Speed testing tools

This article will provide information on the main performance testing tools such as Pingdom Tools, GTMetrix, and Google PageSpeed Insights.

Additionally, how to properly test your website and what to look for when viewing the results from the analysis.

How do I test my website properly?

First, you need to make sure to test the website properly before viewing or analyzing the results. The most important thing connected to testing your website is its correct URL. In other words, the proper URL with which your site loads in the browser.

The correct website URL would differ depending on whether or not it loads through HTTP/S and if it’s loading through “www” or “non-www” versions.

If do not use the correct URL when you test your website, you may get incorrect information or lower performance results from the specific testing tool.

Pingdom Tools.

The first testing tool that will be reviewed is Pingdom Tools. It’s well known and very familiar for most WordPress users. It is easy to use and the only thing that needs to be considered is the location from where you decide to test your website.

The empty field named “URL” is the place where you need to type in the correct URL format of your website by using http/s:// and “www” or “non-www” versions.

The second field named “Test from” is the place where you need to choose the correct location. You will get the best results using the location of your server where the site is currently hosted.

We currently offer server locations in the US (United States of America), the UK (United Kingdom), and AU(Australia). The locations from Pingdom Tools correspond with all three locations as described: US – USA Washington or San Francisco, UK – London, AU – Sydney.

You would need to first type in the name of your website (1) and choose the correct location (2) so you can start the test (3):

After you test the website, you will get basic results through different grades that are relevant for Pingdom Tools.

Keep in mind that grades in performance tools generally do not matter when it comes to true website performance. The most important things are connected to the actual full load time for your website, TTFB(Time to First Byte), and external resources that could take up additional loading time.

The results will show the main things such as Loading Time (1) for your site, the number of Requests (2) from its internal links and structure, and a dropdown step-by-step Recommendation list (3) from Pingdom Tools to improve the results:

The results for your website will highly differ depending on how you test it, from which location, your current setup, plugin configuration, size of the site, and much more.

GTMetrix.

The next speed tool is GTMetrix and it is well-known in the WordPress community as one of the most used when testing for performance and determinating issues.

The test is pretty straightforward and you just need to input the name of your website (1) and choose “Test your site” (2):

After the test, you get a generated report from GTMetrix that will contain an overall summary of the website’s performance and Waterfall which would include all resources in a list.

The most important parts of the results are connected to the Summary/Performance/Waterfall sections.

The Summary section allows you to view the main results such as TTFB (Time to First Byte) (1), and fully loaded time (2), including visualization by rendering different parts of the tested page:

The Performance section allows you to view the main indexations and results from the testing application:

The results that are displayed are mostly related to highly technical performance metrics. More important things that you can focus on are the TTFB and Fully Loaded Time.

Keep in mind that GTMetrix uses Lighthouse Performance data which means that most of the results you get will be identical to the Google PageSpeed Insights testing tool. The difference here is that you get much more information based on multiple categories.

The third and most important section for GTMetrix is Waterfall. It contains a list of all resources loaded from the site – external and internal.

Viewing the section will give you a more broad perspective to determine which resources take more time to load and which need to be removed to better the performance:

Additionally, there is an article that will help you read and analyze the Waterfall section better here.

Google PageSpeed Insights.

The last speed tool is PageSpeed Insights. It allows you to analyze both Mobile and Desktop versions of your website.

The test itself is straightforward. You simply need to input your Website URL (1) and choose to Analyze (2) it:

The speed tool itself does not rely on actual cache optimization or site speed. It has its metrics and the results depend mainly on optimized databases and themes. That part is connected to developer work and is highly technical for normal WordPress users.

You can choose between different results depending on if you want to view the Mobile or Desktop performance:

The speed tool does not provide much information or a Waterfall similar to GTMetrix that would help you analyze the resources on your website.

You can view the main results and metrics when scrolling down the page:

Most of these parameters can get better but you will need to hire an actual developer to make the needed changes on your website.

If you get stuck with anything discussed on this page, please get in touch with WPX Support Team via live chat (use the bottom right-hand widget) and they will respond and help within 30 seconds or less.

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