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The speed of a website can play very important role to its success. Google has around 200 ranking factors and speed is one of them, faster loading websites can benefit from higher SEO ranking, higher conversion rates, lower bounce rates, longer visitor duration on site, better overall user experience, and engagement. That is why it is important to take advantage of the many free website speed test, web-based tools available out there so you can achieve optimal performance.
Here are just a few of the common things websites speed test tools are used to test:
PageSpeed Insights measures how the page can improve its performance on:
time to above-the-fold load: Elapsed time from the moment a user requests a new page and to the moment the above-the-fold content is rendered by the browser.
time to full page load: Elapsed time from the moment a user requests a new page to the moment the page is fully rendered by the browser.
A mobile report includes an extra section called “User Experience” that is included in the scoring of your site. This includes checking your viewport configuration, size of your tap targets (buttons and links on page), and also eligible font sizes.
GTmetrix is another great website speed test tool, goes into great detail as it checks both PageSpeed and YSlow metrics, assigning your site a grade from F to A. It’s reports are divided into five different sections naming PageSpeed, YSlow, waterfall breakdown, video, and history. GTmetrix is most widely used and reliable speed test tool so far.
With a free registration, you can test from up-to seven different locations. They also let you choose the browser, Chrome or Firefox. You can test and compare website performance against various connection types (like Cable, dial-up, DSL) to see how it affects your page loads. Other advanced features include a video playback to analyze where your bottleneck is occurring and also the ability to run Adblock plus extension. With ads disabled you can see how they affect the loading of your website.
Pingdom is probably one of the best well-known website speed test tool out there. Their reports are divided into four different sections making user easy to understand, which include a waterfall breakdown, performance grade, page analysis, and history.
The page analysis offers a great overview with additional information such as a size analysis, size per domain (you can easily compare your Content Delivery Network (CDN) assets size vs your domain, the number of requests per domain, and what type of content had the most requests.
Pingdom’s speed test tool also allows you to test your website speed from four different locations including:
Dallas, Texas, USA,
San Jose, California, USA
The results of a Pingdom speed test provide you with performance insights, which is similar to Google PagesSpeed Insights, which outline where can you make improvements. The results also break down the page size by content type, page size by domain, requests by content type, and requests by domain.
KeyCDN built a fast and lightweight website speed test tool which you can use to get detailed insights on how your website performing and how you can further optimize your site for better speed. If offers 14 locations to choose from around the globe, and you have the option of making your test results either private or public. The test includes a waterfall breakdown and a visual website preview at the bottom. You can quickly see how many HTTP requests were made, the full size of the page requested, and the load time which will help you determine where needs fixing.
It is also one of the only tools besides PageSpeed that is responsive and works great on any mobile device.
WebPageTest is very similar to some of the previous tools mentioned above, but has over 40 locations to choose from and over 25 browsers (including mobile). It assigns you a grade from F to A based (similar to GTmetrix) on different performance tests such as FTTB, compression, caching, effective use of a CDN, etc. It’s report is divided into approx six sections which include a summary, details, performance review, content breakdown, and screen shots of website.
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