Testing the speed of your WordPress website: 6 tools
Maik Gruppen, October 9, 2018
Slow websites are at the top of the list of complaints by Internet users. In order to ensure that your WordPress website guarantees an excellent Internet experience, you need to check the speed of your website. Fortunately, there are various ways and tools to do so. We created a list of the best tools for you.
GTMetrix is a fairly quick and extremely useful tool to put the speed of your website to the test. The software draws from multiple sources and combines the verdicts of search engine giants Google and Yahoo.
How does it work? First, you enter the address of the relevant web page. Next, you will receive a rating from F to A and from 0 to 100 percent. A score of at least 90% is perfectly fine and is also recommended in the current Internet landscape. A nice extra: GTMetrix also gives you clear tips which you can use to boost the speed of a website or page.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Google PageSpeed Insights gives you a score per page, just like GTMetrix does. However, the advantage of this tool is that you will also immediately get an opinion about how your web page functions on smartphones. This is so important in an era in which more and more people are surfing the Internet with mobile devices.
The PageSpeed module does have some limitations though, which means that certain techniques to improve the speed of your website do not work as well as they should when combined with the PageSpeed tool. Furthermore, web developers argue that PageSpeed sometimes tends to give conflicting opinions for speed optimization.
PingDom gives you incredibly valuable information about the total loading time of a web page. These insights are linked to a total figure that is indicative of the overall performance of your WordPress website. The PingDom verdict is also translated into clear tips that can help give your loading speeds the extra boost it needs.
What are the strengths of my website? And what measures can I take to further increase its performance? PingDom answers these type of questions. That said, PingDom is quite technical. This may make the tool somewhat less accessible to website owners without a lot of technical background knowledge. However, it is incredibly useful for hosters and developers.
Google Analytics is, of course, one of the most comprehensive analysis tools for critically reviewing the performance of your WordPress website. By clicking on the ‘Site speed’ header —which can be found under ‘Behavior’— you will immediately receive a nice speed overview sorted by browser and web page.
Analytics subsequently show what the problem pages are within your website and immediately suggests how to fix the components of your WordPress website that are not performing well.
To use webpagetest.org, enter the URL of the web page you wish to submit to a speed test. Choose a test location in your country and the browser that is used most often by your visitors. You can increase the number of tests to be performed via the ‘advanced settings’ menu, so you will always get a reliable result.
An important advantage of WebPageTest is that the platform gives you extra options to specify tests. You can, for example, set the number of tests yourself, but also choose the browsers to be researched and compare two websites or test them simultaneously. WebPageTest is a bit older than many other test tools, but can nevertheless be seriously recommended.
Neustar Web Performance
Neustar Web Performance is very suitable for testing the performance of your WordPress website. What is it that slows down your website? Which elements are most time-consuming during the loading process? Using this tool ensures you will find out the answer to these questions. Your website will be tested for speed from different locations. Convenient, because this provides clear insights that your hosting party can actually use.
For example, let us say that you discover that quite a lot of your visitors are located far from your server, and as a result they suffer from slow loading times when they visit your website. You can use this information to quickly respond to this, for example by using a content delivery network (CDN).
In short, several excellent tools are available to measure whether your website and individual web pages are fast enough to meet the standards that modern Internet users have come to expect. Which tool you use should largely depend on your personal preferences and technical knowledge.
For example, PingDom provides a wealth of information, but it can be somewhat complicated and technical for laypeople. Google Page Speed Insights is easier to use, but is less reliable according to many insiders. Of course, it is always possible to use multiple tools in order to achieve a balanced verdict.
Want to know more about speed optimization for your WordPress website? Then please contact us for expert advice without obligation.