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website speed test tools imageHow fast your website loads is crucial to your visitor’s experience.

But which are the best website speed test tools to test your website with?

And what are the right metrics to look for?

In this quick post I cover the three best tools I use for all my website speed tests.

Let’s take a look…

3 Free Website Speed Tests You Can Use Right Now

There are 3 tools that I love and use all the time – and they’re free:

  1. Google Page Insights
  2. Pingdom Speed Test Tool
  3. GTMetrix

Now, they all work slightly differently, and if I’m honest, the tool we probably should all be using is Google’s speed tool. But as you can probably guess, the Google speed tool is… well, somewhat bland.

And yes, purists will raise up in arms at this remark, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little eye candy, even when it comes to analytical tools!

And if you didn’t think it was possible to blend in a little design flair with the stream of analytic reporting that you get from these tools, then Pingdom is a great example and a belief-buster all in one. It’s a sexy tool, and it tests the loading speed of your pages. What more can we nerds ask for?

So How do I go About Testing The Loading Speed of My Site

Well, I actually use all 3 tools. They do all report slightly different metrics, and so I use all 3 to get a good overall picture.

Some great points about all 3 of these tools:

  • they all come with a tree where you can see the elements of your website loading and discover bottlenecks
  • they all give you feedback that can quickly help you spot quick and easy things to fix, such as:
    • image optimization issues (i.e. lack of optimized images)
    • javascript loading issues
    • CSS loading issues
    • and more
  • they are all addictive (well, come on.. they have nice big scores, which you want to continually beat!)

Ok, the addictive thing is true but not particularly good. My strategy is simply to get in, test quickly, tweak and retest and then get out. Many a day has been spent trying to beat the clock by those who get sidetracked (ahem…). Just don’t let that be you.

But yes, let me make a clear statement here…

These 3 are the ones I consider to be the best website speed test tools right now

Now, let’s take a look over my shoulder as I show you how to use each of these tools. Yay!

How to Check Your Page Speed With Google’s Page Insights

How to Test How Fast Your Website Loads With Pingdom

How to Use The GTMetrix Webpage Checker to Assess Your Site

Testing your website performance with the right tools is crucial if you want to achieve the best performance.Click To Tweet

So to recap…

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Whilst page speed optimisation is important, the fact is that it can be almost impossible to get a perfect score on any given tool due to the way some themes work and depending on certain configurations.

That said, the aim is to make your website as fast as possible, not necessarily to get a perfect score. Remember that your hosting, your theme or template and the way you configure things (including your plugins) all affect overall page performance. So unless you’re prepared to get rid of your favourite widgets and ditch your hosting, compromise and use the tools as a guide to get the best overall speed.

I recently posted an article where I explain how I get the best performance out of WordPress without using expensive hosting and you can see that in my own example, I loaded my website with all the things I want to use and then configured it to be fast enough to create a pleasant user experience. All without breaking my heart or the bank.

The key, of course, is to use the best hosting you have access to, a light WP theme, light plugins and then find the best website speed test tools with which to tweak things and squeeze out the best performance you can.

Let me give you some resources to help you with this:

tools by hoz

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