*. The loading time of a website can be one of the ranking factors in search engines. There are many tools available to check website speed. WebPageTest is one of the most useful tools. I’ve been using WebPageTest since 2017. Here’s my unbiased review of WebPageTest, the website speed testing tool:

WebPageTest review

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The previous version of the WebPageTest tool had an outdated user interface. It has a more polished user interface and allows you to run both advanced and simple tests. It also displays Core Web Vitals scores. For those who don’t know, Google had introduced Core Web Vitals parameters in 2019/2020. Google has planned to take the CWV scores into account for ranking web pages in May 2021. WebPageTest’s latest version allows users to track the IP address or trace the website’s route.

How to use WebPageTest?

Enter the URL of the page you want to test in the text displayed on the WPT website and click the “Start Test” button. After WebPageTest has finished testing the page, the report data will be displayed. The report data is displayed in the following 6 tabs:

  • Summary, details, performance.
  • Content, domains, processing.

In addition to the above 6 tabs, WebPageTest also displays the following tabs:

  1. Screenshots.
  2. Image Analysis.
  3. Request Map.

The Details tab show the following data:

  • First-byte time, start render time.
  • First Contentful paint time, Speed index, result/error code.
  • Largest contentful paint time, cumulative layout shift, total blocking time.

To see the loading time of individual scrips, files, etc of the website, scroll down the “Details” page.

Performance and Content reports

The “Performance” tab shows the score of the page out of 100. WebPageTest generates the score. If all scores displayed in the Performance tab/page are below 70, you should work on the performance of your website by following the tips shown on this page. WebPageTest, for example, calculates your “Use Progressive Images Score” and displays a sample. You should update your page with progressive images if the score is 0. The “Use Progressive Images” score will rise if you do this and retest the page using WebPageTest.

. The “Content” tab displays four pie charts that show the size of page’s assets – CSS and JS, Images, HTML etc., as well as the number of requests to them. It also displays the file’s compressed and uncompressed sizes.

Pros of WebPageTest

Locations: Webpagetest allows users to choose the server location – the place where you want your website to be tested.

Devices and browsers: WebPageTest allows users to select the device on which he/she wants to test the website’s loading time. You can also select a browser, e.g. Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.

Network: You can choose the network type before running the test. You should first verify the network that users in the target country use, then you can run the test. The majority of people in India and the US use 4G SIM/4G Data. The WebPageTest tool can be used to test the speed of your website on a 4G network if you are targeting users in India or the US.

Video: WebPageTest can record the screen when it’s running the test. These videos can be viewed to see how the page appears during page loading.

GZip compression: WebPageTest tests each asset of a website i.e. WebPageTest tests each asset of a website.

Grades: WebPageTest rates the TTFB, security, compression, caching, etc of the webpage with a letter and displays the same at the top of the page. To view the details of each grade, click on it. To see the details of WebPageTest’s rating for page “B”, or page “C”, click the letter.

Forum: If WPT shows errors or displays high TTFB, or anything that has worried you, you can discuss the same in the WPT form. WebPageTest has a forum section that allows users to discuss website speed issues. To use the forum, you must log in to the website.

Cons

UI can be better: Although the current UI is good, it can be better.

Closing words

WebPageTest shows more details than most of the page speed testing tools you’ll find on the web. You don’t have to pay anything to view the reports, or to see why your site is slow. This is the best tool for testing website speed.