Website speed or the loading speed of a website plays a vital role in its SEO ranking. And it makes sense.
According to reports, 40% of users leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. So, why would Google show webpages in the SERP which have high loading time? What is the point of showing these pages if people don't even stay there to read it?
Doesn't matter how good your content is, if the page doesn't load fast enough, it doesn't matter.
Of course, one should create quality content but there are other various factors that contribute towards a great user experience.
Slow websites are annoying from user experience point of view. And hence, it has a negative impact on the website; it results in lower conversion rates, higher bounce rate, reduced time spent on the website. All of these contribute towards poor SEO rankings.
It is, therefore, extremely important to optimize the website and improve its loading speed.
And to do that, we need website speed test tools.
Top 5 Website Speed Test Tools
When the Internet came into being, web pages were just a few kilobytes in size. In fact, the first ever web page was only 4 kb in size. That's because back in those days, webpages mainly comprised HTML.
With the advent of newer technologies, websites started adding more and more features, sometimes even unnecessary features. The result: with every passing year, websites got bloated.
The average webpage size in 2010 was around 600 kb. In 2011, it was around 800 kb. It increased to 1.6 MB in 2014 and to 3 MB in 2017. Needless to say that the website load time also increased.
On the other hand, with information of varying types being literally bombarded from every direction, the attention span of people is decreasing.
The result? Even 3 seconds started to seem like forever.
So, it is important to maintain a balance. Yes, sometimes, you can't help but add certain features to your site, thereby, making it bloated. At the same time, you have to optimize some other aspect of your website and remove unnecessary things that make it heavy.
This is where website speed test tools come handy. There are many website speed test tools available for free. Not only do they tell you the loading time of your website, these tools also point out ways to improve your page performance.
So, let us now look into the top five website speed test tools:
This is one of the most popular website speed test tools. All you have to do is enter the URL of a webpage and it will give you:
- Performance Grade of the Page
- Size of the Page
- Load Time
- Number of HTTP Requests
- Suggestions to Improve Page Performance
This tool also allows you to choose the test location. For example, if you want to see how fast your website loads for a person in Tokyo, Japan, you can do that with this tool.
The free website speed test tool from Google, this is another popular tool among webmasters.
This tool gives you separate analyses for mobile and desktop versions of the page.
Just submit the URL and you will get the following PageSpeed insights:
- Performance Score:
90+ = Fast,
50-90 = Moderate
Below 50 = Slow.
- Real-World Field Data: Here, you will see the First Contentful Paint (FCP) and the First Input Delay (FID) metric data fetched from the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) dataset.
- Lab Data: Here you will see the different metrics based on which the Performance Score is calculated:
a. Colour-coded and First Contentful Paint,
b. First Meaningful Paint,
c. Speed Index,
d. First CPU Idle,
e. Time to Interactive, and
f. Estimated Input Latency
All these metrics come with a value and are also colour-coded.
- Opportunities: This comprises the suggestions to improve the performance.
- Diagnostics: Additional information about how to adhering to best practices.
c. GT Matrix
This is another great website speed test tool that you can use for free and know what exactly is slowing your website.
The report that it generates once you submit an URL is quite straight forward and gives you the following:
- Performance Scores
- Page Details which includes:
a. Fully Loaded Time
b. Total Page Size
- Recommendations which are basically suggestions to improve the performance.
GT Matrix also allows you to compare the performance of two URLs in terms of the above parameters.
So, these are three of my most favourite website speed test tools.
Start using them to optimize your website. Your SEO rankings will definitely improve.
It is to be noted that many of the suggestions and recommendations in the reports that these tools generate won't make sense to you initially. But if you spend some time to understand them, you will be able to fix many of the issues yourself without having to rely on any professional.
I hope this article on best website speed test tool helps you!