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Viral Element / Tips & Tricks  / Six Free Website Performance Testing Tools
Laptop with a website on the screen.

Six Free Website Performance Testing Tools

Website performance can have a very big impact on user experience. Underperforming websites can limit user engagement and interaction with a site. It can also deter users from visiting a site if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load.


There are several issues that can cause a website or web page to load slowly. You might be wondering, then, how you can pinpoint the specific problem(s). Well, the following six website performance testing tools can be used to obtain a complete performance analysis of your site. The best part is that they’re free!


All you have to do is provide the URL of any website or web page you wish to analyze. The tools can then be used to see the sequence in which various components of your site are downloaded, which components take the most time, and suggestions to improve performance.


1) Google PageSpeed Insights

When you enter the URL of the website or web page you want to analyze in Google PageSpeed Insights, you’ll see a section called “Suggestions Summary.” You can choose to view the suggestions for a mobile device or desktop. The suggestions are then broken down into different categories, including “Should Fix” and “Consider Fixing.” The suggestions under “Should Fix” are the highest priority and will have the biggest impact on the performance of your site. The good news is that PageSpeed Insights not only lists the problems, but ways to fix the problems as well.


2) Pingdom

Just like Google PageSpeed Insights, you’ll need to enter the URL of your website or web page. You can also choose a location to test from. For example, you can choose New York City, Dallas, or even Melbourne, Australia. Pingdom will then provide a summary, which includes a performance grade, load time, page size, number of requests, and how fast the site loaded compared to other websites. It will also provide a waterfall chart that shows each file that has been downloaded as well as the size of each file. The files can be sorted by load order, file size, file type, URL, or load time.


3) GTmetrix

GTmetrix uses information from Google PageSpeed and YSlow to generate a report. When you enter the URL of the website or web page you wish to analyze, you’ll receive a PageSpeed score and YSlow score. You’ll also see page details, such as fully loaded time, total page size, and the number of file requests. Additionally, you’ll see recommendations from both Google PageSpeed and YSlow to improve site performance. You also have the option of viewing a waterfall chart, which shows the size of different files as well as how long they’re taking to load.

4) Yahoo! YSlow

YSlow is another popular website performance tool. Unlike the other tools already mentioned, it needs to be installed. Once it’s run, it provides a performance score on a scale of A to F for the website or web page being analyzed. It also provides a reason for the score as well as recommendations to improve the score. You can also filter results by different categories, including Content, Cookie, CSS, Images, JavaScript, or Server.


5) WebPage Test

WebPage Test uses six criteria to grade your website on a scale of A to F. The tool also shows the exact sequence that objects are downloaded on a site. For each object, it shows the time to make initial connection, time to download first byte, etc.


6) DynaTrace

DynaTrace analyzes how a website loads as well as what code can be improved on a site. It can be used with IE and Firefox. DynaTrace has to be installed first and then you can run an analysis of any site. You can see the sequence of objects loaded and JavaScript that may be slowing down the site. You can also compare the performance of the site to other websites.


Photo credit: HubSpot