Test the speed of your website with these 4 (free) tools
That a fast website is better than a slow one should no longer be a surprise. It improves conversion, it lowers the bounce rate and search engines including Google are placing an increasing importance on fast load times. Although Google has been including loading time in its search results for some time now, it is only from July 2018 that it will also be a factor in mobile searches.
How fast a user can load a website depends partly on the hardware and connection of the user himself, on that part you can unfortunately improve little as a website owner. The other part that is responsible for the loading time is the web hosting and the website technology. Take a look at the results of our web hosting speed test of 2020.
To what extent your website is already loading quickly you can test with online tools. These give insight into the exact loading time, indicate which parts of the website take the most time and also give suggestions for improvement. Use these tools regularly to monitor your website.
1. Pagespeed Insights (by Google)
It’s obvious to use Google’s own online tool, Pagespeed Insights. This tool allows you to analyze the speed of your website within seconds for free. Pagespeed Insights gives a judgment, for example Medium or Good and looks at both Mobile and Desktop.
When you first get no score for the ‘Page speed’ and see ‘Unavailable’ you can try the test again with ‘site:https://www.domein.nl’.
The score for Mobile will often be a bit lower than for Desktop, but that’s not immediately worrying. The tool immediately gives suggestions on how to improve the speed.
2. Pingdom Tools
Pingdom Tools is one of the best known speed tests online, the free online test is a great tool for measuring speed. Although there are 4 locations to choose from to test from, this is unfortunately not from the Netherlands, the closest is the location in Sweden.
The results give a quick and easy overview of the speed and what causes the delays. For improvements Pagespeed Insights is consistently referred to which adds little in our opinion.
The free speed test from Uptrends provides some interesting options that we didn’t see with the alternatives. For example, you can choose between mobile and desktop but you can also select the phone model and the connection speed to perform a realistic simulation.
Uptrends also uses the Pagespeed Insight score, but otherwise no opinion is given on the speed. Also the recommendations to improve the speed are limited.
4. GT Metrix
With GT Metrix you can test the speed of your website and quickly get a complete overview of the loading times. The tests are performed from Canada and your website receives two scores via GT Metrix, the Pagespeed score (via Google) and a YSlow score. The latter is a check developed by Yahoo. From both scores comes a hefty row of improvements, mostly the same obvious suggestions. GT Metrix does, however, provide good explanations and opportunities to read additional information.
All in all, by using free speed tools you quickly gain insight into the level and possible improvement areas of your website.
A (too) low score?
Any slowdown of your website means losing customers. Depending on your website you can take many actions to make it faster, we give some basic guidelines:
- Choose fast web hosting, see Speed Test 2020 (and the right hosting package)
- Provide good caching (Webhosters with caching are for example: Antagonist, bHosted and Vimexx)
- Choose consciously for images & video
- Limit the number of trackers and scripts
- Test load times for desktop & mobile
- Update CMS/plugins/software
- Switch to PHP 7, if you haven’t already done so for a long time 🙁 (by now we are already on 7.4)