How to Check Your WordPress Website Speed? Website speed is one of the most important search engine metrics that you need to get right. It is an essential component of user experience. If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, visitors would simply opt for an alternative. The fact is that WordPress website owners cannot ignore website speed. Besides, it influences your ranking on Google and other search engine results pages. Only when you check your website speed will you be able to improve it to boost the bounce rate and increase the session time.
No matter how much you spend on marketing, it would be worthless if you have a website that is slow. It would only end up affecting your search engine ranking and you will lose prospects to a competitor that has a faster loading website. Therefore, you need to get serious about website speed. This post aims to help you check speed so that you can focus on making improvements.
Parameters Website Speed Test Tools Analyze
1. Integral to User Experience
One of the main reasons why you must improve your WordPress site speed is because it is integral to user experience. If your website does not load fast, it affects the user experience the most. No matter how amazing your website might look, nobody wants to visit a website that is slow and takes a long time to load. Instead, they would simply abandon your site and find an alternative.
Google Core Web Vitals will help you enhance the user experience. It focuses on improving speed to deliver the best performance. Since a fast WordPress website will provide improved satisfaction, you cannot overlook its importance. Moreover, speed also improves overall functionality.
Minification is a parameter that most website testing tools analyze. It is the process through which the size of CSS and JS files is reduced by eliminating white spaces, newline characters, and comments. It has to be tested before the website goes live.
4. HTTP Requests
When a request is made by a client, HTTP is used. It is a transfer protocol that is sent by the server. Dynamic calls are triggered by HTTP requests. If the number of these requests adds up, it would affect website load speed. However, it is possible to handle and optimize these HTTP requests.
Best WordPress Website Speed Test Tools to Check Your WordPress Website Speed
Google Page Speed Insights
An amazing WordPress website speed test tool that you should use is Google Page Speed Insights. It checks the speed of a website to rate performance on a variety of parameters. The free tool scores both mobile and desktop versions for speed and performance.
The increase in mobile traffic these days has made the scoring for the mobile version extremely important. The best thing about the tool is that it is easy to use. The FCP (First Content Paint) is represented by the tri-color horizontal bars which indicate the amount of time it takes for the website to paint content onto the screen. The second bar reveals DCL (DOM Content Loaded) which reveal when DOM is ready. It would also suggest possible user optimizations and places where improvements can be made.
An excellent WordPress website speed tool that you should also use is GTMetrix. It is available for free and does an excellent job when it comes to checking website speed. GTMetrix is a very popular tool among the WordPress community as it offers detailed performance reports. It is recommended that you sign up for a free account that unlocks various customization options. The tool allows you to select a test server location from seven locations.
Besides this, you also get to choose whether to test the website on Chrome or Firefox along with mobile or desktop. It even lets you select the type of internet connection such as 3G, 4G, or wifi. When you use GTMetrix to analyze the website speed, you will receive a scorecard that will consist of two sections.
The top section would show the overall page speed score, whereas, the other section will cover the front-end structure of the website, number of requests, page size, and load time. As for the bottom section, it will provide insights in detail which would be divided into history, video, timings, waterfall, YSlow, and page speed. Each of these would tell you exactly where you can improve.
The tool features a waterfall which is a graphical depiction of the amount of time each element takes to load. It is also possible to expand the element details to check advanced diagnostics. There is also the history tab which highlights previous results. You also have the option to view the YSlow score, page speed, and page size in graphical format. Those testing website speeds will find GTMetrix to be the ultimate tool. It even allows you to automate load time testing of the website at regular intervals.
The next tool that you can use to check your WordPress website speed is Pingdom Tools. It allows you to select the test servers from seven locations. Free account users will have no such option which makes Pingdom Tools, not the best tool when compared to GTMetrix or Google Page Speed Insights. A performance grade is assigned to the website out of 100 to measure page size and load time.
A unique feature of the tool is that it shows the percentile of the website in terms of performance when compared to other websites tested using the platform. Pingdom Tools does not rely on YSlow or Page Speed indicators. Instead, it uses metrics that measure website performance and each element can be expanded for greater insight.
An excellent tool worth using is WebPageTest.org. It checks website speed and evaluates the performance of your website. Besides load time analysis, it even runs an ICMP traceroute of the website. When it comes to loading time analysis, you have plenty of options spanning Asia, Europe, South America, and North America for the location. As for browser choices, they include Firefox, Canary, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. The tool also supports mobile devices including iOS and Android You can also access advanced settings to select a connection type, insert custom script, capture network log, and more. Similar to Pingdom Tools and GTMetrix, it also offers grading but uses different parameters. However, you can expect to find the number of requests, Time to First Byte, and load time.
It is worth mentioning that the waterfall view is less detailed and cannot be expanded into individual elements. Connection View is another highly useful and technical graph that allows you to find out whether there is on load time, DOM content, or initial connection.
Yahoo is the mastermind behind YSlow. This website testing tool allows you to check speed. In order to use the tool, you first have to download the browser extension which is available on every major web browser. A great thing about the tool is that it tests websites on 23 different factors which are integral to website performance.
When you view the YSlow report card, you will also be shown suggestions that will help you improve your website performance. However, before you decide to use YSlow, you must keep in mind that it lacks the Waterfall feature. But, it does offer Components information and Content Breakdown. Hence, GTMetrix would still be a better option for measuring your website speed.
A notable tool that had to be included in this post is New Relic. It is a next-generation APM (Application Performance Management) tool that monitors your website for different performance metrics. It highlights major issues that slow down the website. When you use the tool, you will be able to generate different reports by accessing the dashboard. WordPress users will find its in-depth overview about a related activity such as external resources, themes, and plugins to be just what they need.
Other useful insights that one can obtain with the help of the tool include database monitoring which will enable you to analyze and identify database behavior along with how effectively it handles queries. You can also view the Service Level Agreement (SLA) which shows the performance and behavior of the website for a specific period. You can compare it for analyzing key metrics to ensure optimum performance.
Once you have finished reading the post, you will come to know how to check your WordPress website speed. It is important that you use the right tools such as Google Page Speed Insights and GTMetrix to learn more about the performance of your website and find ways to optimize it.