If you are still wondering what the hype about loading speed of websites is all about, you need to check out this article on Entrepreneur, which calls speed the new SEO for web developers! Given that the whole world and then some is online, just having a well-designed WordPress site isn’t enough anymore. You need to give visitors a satisfying user experience to stand out from the crowd.
In the past few years, Google has started factoring page load speeds in its organic search algorithms. The popular search engine is aiming to drive load times of less than half a second. Thankfully, Google has set its threshold at 2 seconds for now. So, if a webpage on your site doesn’t open in 2 seconds, your site might be considered slow.
The question that then arises is how do you know whether your site is fast or slow? If slow, what aren’t you doing to make it faster? All your questions can be answered by a website speed test.
Importance of WordPress Speed Test
A Website Speed Test helps you analyze the load speed of your site and learn how you can make it faster. It often reveals some back-end issues that may be affecting the load time, and consequently lead generation and conversion rates. When you run consistent speed tests, it helps ensure that your site stays at the top of the search results as well.
10 WordPress Speed Test Tools You Need to Consider
There are many easy-to-use tools available today that can be used by expert web masters and novices alike. Here are 10 of the best Website Speed Tests anyone can try.
A company based out of Sweden that offers uptime monitoring and web performance management services, PingDom is a market leading website monitoring service. It is best known for its free website speed testing tool, which is super easy to use, in comparison with other such tools. It gives a speed performance rating out of a possible maximum of 100. The rating is based on your website’s performance on 12 different aspects. The results are saved by Pingdom for later reference.
When you use Pingdom, all your site’s requests are presented to you in a waterfall view. You can, thus, filter them by load times and file size. This way you’ll learn where the scope for improvement lies.
Another popular speed analysis tool, GTmetrix gives you deep insight into your website’s performance, providing a comprehensive analysis by combining the recommendations and performance provided by Google PageSpeed Insights and YSlow. You get to see all the results in one single picture, which can help you detect the bottlenecks.
This tool also allows you to save the last 20 test results by creating a free account.
3. Google PageSpeed Insights
Google has always been known to apply strict algorithms that make it challenging for businesses to acquire the top position in the search engine’s rankings. Now, since they have started to factor in load time as well, things seem even more difficult. However, this doesn’t mean Google is not helping WordPress site owners improve their load times. Google’s very own speed testing tool, Google PageSpeed Insights, measures the performance of a page, both for desktop devices and mobile devices, and scores the site on a scale of 0 to 100. The higher the score, the better. Analyzing the report page can tell you what can be done to improve the site’s performance.
4. Google Mobile Website Speed Testing Tool
It’s now official. People across the globe are using their mobile devices to make purchases more than ever before. However, this is a scary thing for leading retailers, who can lose sales and customers if their mobile retail site doesn’t perform optimally. What’s worse is that if dissatisfied, 80% of shoppers will hesitate to make a purchase from the same site again, says a blog published by KISSMETRICS. A tool powered by Google PageSpeed Insights, the mobile website speed testing tool scores your website performance out of 100. It provides web developers and businesses easy-to-understand optimization reports to understand where they can make improvements.
5. Site Relic
Did you know that your WordPress site’s performance also depends on the region from where it is being accessed? Site Relic is a free website speed tool that helps developers check a site’s load time, both on a desktop computer and a smartphone across 9 different regions. You get to see the time to full load, page size, first byte, total number of requests, request count by type, and request count by response code of individual locations, which can be used to make improvements.
Here is a screenshot of the test results for Pixabay by Site Relic.
Created by Patrick Meenan, a Chrome engineer at Google, WebPageTest allows you to run a free website speed test from multiple locations around the globe, using real browsers (IE and Chrome) and at actual consumer connection speeds. If you are looking for diagnostic information, such as Page Speed Optimization checks, resource loading waterfall charts and suggestions for improvements, WebPageTest is one tool you shouldn’t miss.
7. KeyCDN Website Speed Test
KeyCDN Website Speed Test allows you to select from 14 different test locations, strategically situated around the globe. This gives you better insight into the overall speed of your WordPress site. Since this tool uses Mozilla Firefox for its tests, it also supports HTTP/2.
8. Load Impact
With up to 1.2 million concurrent users, Load Impact is a one of the best tools available to determine the scalability of your WordPress site. What makes this free website test tool such a good choice is the fact that this free website performance test provides 5 reports per month, which keeps you on track with your site’s performance. The tool also displays requests made, number of requests per second and bandwidth usage.
9. Web Page Analyzer
One of the most recommended website speed test tool, Web Page Analyzer analyzes a site’s size, speed and composition. The tool provides results by calculating the size of individual elements and adding them up. It provides site load times for different connection speeds. Moreover, the tool also advises you on ways to improve load time.
This website speed tool analyzes web pages and suggests ways to improve their performance, based on a set of rules for high performance web pages. YSlow is Yahoo!’s page performance tool. Completely free for use, this tool needs to be installed as an add-on for your browser.
The tool focuses on 23 out of 34 factors that can be tested quantitatively and that affect a site’s speed. Unlike other tools, YSlow grades a website from A to F for each area. However, it is the extended details that it provided with the test results that are invaluable.
You don’t have to be a tech genius to learn more about how to improve your website’s performance. Try these tools for yourself and see.
What are your recommendations?