Does it sometimes annoy you? That a website loads very slowly and only appears after five seconds? It happens too often in practice.
With a slow loading website, visitors will drop out sooner. So it’s important to have a website that loads fast. But how can you test your website speed?
There are a number of good tools for that. In this article I’ll tell you which tools they are, how they work and what you can derive from them.
Testing website speed
There are several reasons why a website loads slowly:
- You have a cheap hosting plan with little memory and capacity.
- You haven’t optimized your website. For example, the images are not compressed or you have not installed a cache plugin to load pages faster.
- You have too many plugins installed.
If you build a new website you should not assume it will load fast immediately. The themes you buy on ThemeForest or other market places are generally quite ‘heavy’. These themes are very elaborate and professional, but with a lot of functionalities and possibilities as well.
If you use the Revolution slider for example, the website will load slower. And if you use multiple plugins, this will decrease the speed of your website.
Often, you’ll need to take additional measures to make your website faster.
With the following three online tools – they’re free – you can test your website speed.
Google PageSpeed Insights
A good start to test your website speed is Google PageSpeed Insights. After all, Google is the most important search engine and will also judge your website if it loads fast enough.
And so it is useful to see how your website is doing.
Google PageSpeed Insights works with a score that increases from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the faster your website loads.
You can calculate the score for both mobile and desktop. It’s very simple: you can copy the URL in the input field and then you can test the website speed.
The Google PageSpeed Insights tool also shows you how you can make your website faster. It provides an overview of the causes for your website loading slowly.
NOTE: It’s quite difficult to get a good score with a professional theme. Most websites have an average score (orange colour) and that is usually sufficient. If you want to achieve a ‘green’ score, you often have to do everything in your power to achieve this. Often you will need an additional service. WP Fixit can help you speed up your website. They will look at all kinds of things to speed up your website, such as how the browser loads the website.
Nobody likes a slow website. That is prominent in the speed test of <a href=”https://tools.pingdom.com/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollownoopener”>Pingdom tools and you can also use this tool to test the speed of your website.
Pingdom is also a free service that allows you to test from different locations. By default it is set to San Francisco, but you should choose the nearest location, Frankfurt or London. Then you start the test and get the results in an overview.
Sometimes you have to wait a bit longer because you end up in a queue. When the test is done, you’ll get an overview of how many seconds your website takes to load, and the number of times your website has been tested.
Below that is an overview of where the bottlenecks are. It is quite difficult to solve these problems yourself, often you need a specialist.
The third tool I want to mention, to test your website speed, is GTmetrix. It is quite extensive and also gives solutions on how to make your website faster and where the problems are.
The only downside is that the free version only lets you measure your website speed from a server in Canada. It would be more convenient if this was in your neighborhood, preferably in the Netherlands and surrounding countries.
But you do get a detailed result. You can even download a pdf of the results.
Testing the speed of your website is important. If it doesn’t load fast enough, there’s a chance your visitors will leave sooner and that’s not a good thing. In the Netherlands there isn’t really a good tool which can measure your speed, so you have to go abroad for a suitable tool. GTmetrix, Pingdom tools and Google Pagespeed are not that different.
What I do notice is that the differences between the three online tools are sometimes quite big. A very high score in GTmetrix can be a lot lower in Google Pagespeed. This is partly because one tool uses different criteria than the other.
Measure the speed of your website in all three tools, so you get a reliable picture of how fast your website is.
Do you want to speed up your website yourself? Read the article In 11 steps from a snail’s pace to a super fast website.
Good luck and on your way to a VRROOOEEEMMM speed of your website!