size that is causing a delay
Direct to specific files (e.g. JS & CSS) that need to be minified and/or combined
Tell whether GZIP compression is enabled
Guide to scripts, plugins & fonts that are causing delays
Determine what images need to be optimised and rescaled
Analyse redirects and DNS lookups
Identify whether CDN (Content Delivery Network) is used effectively
Test the loading speed from different locations
Analyse browser cache
These are just a few of many insights you will get from using these tools.
Let’s now look at the best free website speed testing tools available.
A handy free tool brought by “The Almighty” Google that gives you a performance grade from 1 to 100 (100 being the best). Although it won’t give you the actual loading speed, PageSpeed Insights will give you a list of issues ranging from low to high priority and recommendations on how to fix these.
PageSpeed provides reports for both, mobile and desktop versions of the site.
The main advantage of WebPageTest is that they allow testing your website speed from over 20 different locations on different browsers.
Although there are often queues to get your website tested, you will receive some very insightful data, including content breakdown, first & repeat views, waterfall report, first-byte time and many more.
To sum up
As you can see, there are a number of tools available to gain insights on how well your site is performing. The vast majority of these tools will give you some practical tips & recommendations on how to improve each and every component to achieve a better loading speed.
Some tips to improve your website’s performance:
Choose a good hosting provider. If using WordPress CMS, we would recommend Siteground or WPEngine.