As you may be aware, site speed is one of many factors considered by Google when ranking a website within its search results. Sit back and relax while Tom Williams gives you a guided tour of three tools that can be used to check a website’s speed.

Why Should These Speed Test Tools Be Used?

Knowing how fast your website loads is a must, as it not only affects user experience – it’s an important ranking factor.

Improving the speed by which a website loads can, at first, seem confusing and you may not know where to start.

That’s why I’ve collated 3 easy-to-use tools that provide actionable insights on how to improve that all important site speed.

1. Google’s PageSpeed Insights

Google’s PageSpeed Insights is an official tool that can be trusted. It measures the performance of a page for both desktop and mobile devices.

The URL is fetched twice, first with a mobile user-agent, and then with a desktop-user agent.

The PageSpeed Score ranges from 0 to 100 points. The higher you score, the better! If you see a score of 85 or above, this indicates that the page is performing really well.

The tool also measures how the page in question can improve its performance on various aspects:

• Time to above-the-fold load: Amount of time from the moment a user demands a new page and also to the moment the above-the-fold content is presented by a browser

• Time to full page load: Amount of time from the moment a user demands a new page to the moment the page is fully presented by a browser

The suggestions provided by Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool take the following format:

• Red Exclamation Mark! Red exclamation mark. – Addressing this issue would have significant impact on the performance of the page
• Yellow Exclamation Mark! Yellow exclamation mark – Addressing this issue wouldn’t take long
• Green Check Mark Green check mark – No specific issues found with this element

Google PageSpeed Insights

2. GTmetrix

GTmetrix is similar to Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool as it gives a comparable breakdown of suggestions to fix in order to improve a page’s performance.

This tool provides a page load time, total page size and total number of requests made to load the page in question.

GTmetrix gives a score (percentage) out of 100 on how well the page is performing along with a grade:

GTmetrix score card

Something that Google’s PageSpeed Insights doesn’t provide that GTmetrix does is a timeline of how the page was rendered, allowing you to view specific elements on a page that are causing the high load times:

GTmetrix breakdown

The suggestions provided by GTmetrix take the following format (which is self-explanatory):

• High Priority
• Medium Priority
• Low Priority

GTmetrix breakdown

This tool is free to use but there are premium options available, which give a user additional features, but for a quick check of how your pages are performing and how to improve this, the free version is sufficient enough.

History of previous tests ran on your website are also available, which can be useful to highlight any improvements in page load times.

3. Pingdom

Again, Pingdom is similar to both tools above, allowing you to test the performance of a web page, providing load times and grades on certain elements.

A breakdown of a page’s load time, total size of the page and total number of requests made to load the page are also provided, similar to GTmetrix.

Pingdom also gives your web page a performance score out of 100, similar to the tools already mentioned:

Pingdom performance score

A breakdown of how the page was rendered is also provided, in a ‘Waterfall’ view:

Pingdom waterfall view

Pingdom also highlights areas of the web page that can be improved to increase page load times:

Pingdom improvements

Pingdom also provides history of previous tests ran on your website, which again is useful to highlight any improvements in page load times.

Which Site Speed Test Tool Should I Use?

Page Speed Tool summary

Using a mix of any of these tools will give you the all-important insight on how your site is performing and how you can improve this to establish better chances of ranking in higher positions within search engines.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and feel compelled to get testing your site!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself or any of our sales team here at ClickThrough for more information on any of the above.

Have a great day!

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About the author:

Tom joined ClickThrough in 2011. Since then, he has developed an expertise in the technical side of search engine optimisation. He’s Google Analytics-qualified, and in his current role as digital and technical Executive, carries out monthly SEO activities and provides technical consultancy for several of the company’s largest accounts.