It is important to check your website speed because search engine crawlers and your audience are not going to be very patient with slowly loading web pages. Additionally, slowly loading pages are also at a higher risk of page errors, which can lead to your page not loading correctly and ruin the design of your website. Before we cover the best tools to check your website speed, however, let’s go over some concepts you need to know in order to increase your website speed.
How to Increase Your Website Speed
If you want to check the speed of your website, it is best to understand how to use these tools first. Here are a few concepts to consider:
Time to First Byte (TTFB)
TTFB measures how responsive your server is. CDNs help decrease the amount of time it takes to receive a response from the server.
CSS also should be optimized so it doesn’t slow down page loading times. Make sure you properly call all your CSS files and that there is as little CSS scripting used as possible.
Minification of Resources
This means you should overall reduce your HTML coding as much as possible.
You should also reduce the number of HTTP requests as much as possible.
Now that you know some of the concepts needed to improve your website speed, let’s look at a comprehensive list of the best tools to check your website speed.
Best Tools to Check Your Website Speed
The following is a comprehensive list of all of the best tools that can be found online to check your website speed with.
A page speed test that includes a waterfall breakdown and the website preview, with 14 test locations to choose from. You can also share the website speed test results with others.
PageSpeed Insights fetches the URL twice, once with a mobile user-agent, and once with a desktop user-agent. It checks to see if a page has applied common performance best practices and then provides a score, which ranges from 0 to 100 points.
GTmetrix summarizes your page performance based off key indicators of page load speed. It lets you analyze your page with Google PageSpeed and Yahoo! YSlow rule sets, as well as get your page’s Page Load Time, Total Page Size and Total # of Requests. You can also see your page’s performance relative to the average of all sites analyzed on GTmetrix.
WebPage Test lets you run a free website speed test from multiple locations around the globe using real browsers (IE and Chrome) and at real consumer connection speeds. You can run simple tests or perform advanced testing including multi-step transactions, video capture, and content blocking. Your results get turned into resource loading waterfall charts, Page Speed optimization checks and suggestions for improvements.
This is a very simple page that checks your site for common speed optimization tweaks and guides you through optimizing your site for speed.
Checks your webpage and display the Resolve, TCP Connect, HTTPS Handshake, Send, Wait, and Receive times, then displays the results in a color coded waterfall chart.
Features worldwide speed testing that results in a web performance report that includes a waterfall chart. Summarizes by location, 10% of the fastest elements, 10% of the slowest elements, breakdown by host element, error check, and diagnostics.
Simple speed checking tool that shows your overall load time and then your domain lookups, connection time, redirection time, page size, and download time.
This site lets you test a webpage (via an URL) and detects performance and front-end code quality issues. This is done by loading the webpage via PhantomJS and collecting various metrics and statistics with the help of Phantomas. These metrics are categorized and transformed into scores. It also gives in-depth details so developers can correct the detected issues.
This test measures how long it takes to connect to your site and for one page to fully load. It will give you a global performance grade, from an A to F.
This site offers insights about keywords, headings links (internal, external and nofollow), as well as alternative text for images. It also delivers useful data about your markup: Classes/Ids, tags, Google PageSpeed and Time to First Byte and more.
YSlow grades web page based on one of three predefined rule set or a user-defined rule set and offers suggestions for improving the page’s performance. It summarizes the page’s components and displays statistics about the page, as well as provides tools for performance analysis including Smush.it™ and JSLint.
PerfTool displays statistics about your web pages, information such as CSS resources count, Google PageSpeed Insights score, information on how to fix performance issues, HTML errors and more in one custom web page.
There’s Strength in Speed
Once you have a grasp on creating a speedy website, you will find you need to use these tools less often because you will already know what you need to do to create a fast website. Ultimately, these website speed tools are just here to help teach you the skills you need to do without them. Think of them as training wheels for website design. Once you get rolling, you won’t need the training wheels anymore! So for now, make sure you use these tools to check your strengths and weaknesses, and know that in the future you will find yourself needing them less and less as you learn the best practices for designing your websites. Good luck!