Your website loading time is one of the factors which will define your website success.
A slow website can ruin user experience and worst, keep visitors away to visit your website or blog again. A fast website on the other hand will help you generate traffic, improved SEO rankings and better conversion rate.
That is the reason why you should care to check your website speed and this is what we are going to discuss in this article.
Why should you use speed test tools?
If you are looking for answers for any of the following questions then be ready to use a speed test tool.
- How can I check possible bottlenecks for my website?
- Why my website is so slow?
- Which of my website images need to be optimized?
- is my website caching solution working properly?
- is my CDN working properly?
- is my website accessible from all over the world?
- checking accessibility from different browsers.
How website speed testing tools work?
Such tools test your website against certain website performance rules and see how your website is performing for each test. The main tasks include checking usability, accessibility and availability of your website.
At the end, an overall speed score will be given to your website along with possible solutions to fix your website speed.
The most common tasks these tools perform are:
Response time is the time when your web hosting server responds to a user request. A website testing tool will check the responsiveness of the server on which your website is hosted. It will warn you if your hosting server is not performing well.
Some tools go one step forward by checking response time from different geographical locations.
Response time test sometimes also known as Time to First Byte (TTFB). Time to First Byte is a term used to measure response time when a user browser will get the first byte from your website.Woopoo's Tip
Minification of scripts
In WordPress, using a cache plugin is recommended to minify script files.
Number of HTTP requests
Website testing tools also check how many requests your website is making to load completely. External HTTP requests are especially notorious for slow websites.
Make sure you are not using any plugin which is fetching data from outside to be displayed on your website like Facebook Likes counter, Number of Twitter followers etc.
These are some of the main tasks performed by speed test tools to check your website performance. Additional tasks may include checking image optimization settings, GZIP compression, browser caching, eliminate scripts in above-the-fold content, connection time and related tasks.
We have experimented with different site speed tools available on the internet and narrowed down our list only to 10 best speed test tools which will let you know how slow is your website by generating thoughtful performance reports and possible solutions.
Let’s proceed to our list now.
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Test My Site with Google
- Pingdom Website Speed Test
- Sucuri Load Time Tester
- Page Scoring
- Yahoo! YSlow
- Site24x7 Analyze Full Webpage
- Geek Flare speed testing tool
- WebPage Test
01. Google PageSpeed Insights
Let’s start with a tool from Google itself. PageSpeed Insights ranks your website on a scale from 1 to 100 points by testing your website performance for speed and usability. Points greater than 85 means a well-performed website.
The tool uses Blink renderer to fetch a site and emulates the process for both mobile and desktop devices. Blink renderer is the same rendering engine Google is using in its Chrome browser.
Once a test will be completed, it will show you a list of both Possible Optimizations and Optimizations Found. Entries under Possible Optimizations list need to be fixed. Click Show how to fix to see possible solutions.
Below is a list of speed and usability rules analyzed by Pagespeed Insights:
- Improved server response time
- Use asynchronous scripts
- Minify script resources
- Enable compression
- Leverage browser caching
- Image optimization
- Optimize CSS delivery
- prioritize visible content
- Avoid landing page redirects
- Responsive website
- Use readable font size
- Avoid plugins (Adobe Flash, Shockwave etc..this is not WordPress plugins)
02. Test My Site with Google
Let’s meet Google one more time. This is a mobile website performance tool from Google. It has been specially developed to check how your website is performing on mobile devices.
How test my site is different from PageSpeed Insight is that it will give you more detailed information and solutions related to only mobile devices. Moreover the tool will generate a free performance report and email you instantly.
GTmetrix is a tool loaded with useful reports with actionable solutions how to solve your website speed issue. It will scan your website to show you a real picture of your site loading and any possible bottlenecks. Major page load milestones will be checked against numerous conditions so that you can stay optimized.
The tool also claims to have 12 servers installed globally to check your website from multiple regions.
One good option that caught our interest is that it will also fetch Google PageSpeed score and YSlow score into its own report. So you are getting 3-in-1 service using GTmetrix.
The Waterfall Chart feature is extremely helpful in getting a clear picture of step-by-step breakdown of your page elements and how much time they are adding to your overall page load time.
04. Pingdom Website Speed Test
Pingdom is another free performance test tool for your website. It will thoroughly scan your website to analyze page load time and help you make it faster by identifying elements which are taking more time to load.
Once a test will be completed, it will show you major speed milestones in summary and a really extensive report in performance insights.
This tool makes good use of colors, icons and codes to identify different page elements which makes Pingdom an easy-to-use tool even for novices.
05. Sucuri Load Time Tester
Sucuri load time tester has a very simple interface. Basically it will check your website or blog from different locations around the world and let you know about connection time, first byte download time and an average response time. A global performance grade will be given at the end of the report.
What we have observed is that the Sucuri website test report will be more valuable if you are more concerned about your website availability and planning to use a CDN service for boosting your website accessibility.
06. Page Scoring
Page Scoring completed our website performance test quite fast. The report will be divided into two main sections Report and Files.
Report section is an overall summary of major loading time events and the Files section will show you total number of files called to complete a request along with loading time of each file.
07. Yahoo! YSlow
YSlow is a service from Yahoo! which can be installed in popular browsers as an extension. The tool then analyze and detect possible reasons of a slow website.
The guys at Yahoo! have defined a set of testable 23 rules which can affect your website performance and the speed test will be initiated based on these rules. Here is a list of those rules which will be used to test your website:
- Minimize HTTP Requests
- Use a Content Delivery Network
- Avoid empty src or href
- Add an Expires or a Cache-Control Header
- Gzip Components
- Put StyleSheets at the Top
- Put Scripts at the Bottom
- Avoid CSS Expressions
- Reduce DNS Lookups
- Avoid Redirects
- Remove Duplicate Scripts
- Configure ETags
- Make AJAX Cacheable
- Use GET for AJAX Requests
- Reduce the Number of DOM Elements
- No 404s
- Reduce Cookie Size
- Use Cookie-Free Domains for Components
- Avoid Filters
- Do Not Scale Images in HTML
- Make favicon.ico Small and Cacheable
If all of the above seems too techy to you, don’t worry, you just have to install the extension and click Run Test.
Based on your website performance, an overall grade will be awarded to your website along with separate grades for each rule. If you have give a good performance grade for your website then all fine otherwise the explanation given for each rule will really help you a lot to fix those issues.
08. Site24x7 Analyze Full Webpage
Site24x7 is another versatile tool which will analyze your website speed and show you a summary along with a comprehensive graph based on the performance of each file loaded and it’s loading time. The visual representation of bar graph will give you an exact idea which file is affecting your website speed so you can take action accordingly.
09. Geek Flare Speed Testing Tool
Geek Flare speed testing tool will check your web page from multiple locations around the globe and provide you useful information which includes measuring loading time for desktop and mobile devices, time to first byte, page size, number of requests made by your website and related information.
10. WebPage Test
This website claims to use real browsers with real internet speeds to check your website performance. The report from this tool comes with rich diagnostic information including waterfall chart of resource usage, page speed optimizations and expert suggestions to improve website speed.
Recommended Speed Test Tools
Although all of the tools we have listed above really generate useful and actionable reports for certain scenarios but still you have to discover yourself which performance tool best suits you according to your website needs.
The four tools we have recommended below can be used for general and quick checking of your website loading time.
- Pagespeed insight
- Yahoo! YSlow
- Setting up W3 Total Cache in WordPress
- Google Search Console Ultimate Guide
- Responsive website testing (test your blog today)
We hope the list of these 10 tools will give you enough room to check your website loading time. Get a real picture of your website and take advantage of performance reports to take action accordingly.